Monday, October 1, 2012

Singled Out (Part 1): Meet 17 of the most notable single-for-the-moment Chicagoans

Summer’s tropical temps may be heading straight to South Beach but we’re not worried – our horoscope, courtesy of Vanity Fair, informs us that a probable romance will keep us sweltering through spring. 

While the heralding in of a new relationship couldn’t keep us from blowing our budget on an expensive statement coat – Mulberry’s fur-inspired jackets top our must-have list – it did motivate us to book a trip into the city’s A-list, singles scene.

Faux fur-inspired coats from 
Mulberry's Fall/Winter '12 collection

Inspired, Luxe File Chicago culled seventeen of the city’s most successful, stand-out singles – ranging from models and media mavens to Hells Kitchen contenders. Here, they dish on bucket lists and their favorite romantic destinations to the pick-up lines you couldn’t pay them to say.

Let's begin with the boys! (Listed alphabeti- cally)

Dan Balanoff
Balanoff & Associates
Nest: Lincoln Park

One of the greatest lawyers in literature, Atticus Finch, once said you never really understand a person until you climb inside their skin and take it for a test drive. Dan Balanoff, a successful attorney with his own general practice, can scratch that off his professional bucket list. After graduating from John Marshall Law School, Balanoff volunteered at a legal aid organization helping low-income Chicago residents with their legal needs. When he isn’t demanding the truth in the courtroom, the hunky lawdog is holding court at the city’s classiest watering holes.

Describe your job in 140 characters: As an attorney, I fall somewhere between Perry Mason and Dan Fielding. I operate a general practice firm that serves the needs of everyday Chicagoans.

Your proudest personal or professional accomplishment: Running a successful practice that affords me the freedom to pursue and enjoy a wonderful life.

Canada's girl-next-door, 
Elisha Cuthbert

Your Hollywood/Historical crush: Hands down Elisha Cuthbert. She’s a sexy tomboy who loves hockey and looks amazing in anything.

You’re feeling romantic. How do you like to set the mood: A picnic blanket in the park, country music on the radio, cuddling and soft kisses under a starlit Chicago sky. Save the rose petals and chocolates for your next trip to Sybaris. 

Describe your dream girl in three words: Blondes, brunettes and redheads. Wait is that four words?

Dream date à trois

Favorite first-date romantic destination: A moonlit stroll along the river. There’s something about being on a bridge that puts people in the mood to smooch.

First date uniform: It really depends on the locale but as a rule: cocktail casual.

Ryan Beshel
PR Coordinator
900 North Michigan Shops
Nest:  Ravenswood

Ryan Beshel has an uncanny knack for sticking out in a crowd. Iconic for his colorful bowties, casual couture and chic specs, Beshel is also the PR pitchman for one of the city’s most glamorous shopping destinations, 900 North Michigan Shops. And he’s tall. Measuring in at a modelesque 6’4”, the former Agency Galatea model scout knows how to create a buzz even when he’s making a scene. 

Describe your job in 140 characters: Constant connection, outreach, and follow-up to promote 900 North Michigan Shops as the ultimate shopping destination with its stellar lineup of top-tier retailers and fine dining restaurants.

What personal trait(s) gives you the most confidence: My height. At 6’ 4”, I am usually the tallest guy in the room, which can be quite a confidence booster.  I also appreciate dressing well: the perfect outfit is the ultimate head-turner.

What do you do when you want to impress someone: Squire him to one of my favorite hangouts for some extra-special VIP treatment.

You’ve just joined an online dating site. Describe your perfect mate: I like someone who has drive and passion for their work. He should have a great  sense of humor and a good sense of style. A tall, stocky guy with a bit of scruff will automatically move to the front of the line!

Your Hollywood/Historical crush: Tom Ford.

Tom Ford

Describe your first date uniform: A nice pair of jeans, good shoes, and a well-fitted cardigan or tailored blazer. I might add a pocket square as a whimsical afterthought. 

You’re feeling romantic. How do you like to set the mood: Invite him over for an intimate, at-home date. Play his favorite music, prepare his favorite drink, and cook a meal he loves together. 

Set the mood with 
hand-crafted cocktails

Describe your dream guy in three words: Social, successful, and silly.

Frank Holland
Nest: South Loop

Frank Holland has a face for television. More than just editorial eye candy, Holland is all business when it comes to co-anchoring the morning news. From reporting live at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, to hitting the Chicago streets for powerful soundbites, Holland gives us a great reason to wake up extra early on weekdays. We’re not sure about Holland’s on-air beauty secret - looking handsome at 4:00 a.m. – but we’re tuning in to find out.    

Describe your job in 140 characters: Reporter/Anchor. I spend a lot of time researching, making phone calls, writing, and returning phone calls. I spend a little bit on camera. It’s a dream job.

What personal trait(s) gives you the most confidence: My resilience. I can always hear my mom say, “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”

Words of Wisdom

Your proudest personal or professional accomplishment: I think it’s actually coming up. But I don’t want to jinx it.

Your Hollywood/Historical crush: Alicia Keys.

Alicia Keys: Singer, songwriter, 
and fan favorite

Describe your first date uniform: Casual. I want to feel comfortable.

Name one item on your bucket list: Tour Africa and see the diversity of people, cultures and environment throughout the entire continent.

 Cape Town, South Africa

You’re feeling romantic. How do you like to set the mood: I crank Usher, Trey Songz, Drake, Alicia Key, Erykah Badu, and a little Chris Brown.

Describe your dream girl/guy in three words: Smart, funny, and gorgeous.

Jonny Imerman
Testicular Cancer Survivor
Chief Mission Officer, Imerman Angels
Nest: Streeterville

When Imerman Angels founder, cancer survivor and media darling, Jonny Imerman walks into a room, most people are compelled to bow at his feet. While he isn’t a royal (neither was Prince Charming), Imerman’s tireless contributions to raise awareness and help those touched by cancer borders on knighthood.

Describe your job in 140 characters: I beat the drum about Imerman Angels and articulate our 1-on-1 cancer support mission. Find cancer survivors who can be angels to help others, find families in need with cancer, and build relationships with cancer partners.

Imerman's Errand

What personal trait(s) gives you the most confidence: When I believe in something, I won't stop talking about it. What gives me confidence is building brands that make the world a better place.

What do you do when you want to impress someone: I believe being open and showing vulnerability are the keys to connecting with others.

Your Hollywood/Historical crush: Sandra Bullock. Super cute but, more importantly, she's kind.

Describe your dream girl in three words: Kind, passionate, and giving.

You’re feeling romantic. How do you like to set the mood: Humor. It's easy and requires no planning.

Name one item on your bucket list: I'd like to create more charitable organizations like Imerman Angels and help make the world a better place.

Luke Jensen
Nest: River North

Meditation sailing. Helicopter jumping. Sushipalooza (ok we made that up, but it sounds awfully tempting). We love to mix a great deal with a splash of luxury and Luke Jensen is the go-to guy who satiates our coupon-clipping appetite with the click of a mouse. As the brain behind, Chicago’s whimsically-written, daily deal provider, Jensen not only knows which trends inspire his virtual flock, but also practices what he pitches: living the fabulous life one day – and Bikram yoga class – at a time. 

Describe your job in 140 characters: I’m living the dream: helping to change the world through my work. is a platform to make that change.

What personal trait(s) gives you the most confidence: A positive attitude.

What is your favorite activity: I’m very active and love all forms of exercise especially yoga. 

Pose Perfect

Your Hollywood/Historical crush: Natalie Portman. She’s gorgeous, smart, works hard, and has a nice soul.

You’re feeling romantic. How do you like to set the mood: Scented candles, soft music, good wine, and eye contact.

The one little secret you would never divulge to a girl, but your mother/BFF gladly would: I was in a boy band.

Describe your dream girl in three words: Healthy, deep, and driven.

Favorite first-date romantic destination: A walk along the Chicago River after a nice dinner. 

Name one item on your bucket list: Swim with Great White sharks.

Nice knowing you, Luke! #justkidding

Keep reading! Check out: "Singled Out (Part 2)".

Photo Credits:
Photo of Ryan Beshel courtesy of Natalie Probst for "A Drink with Chicago"

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