These Chicago gents have style in spades. A closer look reveals the personalities behind all that panache.
Salud Hospitality founder and CEO Nils Westlind is a dapper rising star in the city’s hospitality scene.
When it comes to success in the hospitality industry, a dedication to service and a keen eye for style can take an establishment from impressive to world-class. That’s an idea that Salud Hospitality CEO and founder Nils Westlind knows well; with over 15 years of hospitality experience and a resume that includes stints at Chicago hot spots like Nellcôte, Underground, Shore Club Chicago and more, he’s seen every side of the industry. Now he’s becoming a fixture on Randolph Street himself, with his speakeasy-style Latin rum bar, Esco, joined in 2021 by ambitious Japanese destination Kōmo—a partnership with sushi star Macku Chan—and, coming this fall, Kōmo’s downstairs whiskey den, Shogun. Expect a warm, stylish setting with personalized whisky lockers, a Japanese hi-fi listening room vibe, an exclusive beverage list, and a bites menu created by Chan. All, of course, befitting the signature bold, refined and elevated style that the always-dapper Westlind has become known for. Here, the California-born, Colombia-raised Pilsen resident reveals some of his style secrets.
IN THREE WORDS I WOULD DESCRIBE MY STYLE AS BOLD, REFINED AND ELEVATED.
WHEN I WAS A KID, I WAS A HANDFUL (BUT NOT AS MUCH AS MY COUSINS!).
IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME, I WOULD TELL MYSELF TO TRUST MY GUT INSTINCT, KNOW MY VALUE AND THAT SHORTCUTS CAN OFTEN BE MORE TAXING.
IN THE NEXT YEAR, I HOPE TO OPEN OUR DREAM MUSIC VENUE IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO.
THE BEST ADVICE I EVER GOT WAS THE MAN IN THE ARENA BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT, WHICH WAS SENT TO ME BY A FRIEND AT A PIVOTAL TIME IN MY CAREER.
IF I WASN’T IN MY CURRENT CAREER I WOULD BE CHASING THE MUSICIAN DREAM AS I’VE BEEN PLAYING GUITAR SINCE THE AGE OF 5, AND AL SO MORE ACTIVELY PURSUING ACTING.
THE CRAZIEST THING I EVER DID WAS SURF IN CARTAGENA, COLUMBIA WITH MY DAD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE EL NIÑO STORM—THE SWELLS WERE EPIC.
MY MOTTO IS THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER WHERE YOU WATER IT.
I WANT MY LEGACY TO BE CREATING SPACES; BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER TO HIGHLIGHT THE MOST SIGNI FICANT MOMENTS IN THEIR LIVES; AND SPREADING JOY, SERVICE, COMPANIONSHIP AND LOVE.
THE FIRST ITEM OF CLOTHING I BOUGHT FOR MYSELF WAS A SUIT IN HIGH SCHOOL FROM UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON.
MY STYLE HERO IS A MODERN-DAY HYBRID OF PAUL NEWMAN AND JAMES DEAN.
MY GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IS MY SOON-TO-BE-BORN SON.
MY FAVORITE PLACES TO SHOP FOR CLOTHES IN THE CITY ARE SUIT SUPPLY AND NICHOLAS JOSEPH FOR CUSTOM SUITS FOR WORK.
TOM FORD IS MY FAVORITE SHOE DESIGNER.
MY THREE GROOMING ESSENTIALS ARE A BEARD TRIMMER, MY SECRET HAIRCARE ROUTINE AND MY LE LABO SCENT.
MY FASHION SPLURGE IS A LWAYS WATCHES AND SUITS.
HEALTHIER CHOICES AND MY TRAINERS KEEP ME FIT.
A MAN IS NOT FULLY DRESSED WITHOUT HIS POCKET SQUARE.
I AM HAPPIEST WHEN I HAVE MY TO-DO LIST COMPLETED AND AN AGED RUM IN HAND.
Former pro soccer player Drew Conner has found his new calling with House Calls, an intimate house music venue in River North.
Drew Conner is having a moment—and there’s no doubt he’s turning heads while doing it. The 29-year-old former Chicago Fire midfielder runs one of the city’s hottest new music venues: House Calls, an intimate house music haven in the heart of River North. While booking A-list acts like genre pioneer Ron Carroll; working to make Navy Pier a relevant venue again in the eyes of Chicagoans through activations like free day-long concerts; and curating pop-up shows at locations disclosed to ticket holders after purchase, he carries himself with an effortlessly cool panache and hustles like the city depends on him. Here, Conner lets us in on his stylish mix.
IN THREE WORDS I WOULD DESCRIBE MY STYLE AS DAVID BECKHAM, BUT BANKRUPT.
WHEN I WAS A KID, I WAS SHY AND NERVOUS.
THE BEST ADVICE I EVER GOT WAS TO FOLLOW THE LOVE.
THE CRAZIEST THING I EVER DID WAS PLAY SOCCER IN FRONT OF 80,000 PEOPLE AT THE ALLIANZ IN MUNICH.
MY MOTTO IS GOOD MUSIC WEEDS OUT BAD PEOPLE.
MY STYLE HERO IS HÉCTOR BELLERÍN.
I WANT MY LEGACY TO BE CREATING A BRIDGE BETWEEN SOCCER AND MUSIC IN CHICAGO.
MY MOST BELOVED POSSESSION IS MY DAD’S NECKLACE.
MY FAVORITE PART OF MY JOB IS GIVING PEOPLE AN OUTLET TO CONNECT AND BE THEMSELVES.
I AM HAPPIEST WHEN I AM NEAR THE MUSIC.
“I want my legacy to be a nine-figure valuation on a beverage empire we started out of my mother’s Bronzeville garage,” says Moor’s Brewing Company co-founder Damon Patton. Eleventy suede and cotton fleece bomber jacket, nordstrom.com; Far Afield Newport knitted top, mildblend.com; Boss virgin wool pants, nordstrom.com; Oak Street Bootmakers Field boot in oxblood, oakstreetbootmakers.com; Patek Philippe watch, subject’s own
Beer is a $100 billion business in the U.S., and if Damon Patton has his way, Moor’s Brewing Company will soon be seeing a serious piece of the action. With Patton as co-founder and CEO, the Black-owned brewery is off to a rapid-fire start: After being established on Juneteenth 2021, Moor’s Imperial Porter, Session Ale, Helles Lager and other craft-brewed cans are already available in 450-plus locations, from Whole Foods and Binny’s to the Four Seasons Chicago. Patton has a background in both haute cuisine (as captain with a certain local 3-Michelin-starred restaurant group) and corporate finance, and the Hyde Park native’s palate and financial acumen—not to mention an inimitable sense of style—are all helping set Moor’s up for serious success. As Patton steers the company toward his goal of being the industry’s first widely distributed Black-owned beer brand, the lacrosse fan, Bronzeville resident and brown belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu shares with CS what keeps him inspired, grounded, and looking and feeling his best.
IN THREE WORDS I WOULD DESCRIBE MY STYLE AS TACTICAL BUPPIE MINIMALISM.
WHEN I WAS A KID, I WAS MEGACONFIDENT, DESPITE HAVING CHAMPAGNE TASTE AND MILK MONEY.
IN THE NEXT YEAR, I HOPE TO OWN AND OPERATE OUR FIRST BEER PRODUCTION FACILITY.
THE BEST ADVICE I EVER GOT WAS BE LIKE A DUCK: SMOOTH AND UNRUFFLED ON THE SURFACE BUT PADDLING LIKE HELL UNDERNEATH.
IF I WASN’T IN MY CURRENT CAREER I WOULD RIDE A DUCATI MOTORCYCLE ALL SUMMER.
THE CRAZIEST THING I EVER DID WAS SWIM THE ATLANTIC OFF MIAMI BEACH WITH A SHOAL OF TIGER SHARKS.
MY MOTTO IS “THE DUTY OF A CIVILIZED PERSON IS TO TEACH HE WHO IS SAVAGE CIVILIZATION, RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM(HER)SELF, THE SCIENCE OF EVERYTHING IN LIFE , LOVE, PEACE AND HAPPINESS.
I WANT MY LEGACY TO BE A NINE-FIGURE VALUATION ON A BEVERAGE EMPIRE WE STARTED OUT OF MY MOTHER’S BRONZEVILLE GARAGE .
THE FIRST ITEM OF CLOTHING I BOUGHT FOR MYSELF WAS A Z CAVARICCI PANTS AND SHIRT OUTFIT IN 7TH GRADE, BOTH WITH FAR TOO MANY BUTTONS.
MY STYLE HEROES ARE MICHAEL B . JORDAN AND BRAD PITT.
MY GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IS BUYING A CAN OF CHICAGO’S BLACK-OWNED BEER FROM A BROOKLYN RETAIL PARTNER, THEN GOING TO HARLEM AND DOING IT ALL OVER AGAIN.
MY MOST BELOVED POSSESSION IS MY MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH.
MY FAVORITE PART OF MY JOB IS CREATING FLAVOR PROFILES IN BEER THAT SURPRISE THE SAVVIEST OF PALATES.
MY FAVORITE PLACE TO SHOP FOR CLOTHES IN THE CITY IS NEIMAN MARCUS.
ZEN-LIKE MINDFULNESS IS MY IDEA OF PERFECT HAPPINESS.
MY FASHION SPLURGE IS KITON OR BRIONI.
MY CANNONDALE KEEPS ME FIT.
IF I WEAR JEWELRY, IT IS ALWAYS MY PATEK PHILIPPE.
The craziest thing Del Toro CEO Chad Kramer has ever done? “Sitting front row center at SNL and then hanging out with the cast, host and crew afterward at dinner.”
Even working in asset management at J.P. Morgan in NYC, Chad Kramer knew his future was in fashion. The Long Grove, Ill. native studied Fashion Entrepreneurship at Parsons School of Design while working full time, eventually parlaying the experience into a Client Partner gig at Instagram in Chicago, where he developed expertise in brand building for fashion brands and restaurants. Now the Glencoe resident has ascended to become the CEO of Del Toro, an emerging shoe brand that is a sensation on Instagram and IRL for its velvet slippers handmade in Naples and Milan. Now, with Kramer and Del Toro celebrating its partnership with the 2023 U.S. Ryder Cup team and a recent capsule collection with L.A.-based brand Metalwood Studio, he gives us the scoop on his favorite things, sartorial and otherwise.
IN THREE WORDS I WOULD DESCRIBE MY STYLE AS NOT NORMAL DAD.
IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME, I WOULD TELL MYSELF IT’S ALL GOING TO BE OK AND EASE UP ON THE MERKT’S CHEDDAR FRIES.
IN THE NEXT YEAR, I HOPE TO MAKE DEL TORO SHOES THE MOST SOUGHT-AFTER WEDDING SHOE BRAND FOR MEN.
MY STYLE HERO IS AARON LEVINE.
IF THERE WERE 26 HOURS IN A DAY, I WOULD DO MORE LAUGHING WITH MY DAUGHTERS.
MY MOST BELOVED POSSESSION IS MY 105-POUND MINIATURE BERNEDOODLE , MARLEY.
MY FAVORITE PLACE TO SHOP FOR CLOTHES IN THE CITY IS NOTRE.
MY FASHION SPLURGE IS A MOHAIR RUGBY FROM AIMÉ LEON DORE .
MY MOTTO IS THE GOLDEN RULE: TREAT PEOPLE HOW I WANT TO BE TREATED.
Photography by: FROM TOP: PHOTO BY GAZ CREATIVE AGENCY; PHOTO BY OLIVIA WOLF; PHOTO BY COLLIN PIERSON, STYLED BY BRANDON FREIN/LAB ARTISTS, SHOT ON LOCATION AT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL CHICAGO; PHOTO BY STEPHEN PIPER