Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sebastien Grey Clothiers: Exclusive Launch in HALO [FOR MEN] Salons

Thursday, January 20, 2011:
A while back, I received an email from Michael Corrigan, a friend and publicist for Zapwater Communications, asking for my address.  I was a bit intrigued, as Michael and I had not known each other very well at the time, but I was aware of his position (and hey - you never know what a well-connected publicist may send you.)  I shot him back the info he requested of me, went on with my day and forgot all about it - until a month or so later...  

I had just gotten home from the office and my roommate pointed to a package on my desk and said - 'That came for you.'  I picked up the package, which had been wrapped in thick brown paper and slowly peeled it open.  Inside, a long, skinny, flat black box was waiting with my name, address and 'Bowtie Memoirs' written on it in white.  (I had to take a moment and collect my excitement, as I had never received a package like this before.)  On the center of the box was a small piece of fabric ruler that held it tightly closed - almost hugging it shut.  I slipped off the ruler, opened the box, unfolded the wrapping tissue - and gasped.  Inside, was the super-coolest, most awesomest, triple-radical invite I had ever received.  (Apologies for the high school verbiage - but seriously, though.)  There were three small booklets with the words 'Sebastien Grey Clothiers' printed on them, full of information about the company that I had already started to fall in love with.  The booklet in the middle held a cuff-link and a metal collar-stay inscribed with the same words and printed simply above the cuff-link, was the time of the event and the address.  I immediately remembered Michael and insisted that this must be his doing - though, I wasn't completely convinced until I found out for sure.  
The infamous invite:
Now - I know you don't want to hear the story of an invite - you came here to read about the launch of a new brand, right?  But, I can't speak about Sebastien Grey without touching upon the time and attention that went into the invite, such a seemingly simple process.  This, my friends, is a perfect metaphor for what Sebastien Grey Clothiers stands for:  attention to detail and exquisite personal touches...
A small selection of the custom suits and casual looks from Sebastien Grey:
I arrived at the Loop location - 70 W. Madison - around 4:15p.m. on Thursday for the media preview (I was lucky enough to get in early to check out the bespoke brand before the public got their eyes on it.)  If that address seems familiar, it is no mistake, as Sebastien Grey Clothiers are located exclusively inside of Chicago's popular HALO [FOR MEN] salons.  I was greeted by Michael himself and got right to it - checking out the selection of suiting and the many choices that could be made.  HALO [FOR MEN] and Sebastien Grey work wonderfully together to give the full service that a stylish man wants and deserves.  It's simple, really.  Allow me to lay out the steps:

1.  Get a dashing haircut.  (Damn, you look good.)

2.  Get a consultation.  (You don't have to do this alone.)

3.  Pick out every detail that you want.  (You, are a man of power.)

4.  Come back in about four weeks for another haircut and a fitting, just to be sure.  (That custom suit hugs you in all the right places.)

5.  One to two weeks later - it's done.  (Who knew looking this good was so friggin' easy.)

There you have it, guys.  Can you say convenience?  
You can't go wrong with so many choices to choose from - be it the cut, the fit, the fabric, the color of the thread that wraps the button holes - you get the point.  Sounds pretty good right?  'Ok, Mr. Bowtie' - you may be asking yourself - 'so how much?'  Well, hold on to your hat - 'cause even that is customizable!  The prices are tiered, depending on the quality of the fabric and the first level starts at only $799 - for a custom suit!  (Insanity.)  From there - you can elevate the fabric quality, step by step until you are at $1099, then $1499, then $2000.  It really depends on what you want and how you want your suit to feel (and drape on the body.)  Now, I can talk all day about how great Sebastien Grey is, but you have to go and check it out for yourself.  I promise you wont be disappointed with the service and quality of these gorgeous threads.  In fact, the consultant I spoke with described the Sebastien Grey experience quite perfectly - she said, 'Our standard is the other suit-maker's upgrade.'  So, there you have it - exceptional service, exquisite fabrics and the perfect fit.  The only thing left to figure out is how you want your hair cut.

(Though, I have a feeling they could help you with that, too.) 

70 West Madison | Chicago, IL 60602 | (773) 486-4646
South Loop:
1351 South Michigan Ave | Chicago, IL 60605 | (773) 486-4646 
Lincoln Park:
654 West Diversey | Chicago, IL 60657 | (773) 486-4646 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Chicago Launch of J.Cheikh's F/W 2012 Collection

Thursday, January 20, 2011:
While working at the agency, I received an email - just before Christmas - from a woman named Sophie Lin.  The email certainly wasn't unusual, but what I didn't know at the time, was how the email would change my life.  Now, this sounds like quite a dramatic way to begin an event post - I realize this.  But, looking back, I'm so glad I responded to Sophie...

In the email, Sophie introduced herself to me as one of the individuals behind a line of menswear called J.Cheikh.  I immediately checked out the website (as I'm sure you did just now) and instantaneously fell in love with the collection.  The interesting cuts, rich/royal colors, the way the pants fell a bit short on the model - all made me swoon as I clicked through each look.  This was a collection after my own heart.  A line of menswear that (if given the chance) I would literally sleep in, only to wake up and slip into another J.Cheikh look the next day.
A series of looks from the J.Cheikh F/W 2010 Collection
MODEL:  Bev Moore | PHOTO:  Jeff DeLaCruz
As I corresponded with Sophie to book my runway models for her upcoming show, I began to grow fond of our conversations.  We went back and forth many times (which often happens with my clients) until she asked me one day to be on the hosting committee for her event:  The Chicago Launch of the F/W 2012 J.Cheikh Collection.  I quickly agreed (actually, I think I squealed like a girl right there in my office) and went to work inviting my top list of industry friends and contacts.  Before I knew it, I was corresponding with press about the show and RSVP-ing some truly amazing attendees to cover the event.  By accident, I became Co-PR Pro for the event!  (These things happen.)  I quickly hooked up with the wonderful Grace Lin (Sophie's sister and the real PR/Marketing Pro behind J.Cheikh) and we got to work on the guest list.  
Ryan M. Beshel (wearing J.Cheikh) and Grace Lin - aka:  BESHLIN PR
NOTE:  Photo taken by Early Cuyler
In preparation for the event, Sophie pitched to me an impromptu photo shoot with one of my Agency Galatea guys named Colin Ryan.  Once we knew Billy Rood (Fig Photo/Ender Films) was shooting the new F/W 2012 collection on Colin, he quickly agreed.  The shoot went stunningly well and Colin did an excellent job - giving his best in front of Billy Rood's camera that day.  A few days later, as we all stood in the J.Cheikh studio, we got a look at the images and were blown away.  (Behind-the-scenes photos and post to come!)
MODEL:  Colin Ryan from Agency Galatea | PHOTO: Billy Rood
As the day of the event quickly approached, the RSVP list was filling fast and needed to be cut off.  (Being 150 over capacity is a good indication that the list must close.)  We did just that and proceeded to prepare the press seating arrangements for the show.  The evening quickly approached and I started on my way to Loft on Lake to assist with last minute details and help get everything in order.  Upon arrival, I greeted my Galatea guys (Dominique Lark, Chris L., Benjamin Paulsen and Colin Ryan) and got the seating arrangements confirmed.  I spotted Kyler Powell of Kyler Powell Designs securing the final touches of the staging and the lighting - and before we knew it, the doors were open and the guests began to arrive.  The room filled quickly, photographers were crowding and everyone had taken their seats.  It was time for the show to begin.
(L): Marcus Riley introduces the show | (M): The crowd anxiously awaits
(R): Katarina Visnevska opens the show with a violin set
The host for the night, along with my friends, D.C. Crenshaw (Game Time Dine/Deals with D.C./Fete Select TV), Henrique Kerch (Factio Magazine) and Katarina Visnevska (Violinist - Lyric Opera of Chicago), was one of my favorite guys in town - Mr. Marcus Riley (NBC Universal).  He took a moment to introduce the brand before Katarina played an exciting violin set to the beats of tracks spun by DJ Galvan.  Once the sounds of her violin came to an end, the F/W 2012 J.Cheikh show began.  Before our eyes, we saw a collection of suits, woven shirts and slacks that looked as if they had been plucked from the set of Mad Men (or the streets of Vegas, circa 1950.)  Golden paisley brocade, deep blue velvet and slick black painted the collection as each step was taken toward the photographers.  Fox pelts hung carelessly over the shoulders of each model - almost hinting at a sexy, yet subtle cocky confidence of a man that would wear such a distinctive suit.  
J.Cheikh F/W 2012
Agency Galatea Runway Men:
(L to R): Dominique Lark, Chris L., Benjamin Paulsen and Colin Ryan
(L to R): Dominique Lark, Benjamin Paulsen and Colin Ryan
When all the looks had hit the runway and the finale walk had been taken, it was clear that we all had been a part of something special that night.  I was later asked by a friend from The Working Wardrobe for a quote about what I thought of the show, which I will share with you here:  "I would absolutely say that the show last night offered a breath of fresh air to the somewhat ignored arena of menswear in Chicago.  J.CheikhCheikh suit, I can confidently tell you that I walk taller when I'm wearing it.  For a man such as myself that stands six feet, four inches - it's quite a compliment to the designer.  This brand is my absolute favorite right now and I am thrilled to say that I have become fast friends with the entire J.Cheikh team.  They truly work with talent, passion and dedication as they remain focused on elevating the Chicago fashion community - a mission dear to my heart.  I can't wait to see what lies ahead for J.Cheikh!"  And that, my friends - is the truth.

Many thanks to Cheikh Lam and Sophie Lin - the husband and wife team behind J.Cheikh - as well as Grace Lin and Van Dang - for allowing me to be a part of something truly special - right here in Chicago.  Join me in wishing them the best for their showing at New York Fashion Week, coming up in just a few weeks!  I am so grateful to have made some great friends along this journey and I cannot wait to see what comes next from the passionate, talented team at J.Cheikh.  (I also can't wait to wear it.)

P.s. Did I mention it was life changing?


Sophie Lin and Cheikh Lam speak with Meghan Turner of Styleadmirer.com
The Finale - Ford Models
Ryan M Beshel and Nicole Townsend:
The Finale - Ford Models and Agency Galatea Runway Men
Cheikh Lam, Borris Powell and Ryan M. Beshel
 To receive updates on J.Cheikh and check out more photos from the runway event, please visit J.Cheikh on Facebook, 
by clicking HERE.

Andrew Tse | figphoto.net
Bryan Whitely | figphoto.net
(unless otherwise noted)

The Holiday Hangover @ The Underground - Chicago

Thursday, January 13, 2011:
As the Director of Runway at Agency Galatea, I have the honor of representing so many talented fashion/runway models, (as well as working with stellar hair/makeup artists and wardrobe stylists.)  What you may not know, is that Agency Galatea is located inside of a very successful on-camera and voice-over agency called Grossman & Jack Talent that has been representing some of the best actors in Chicago for over 18 years.  To confuse things even more, there is another brand under our roof called G&J Models, which represents lifestyle/commercial models for advertising clients (as oppose to fashion or runway, like Galatea.)  Got all that?
In celebration of the New Year and the hard work that each and every one of our models and actors perform every day, we wanted to throw them a little soiree.  So - we did just that.  Lindsay Glickstein (On-Camera Agent - Grossman & Jack Talent) and myself worked our little butts off to plan a winter event that was both tons of fun and philanthropic.  To get the party started, we joined forces with Mr. Jon Landan (Director of Marketing - Rockit Ranch Productions) and Sofia Cristina (Marketing/Special Events Intern - Rockit Ranch Productions) and decided that The Underground - Chicago was going to be the place to host the event.  Lindsay decided that we would partner with a charity close to her and her family's heart called Becca's LEGacy to create a toy drive for the event.  Becca's LEGacy is a charity that fights to raise awareness about childhood cancer, raise funds for research to cure childhood cancer and collect new toys to give to hospitalized children with cancer.  We couldn't have been more thrilled to help.
(L): Lindasy Glickstein & Jeff Schroeder | (R): Jon Landan, Ryan M. Beshel & Andrew Landan
Once we had our venue and charity in place, it was time to find our liquor sponsor to really get the party going.  Enter:  Annie Skourup and Jim O'Connor - my friends from Apostrophe Brands.  Their generosity must be noted, as they hooked us up with a great spiced rum called Kilo Kai - which went over really well.  (Thank you, both!)  Once all that was squared away, it was time to complete the final aspect of our event:  the guest list.  With such a pool of beautiful talent, it was easy to fill the room with notable guests and stunning beauties.  One by one, the RSVP's came back - and before Lindsay and I knew it - we were decked out and ready to rock.
(L): Saba Solomon & Ryan M. Beshel | (M): Marie P. Anderson & Billy Dec
(R): Ryan M. Beshel, Todd Starr & Samantha Hicks
Finally, on the evening of Thursday, January 13 - the doors to The Underground opened at 8p.m. and the guests began to arrive, quickly filling the place up with contagious energy.  From wall to wall, the room was packed with friends and family of the agency.  Everywhere I looked, I saw smiling faces, people swapping smooches and hugs all around.  What can I say?  We had created a love fest.  The night rolled on and the Kilo Kai flowed and the dancing began.  Melissa Gonzalez, (Receptionist/Actress - Grossman & Jack Talent) was spotted juking her way across the dance floor (as usual.)  Katie Gallagher, Callie Greenwood, Heather Newman, Samantha Hicks and a few of my other best girls were spotted dancing on their seats and stirring things up.  Joshua Alexandre Haines (Alexandre Industries) was the tease of the night - flashing his tank top at me from across the bar (yeah - I'm calling you out, Haines!)  You getting the point yet?  We had a total, utter, complete blast.  
(L): Ryan M. Beshel & Melissa Gonzalez | (M): The Ladies on the Ledge 
(R): Joshua Alexandre Haines & Kilo Kai
When the party settled down, it was well after 1a.m. and we had collected nine huge bags of toys for Becca's LEGacy.  The event was one of the best we have thrown yet for the agency and we can't wait to do it again.  As someone who is new to the modeling industry, I am overwhelmed with the amount of love and support that each and every person who enters our office shares with me and one another.  It truly is a family and we stick together.  Thank you to everyone who was able to make it out that night to share a drink, have a laugh and give back to children with cancer.  It's each and every one of you that make me jump out of bed, excited to go to work every day.

Can't wait for the next one...



Thank you to everyone who brought a toy to support Becca's LEGacy!
For more information, please visit:  www.beccaslergacy.org
Kate Jacobsen (Intern - Agency Galatea) - for her constant hard work and guest list savvy.
'Ant Muggz' & SunnyLou Notario - for volunteering to work at our event with bright smiles and positive attitudes.
Dean Paul (Dean Paul Creative) & Vanessa Valdovinos (Vanessa V Photography) - for their amazing camera skills during our event and their quick turn-around post-party.  Thank you both x 1,000,000!

To see all of the photos from 'The Holiday Hangover', please join the Agency Galatea fan page by clicking HERE.

See you next year, Chicago!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hey, Mr. Bowtie... Where have you been?

Saturday, January 22, 2011:
Holy smokes - it has been too long, my friends!  Even now, as I began to type the date, I slip and write '2010' before correcting myself and editing it back to '2011.'  A whole new year?  So much has happened since I last posted and I must first apologize for being away from you for so long!  I can assure you that I have been busy making connections and creating new opportunities to share with you here.  So, let me fill you in...

As you all know, the holidays came and went - and with them, was the one year anniversary of the very first Bowtie Memoirs post, called 'And so it begins...'  It was one year ago on November 5, 2009 that I sat down and began a journey that has taken me to some of the most fantastic events in Chicago and connected me with some of the most stellar individuals I have ever had the honor of meeting.  So, although a little late - please join me in wishing my baby, The Bowtie Memoirs, a very Happy 1st Birthday!  Without your support, I couldn't continue to bring you the best in fashion and industry events that this city has to offer.  So, a big 'THANK YOU' to you, Chicago!

In other news:  I have recently began a new endeavor into the world of podcasting.  Recently, I joined three fabulous women - all Chicago fashion professionals - to begin our very own podcast!  Affectionately named, Speaking of Fashion, our podcast "aims to inspire communication about fashion and it's place in our every day lives."  Each voice brings something different to the coffee table - featuring Rachel Yeomans (Social Engagement Consultant, publisher/editor-in-chief of TheWorkingWardrobe.com and RachelYeomans.tumblr.com), Tenisha Anderson (editor-in-chief of Qlix Magazine), Kari Skaflen (editor-in-chief of Above the Fray) and myself (Director of Runway for Agency Galatea, editor-in-chief of The Bowtie Memoirs).  With such busy schedules, we record when we can - about once every few weeks - and recently we have completed two podcasts.  Each is pasted below for your listening pleasure (simply click on the link):

Speaking of Fashion - Topic #1: 

Speaking of Fashion - Topic #2:

I certainly hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoy recording.  We always welcome your feedback, as well as your suggestions for future topics.  So, what are you waiting for?  Join the conversation!  (And, hey - check us out on Facebook, already...)

Well, my friends, I think that is it for now.  I certainly appreciate the patience you offered while I took some time to re-group after the holidays.  On a personal note, I would like to also thank all of my friends and family who have supported me through one of the biggest challenges of my life:  quitting smoking.  Today, I am proud to say, is my nineteenth day without a cigarette and I have never felt more confident, motivated and enthusiastic about the smoke-free life ahead of me.  I know that, just by making the choice to quit, I have changed the course of my life.  (Which I find to be pretty awesome.)

Moving forward, I urge you to keep your eyes on The Bowtie Memoirs, as I will have new, exciting event posts coming up for you very soon!  (You don't want to miss my photos and insight from this past Thursday - the Fall/Winter 2012 launch of a stellar Chicago menswear line called J.Cheikh.)  More to come on that tomorrow!

Until then, Chicago - stay stylish...  The Bowtie is BACK!