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By Nicole Frehsée | September 28, 2012 | People
ON TIM TIERNEY: Waxed cotton field jacket ($2,495), skinny fit button-down shirt ($295), skinny fit Prince of Whales check wool jacket ($1,595) skinny fit Prince of Whales check wool trousers ($995), necktie, ($165), corduroy flat cap ($425), Fair Isle gloves ($375), Burberry Brit. 633 N. Michigan Ave., 312-787-2500. ON MICHAEL MORARITY: Cashmere funnel-neck sweater ($2,795), quilted riding body warmer ($1,495), wool hopsack trousers ($995), and suede and cashmere gloves ($550), Burberry Prorsum. 633 N. Michigan Ave., 312-787-2500. ON JOHN COTAY: Long cotton gabardine trench coat, Burberry Brit ($1,595). Studded leather gloves, Burberry Prorsum ($650). 633 N. Michigan Ave., 312-787-2500. V-neck sweater, Cotay’s own. ON HORACIO NIETO: Waxed cotton quilted riding jacket ($2,395), skinny fit herringbone wool jacket ($1,595), tailored fit shirt ($250), skinny fit herringbone wool trousers ($995), striped silk knitted tie ($195), studded leather document case ($3,995), Burberry Prorsum. 633 N. Michigan Ave., 312-787-2500.
Michael Morarity and Tim Tierney
Before cofounding Vagrant Nobility in 2010, Tierney traded in the Eurodollar options pit at the Chicago Board of Trade. When Morarity and a friend approached him about a clothing line, Tierney focused on the business end before taking a crash course in sewing and pattern making. Vagrant Nobility’s inaugural collection debuted in 2011, and Tierney and Morarity continue to oversee the production of each creative, sustainable garment that brings their vision to life.
What inspires you? Tierney: “Our last collection pulled from Rin Tanaka books. He’s a Japanese photographer obsessed with American work wear, and he photographs historic garments from people’s collections.”
I’d love to dress: Morarity: “Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. He’s my favorite musician and has such cool style.”
In 2002, Cotay opened Akira’s first women’s storefront in Wicker Park/Bucktown, but that wasn’t his only challenge: Cotay knew little about brand distribution and shopped mainly at Walmart and Kmart. Ten years and 17 men’s and women’s boutiques later, Cotay is a man with a fashion empire.
Proudest career moment: “Akira isn’t just a clothing store—we have a sense of purpose. We’re involved with a lot of local charities, like Imerman Angels, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and PAWS Chicago.” More to love: “I’m not a skinny guy. Bigger guys can dress up without sacrificing the Chicago mindset—which is, we love to eat.”
The look for men in 2013: “Swimwear will double as casual shorts, and designers are using a lot of prints and mixed fabrics.”
Nieto first began designing in middle school, when he sketched a dress for his mother with a midriff cutout. Needless to say, his aesthetic has evolved since, and today his design philosophy combines strength, fluidity, and sex appeal. He moved to Chicago in 2000 to study fashion design and clothing construction, and in 2008 he won the AOL Latino Fashionista Competition.
Biggest challenge: “You’re not just trying to get your name out there—you’re also fighting the Midwest stereotype: ‘What do you guys know about fashion? You have cornfields all around you.’”
Role model: “[Chicago designer] Elda De La Rosa is like my big sister.”
I’d love to dress: “ Salma Hayek. Spanish awards shows can be pretty gaudy—I can say that because I’m Mexican-American—and Salma is so stylish and classic.”
ON TOM THAYER: Canut jacket ($1,445), pique polo ($195), ribbed wool logo scarf ($200), and French flag knitted ski hat ($230), Moncler. 33 E. Oak St., 312-361-8573. Pants and shoes, Thayer’s own. ON JASON MCLEOD: Chevalier jacket ($995), ribbed wool scarf, ($200), wool crew neck logo sweater ($280), and garment dyed cable knit hat ($205), Moncler. 33 E. Oak St., 312-361-8573, McLeod’s own. ON MIKE GELLINGER: Fedor jacket ($1,250), wool V-neck logo sweater ($350), cashmere blend scarf, and wool knitted gloves ($200). Moncler. 33 E. Oak St., 312-361-8573. ON AL MACISAAC: Aubert jacket ($1,175), cable knit sweater ($665), and ribbed wool scarf ($200), Moncler. 33 E. Oak St., 312-361-8573. Pants, watch, and shoes, MacIsaac’s own. ON JEFF TANAKA: Cesar jacket ($1,295), pique polo ($235), and knit gloves ($200), Moncler. 33 E. Oak St., 312-361-8573. Pants and shoes, Tanaka’s own.
This Peoria native tasted glory as a starter on the Chicago Bears’ legendary 1985 Super Bowl–winning squad. Thayer continues his legacy as the team’s play-by-play analyst for WBBM radio.
Be prepared: “[As an analyst] you have to take everything into consideration on every play: time on the clock, positions on the field, personnel changes.”
Beach boy: “The minute I retired from playing, I started surfing, and now I spend the majority of the off-season in Hawaii.”
The former director of scouting for the 2004 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, McLeod dreams of ending the Chicago Cubs’ 104-year championship drought as VP of scouting and player development. Scout’s honor: “From the moment I started scouting, I had a passion for the thrill of the hunt.”
Success story: “Some scouts couldn’t believe we picked [Red Sox second baseman] Dustin Pedroia because he was a chunky college shortstop, but he became American League MVP and rookie of the year.”
As the assistant hitting coach for the Chicago White Sox, Gellinger tracks and breaks down every pitch and hit. Sign of the times: “When I came to Chicago in 1997, I’d chart every pitch with pencil and paper. We’d send the data to a company, and they’d input it into a computer and send it back to us.”
Hometown heroes: “As a kid, I idolized Robin Yount, the Milwaukee Brewers’ shortstop. I once met him during White Sox spring training in Tucson because we shared a complex with his team. He had no idea how much I admired him.”
This Chicago Blackhawks VP and assistant to the president has hockey in his blood. He’s won six championships, including three as a player and one in 2010 as a Blackhawks exec.
We got Stanley: “I grew up in Canada, so from the age of four all I thought about was hockey. When I stood on the ice and held the Stanley Cup above my head, it was a pinnacle of my life.”
Proudest moment: “What means the most to me is my wife and three daughters.”
Tanaka got his start as a trainer for the Los Angeles Raiders, UC-Berkeley, and the San Francisco 49ers. As the Chicago Bulls’ assistant athletic trainer, Tanaka’s come a long way from California.
My kind of town: “Chicago and San Francisco both have lots of different neighborhoods with their own flavor. As for the winters—it’s always 70 degrees in the gym.”
Best game ever: “Bulls versus Celtics, game six of the first-round playoff series in 2009. The game went into three overtimes, then Joakim Noah made a steal to seal the victory.”
ON STANLEY PAUL: Macintosh jacket ($1,095) and classic cotton button-down shirt ($325), Calvin Klein Collection. 700 N. Michigan Ave., 312-799-5211. Pants, Paul’s own. ON ROBBIE FULKS: Leather and lambswool baseball jacket, Calvin Klein Collection. 700 N. Michigan Ave., 312-799-5211. Pants, Fulks’s own. ON SUGAR BLUE: Leather moto zip jacket ($1,995) and classic cotton button-down shirt ($325), Calvin Klein Collection. 700 N. Michigan Ave., 312-799-5211. Pants and hat, Blue’s own
At 24, Paul got his big break to be a bandleader at the Pump Room. He’s since played for the openings of the John Hancock and Willis Tower—even Prince Charles.
Seeing stars: “Bette Davis used to sit at my piano. She’d smoke until the keys were covered with ashes. I couldn’t stand it, but you couldn’t tell Bette Davis to stop.”
Proudest career moment: “In 1962, I played in a variety show at Carnegie Hall, and Cab Calloway was the bandleader. I didn’t know that my knees could shake so much.”
Alt-country artist Fulks sang bluegrass tunes and began plunking on a banjo before the age of eight. He’s played the Grand Ole Opry five times and can be heard most Mondays at Bucktown institution The Hideout.
Culture club: “Chicago is more artistically diverse than other cities. As a country artist in Nashville, it’s cool to be among like-minded people, but it’s an echo chamber. Everyone’s on the same narrow wavelength.”
The new classic: “I like Sam Amidon. His style is old folk songs rewritten with a Radiohead, out-there vibe.”
Sugar Blue has hung out with the iconic likes of Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, and mentor Willie Dixon. He’s also the man behind the unforgettable harmonica riff on the Rolling Stones’ 1978 smash “Miss You.”
Record influences: “Hoodoo Man Blues by Junior Wells  and Hidden Charms by Willie Dixon . Every now and then, you have to go back to school, and listening to those records is my version of opening up the books.”
Proudest career moment: “In 1986, I appeared with Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fats Domino at Storyville Jazz Hall in New Orleans for a concert called Fats and Friends. It was amazing to jam with those guys.”
Local flavor: “Kingston Mines, Andy’s Jazz Club, Rosa’s Lounge, The Green Mill, Buddy Guy’s Legends. Whenever I’m not working, I make it my business to go and see live music.”
Photography by Maria Ponce; Styling by Justin Min; Grooming by Krystyn Johnson