Sunday, October 28, 2012

STYLE FILE: An Interview with the legendary Sam Edelman

On a crisp, autumn day in Chicago, one of the world’s most iconic shoe designers, Sam Edelman, came roaring into town to promote his new fall collections, a western and art deco-inspired menagerie of chic buckles, non-stop fringe and signature studs.

Best known for his partnerships with the junior lifestyle juggernaut, Esprit and Kenneth Cole co-founder, today Edelman and his wife-business-partner-muse, Libby, are broadening the eponymous label with an ultrachic lineup of statement pieces including covetable bags and embellished outerwear soon to be spotted on Michigan Avenue.

Sam and Libby at their Connecticut home

Luxe File Chicago caught with Edelman (wearing our favorite vintage Novato slingbacks) at Nordstrom’s flagship store, who revealed what it takes to be a muse, where he wines and dines in Chicago and his love affair with rocker chic.

For Spring/Summer 2010, you credited model-musician Charlotte Kemp Muhl as your muse. Who or what’s your inspiration for your Fall/Holiday 2012 collections? Charlotte Muhl wasn’t really my muse, it was more of a publicity thing. I pick a muse every four to six months. She could be a girl I see on a subway, or at the airport in Paris, or in French ELLE. I like a girl who lives, eats, and breaths “what’s happening”. So who is it today? Lindsey Wixson. Dree Hemingway. Always Beyonce and Rihanna.

Model Muse: Dree Hemingway

From deco to cowboys, what’s your inspiration for the new collection. It’s about what’s happening in the industry today: baroque on the dress side, tribal-cowboy on the casual side. I would describe my collection as "Taos-meets-Morocco".

Did you spend time in those places to be inspired by them. I always do. I’ve been going to Morocco for 20 years. That’s what I do for a living – travel all over the world and try to be really authentic. I like to think of things before everyone else. I don’t like to be after, I like to think of it first.

You have a lot of bags, shoes, and jackets. What is one of the most exciting pieces in your collection. The “Louie” – it’s our short cowboy bootie with fringe. I think it’s the best boot we’ve made in like ever.

Little Louie

What fashion icon most inspires you. That’s a tough question. Dawn Mello was the biggest influence on my life. She brought designer fashion to New York and the American department stores. Then it varies from Norma Kamali to Ralph Lauren. That’s really an unrehearsed explanation of who I am. My life was influenced by those people.

Define your personal signature style. I like mixing casual with very classic elements. Right now, I’m into the “aging rocker” look. I’m wearing John Varvatos with a Daytona Rolex (the greatest watch ever designed), J.M. Weston shoes, and a handmade crocodile belt.

Boxers or briefs. Briefs. #meow

Advice for future or budding fashion designers. Do anything you can to get into the business: answer the phone, clean toilets, run for coffee. It doesn’t matter.

Star+bucks=good break-into-fashion strategy

Describe a “Day in the Life” of Sam Edelman. It’s interesting because I grew up with three sisters, went to a girls college (I was one of only 60 men among 900 amazing women), and work with my wife, Libby, so I’d say women influence me from the time I wake up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I like to play golf, tennis, and lift weights. Watching a football game is torture. A baseball game is even worse. But watching girls walk down the street, that’s what turns me on.

If you weren’t designing shoes, what would you be doing. That’s an interesting question. I’m a designer so I have to be doing something that’s creative all the time. I’m a horseman and love what I do with horses or I’d be working in the real estate business, selling or remodeling homes.

Your wife and partner, Libby, and son, Jesse, are an integral part of the Sam Edelman team. How do you like working so closely with your family. I love it. I would say [the company] is my gift to my son. As for my wife, it has been an amazing partnership for thirty-two years. (Laughing) It works most of the time.

Jesse and Libby Edelman

What are your favorite things to do in Chicago? Nordstrom for shopping and I ate at Gene & Georgetti last night. I just loved it.

What’s on your 2013 bucket list. It’s a big answer and I’ll answer it with one word: balance.

Photo Credit:
Photo of Sam and Libby Edelman courtesy of Christopher Sturman

Written by Kerry & Sally Shorr

Thursday, October 25, 2012

"Gilt Is Great" Giveaway

Bo Derek once said, “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” When it comes to finding one-of-a-kind steals, look no further than the legendary Gilt City Warehouse Sale. On Saturday, October 27, fashionistas will be flocking to the Museum of Contemporary Art Warehouse to stock up on their favorite iconic brands while enjoying energy-pumping sips and snacks, live music and a bevy of beauty makeovers.

Thanks to our fashionable friends at Gilt City Chicago, we are giving away two tickets to their legendary Warehouse Sale!

Each winner will receive:
·      Admission for two to the Gilt City Warehouse Sale on Saturday, October 27 from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
·      Cocktails provided by VeeV VitaFrute
·      Prosecco provided by La Marca
·      Beverages provided by FIJI and Vita Coco
·      Snacks provided by KIND Bars and popchips
·      Onsite makeup application and facial waxing services by Benefit Cosmetics
·      Must be at least 21 years old to enter

Entering Luxe File Chicago’s "Gilt Is Great" Giveaway is easy:
· Using the hashtag #ILoveGilt on Twitter, describe your most memorable shopping purchase
· “Follow” Luxe File Chicago (@luxefilechicago) on Twitter
· “Follow” Gilt City Chicago (@giltcitychicago) on Twitter

Terms & Conditions:
1. Introduction: Luxe File Chicago is offering the "Gilt Is Great" Giveaway. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.

2. Eligibility: The Giveaway is open to Chicago residents only and winners must be twenty-one (21) years of age or older at the time of entry. Entrant must be following “Luxe File Chicago” and “Gilt City Chicago” on Twitter to be considered.

3. Giveaway Period: The Giveaway begins at 12:00 p.m. Central Standard Time (“CST”) on Thursday, October 25, 2012, and ends at 3:00 p.m. CST on Friday, October 26, 2012.

4. Winning: After 3:00 p.m. CST on Friday, October 26, 2012, two (2) winners will be randomly selected by Luxe File Chicago. Winners will be notified by Luxe File Chicago (via Twitter). If a potential winner is unreachable for [24] hours after the first attempt to contact such winner, Luxe File Chicago may award the Prize to an alternate entrant. Winner will be required to provide name, email address, and telephone number. Prize confirmation will be emailed to the Winners and tickets will be held at the door. MCA Warehouse is located at 1747 W. Hubbard Street, Chicago, Illinois.

5. Prize: Two (2) winners will be awarded a pair of admission tickets to the Gilt City Warehouse Sale on Saturday, October 27; 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.* Luxe File Chicago will not be responsible for any loss, liability or damage arising out of the winner’s acceptance or use of the prize. Prizes are not transferable. No cash or substitutions of prizes may be made. No alternative prize or other substitution is permitted.

*This time slot cannot be substituted.

Written by Kerry & Sally Shorr

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

PARTY CRASHER: October 23-27, 2012

Nicole Jarecz's Party Girl

In celebration of The Weather Channel's prediction of unseasonably warm temps all week long, pick out your favorite bare-shouldered party dress and hit the city's plein air fêtes. Here is a collection of our favorite celebrations happening this week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What: Nate Berkus Book Signing
Where: Jayson Home & Garden, 1885 N. Clybourn
When: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
$$$: Free
411: Our girl cave might be a future contender on Extreme Makeover – The Closet Edition but we’d rather blow our décor allowance on new stilettos than a hanging shoe rack. Enter the naturally gifted (and terminally adorable) interior designer, Nate Burkus. We’ll be hitting the author of The Things that Matter up for decorating tips and hope he’ll overlook our stiletto obsession.

What: Trunk Club & GANT Rugger Soiree
Where: 325 W. Ohio Street
When: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
$$$: Free        
411: Whether it’s having a stylist on speed dial or getting those brown paper boxes in the mail, Trunk Club fans have something else to get excited about – the menswear style emporium is celebrating the opening of its 25,000 sq.ft. showroom (the megaspace also houses the company’s corporate headquarters). Nibble on Chef Jared Van Camp’s creatively-prepared cuisine, suck down a few craft beers, and scope out Christopher Bastin's preppy foodster-inspired F/W '12 collection for GANT Rugger. #NowThisWeHaveToSee

Our insiders also tell us the ladies will be hitting this event in droves. Guess ZZ Top was right – women really will race anywhere to nab a guy with great style.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What: Monogram Mania Trunk Show
Where: Monograms on Webster, 1210 W. Webster
When: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
$$$: Free. All store items will be 10% off with a chance to win a set of monogrammed wine glasses. Wine and hors d’oeuvres served.
411: Ever page through a copy of Martha Stewart Living and found yourself thinking “I wish I was that creative”? Well, think again. Enter monogram extraordinaire, Denise Copp from Hung on Words, who will unleash your inner Martha Stewart and help customize stylish home accessories and gifts just in time for the holidays. #hohoho

What: Bin Donated’s Fall Charity Soiree
Where: Mercer One Thirteen
When: 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
$$$: $100. Cocktail reception, passed hors d’oeuvres and Akira fashion show.
411: Even as kid you were mindful of those who were less fortunate. You gave up your teddy bear, and said “Adios!” to the Cabbage Patch Kids. However, you drew the line when your parents demanded the keys to the Barbie mansion. Celebrating three years of community service and successfully collecting in-kind donations for local non-profits, Bin Donated is the answer to keeping the peace at home. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

What: Chicago’s Table
Where: River East Art Center, 435 E. Illinois Street
When: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
$$$: $125. For more info or to purchase tickets, click HERE
411: If restaurants like Nellcôte and Slurping Turtle have been languishing on your bucket list, it’s time to make a reservation at Chicago’s Table. The tasty brainchild of Chicago magazine, this gastronomic circus spotlights top eateries and award-winning chefs serve up their best dishes – paired with signature cocktails and beers – all for a charitable cause: event proceeds support research and therapies for stroke patients at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

What: Zombie Halloween Takeover
When: 2:00 p.m. on Friday; 9:00 p.m. on Saturday
Where: Vertigo Sky Lounge at the Dana Hotel & Spa, 2 W. Erie Street
$$$: $10.00 - $20.00. For more info or to purchase tickets, click HERE
411: If you just can’t get enough of drooling zombies or your Halloween costume is straight out of “The Walking Dead”, then your weekend destination is the Dana Hotel. On Friday and Saturday, guests will enjoy an hour-long cocktail reception, complimentary “infection” scan, parade of the undead, zombie dance off and makeovers worthy of a slasher movie cameo. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What: Gilt City Warehouse Sale
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Warehouse, 1747 W. Hubbard Street
When: Two time slots available: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
$$$: For more info or to purchase tickets, click HERE.
411: Imagine a day of shopping at a warehouse packed to the gills with designer goodies, while sipping Prosecco and enjoying complimentary beauty services by Benefit Cosmetics. Want in? Act quickly, tickets to this legendary event are selling fast.

Photo Credits
Party Girl illustration courtesy of Nicole Jarecz
Zombie Red Hot Riding Hood illustration courtesy of Jennifer Connell

Written by Kerry & Sally Shorr 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chicago's Queen of the E-Scene: Candace Jordan

Playboy-Bunny-cum-Social-Media-Maven: Candace Jordan 

When deciding where to go for a memorable night out – VIP parties, charity events, movie premieres, fashion shows – we consult our favorite bon vivant, Candace Jordan. 

Whether she’s blogging about provocative style trends for Sunday’s  Chicago Tribune Magazine or interviewing attendees from last night’s red carpet affair for her show, Candid Candace Chicago, the fabulous Mrs. Jordan always has the first look, and the final word, on the best tinsel in town.   

Chicago's Red Carpet Queen

Luxe File Chicago caught up with the ground-breaking, Midwest Emmy Award-contender and former Playboy model who dished on putting the razzle-dazzle into her love life, her favorite things about Chicago, and that one little thing (or two) she can't live without. What else did we learn? Don't ask her about Aretha (Franklin).

How does’s Candid Candace Chicago differ from other online entertain- ment shows: Well, it has me as the host! I conceived the show as a way to bring viewers with me to these events virtually. I like to spotlight parties, premieres, and festivals that have a lot of human interest. I always look for an element that elevates the event to a newsworthy perspective.

Which celebrity/Chicago insider would you like to interview for your show: I just did! I had the honor of interviewing Al Pacino at The 48th Chicago International Film Festival for the world premiere of his upcoming film, Stand Up Guys. I also interviewed his award-winning cast members: Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, and Jon Bon Jovi (who wrote two songs for the film). 

Candace with Al Pacino at the Harris Theatre for the kick off of The 48th Chicago International Film Festival 

You’re a woman who’s hard to say “No” to. Has there ever been an interview you couldn’t get or someone who wouldn’t open up to you on camera: Fortunately, there hasn’t been many but when I asked Christopher Walken what his new movie, Seven Psychopaths, was about, he said, “The title". Geez...

Designer(s) you like to wear on camera: I'm not really into labels. For on-camera appearances, there has to be a focal point near my face, such as a bold necklace or an interesting collar.

Media Maven's Must-Haves: 
A mega-watt smile and dramatic accessories  

Your pre-interview/shoot rituals: I make sure I’m prepared and have done my homework. When I got the green light to interview Aretha Franklin, I was told it would only be for a quick sound bite so I prepared accordingly. When I learned I would be the only media person allowed into her dressing room that night and that she was willing to talk longer than I anticipated, I knew I was in trouble. Running out of questions, especially in the face of greatness, is very humbling.

Three Queens and a Jackson: 
Candace with N'Digo's Hermene Hartman 
(in blue), Aretha Franklin, and Jesse Jackson

Favorite episode: The coverage of Red Moon Theater Company’s Gala. The visuals were astounding and the party was off the charts. It was put up for Emmy consideration but we didn’t win.

Another favorite piece we just finished tells the story of the building of the world’s largest Ronald McDonald House and features the miraculous story of one of their ambassadors, Max Herrick. I think this documentary has great Emmy potential and I’m so proud of it. (See video below.) 

Your home is on fire. Which material possess- ion would you save: This is a tough one because my husband says he’s never seen anyone so attached to their possessions. If I had to choose one thing, it would be my rare book collection, particularly my signed Harry Potter books. And, of course, family photos, my paperweights, a few paintings, and...

Which journalist has inspired you most: I’m inspired by so many but I most identify with David Patrick Columbia, who writes New York Social Diary. I don’t know how he does it: every single day he pumps out the most amazing content. I’m lucky to get my “blogazine” finished in a week! 

New York Social Diary's pup-loving founder, 
David Patrick Columbia

You are a very accomplished woman: media personality, perfect hostess, loving wife, magazine centerfold, charity emcee, play- wright, fashion darling. What title is next on your list: I would like it to be "talk show host".

Favorite swear word: (Sadly it’s) fuck.

Don't worry, Candace. It's our favorite, too!

What would your friends say about you that you never would: I'm a fiercely loyal friend.

What’s the itinerary for a rare night in: No makeup; pants with an elastic waistband; simple dinner; candlelight and a roaring fireplace; watching a great show, like Downton Abbey or Hercule Poirot; or listening to music from the 1930’s and 1940’s with Chuck, the chihuahuas, and my stepson, Charley.

Best thing about being featured on a Playboy cover: Actually, I’ve been on eight covers (two American and six international). Who wouldn’t love it?  It’s great exposure, no pun intended! 

Candace Collins - Playboy (Sept. 1996) #twinsrock

Candace Collins - Playboy (Feb. 1980)

Candace Collins - Playboy (Feb. 1979)

Perks of being a TV personality: Covering the events and causes I'm passionate about and spotlighting all the great people and places Chicago has to offer.

Best power lunch restaurant: RL Restaurant or if I want to stay in my Old Town 'hood, Nookie’s on Wells Street.

What’s on your 2013 Bucket List: Take a vacation with Chuck (anywhere!); become more organized; gain an even bigger audience for my Chicago Tribune column and website; and host or co-host a network show.

Bucket List: Appear on the cover of 
VS Chicago. Check!

You and your best friend-husband, Chuck, have been married for AGES. How do you keep the sizzle crackling: We do it by being each other’s best friends and biggest champions. He is my greatest joy and the love of my life.

A (LOVE) League of Their Own: 
Candace and Chuck

Your out-of-town friends are on the fence about moving to Chicago. What do you say to sell them: Chicago is one of the world's most exciting cities and it’s getting better every day. We boast one of the nation's top restaurant and nightlife scenes, and our art and cultural festivals rival those in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and throughout Europe. Of course, if the tax discussion comes up, I might have a problem.

You are on a short list of Chicago’s most-snapped. What is your first thought when you see yourself in a newspaper or magazine: Did they give the photographer credit?

Best thing about being Candace Jordan: Being married to Chuck Jordan.

Marital Bliss: Candace & Chuck on 
their wedding day (July 21, 1989) 

Congratulations! You were recently recognized as the “Most Social Scenester” by Racked Awards '12. Not an easy feat, considering the competition. How does it feel to be adored by a 20-to-30-something audience that recognizes you as their city's leading social media authorityIt makes me unbelievably proud! It also gives me a heightened sense of obligation to keep putting out content that my readers/viewers will find interesting and 
entertaining and, hopefully, helpful.

Photo Credit:
Lead photo of Candace courtesy of Erika Dufour Photography
Photo of Candace courtesy of Steve Starr
Photo of Candace and Al Pacino courtesy of Mila Samokhina
Photo of Candace for VS Chicago courtesy of Mila Samokhina

Written by Kerry & Sally Shorr