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[Photography: James Atkins]
If there's one man in North America who's been globetrotting and cultivating a style since the beginning of this well-dressed era, from Tokyo to Vegas and back again through the hinterlands of Europe, Lono Brazil is that man. Ever since [this editor] has known of Mr. Brazil [years ago] he has never been underdressed--even just a quick hello on the sidewalks of State Street. This style icon amongst the social set has set the bar for many men and now that bar is set 18 floors above the sidewalks, Drumbar. Today, we talk to Mr. Brazil about his personal style and observations as door manager at the hottest rooftop bar in the city.
Racked: Not to be creepy, but what is your shoe size?
Lono Brazil: 11.5 US and 45 UK
R: You're a worldly man, what are some of your favorite cities?
LB: In The states I Love NY & Miami. In Europe J'adore Paris, London and Tokyo in the Far East. All of these cities are very cosmopolitan in my opinion as well there's people from all over the world moving to these cities or globetrotting in and out of these places. These are also fashion capitals as well. Shopping is amazing and you can live a painfully chic lifestyle. I've lived in all of these places at one time or another or for extended periods.
R: I bet you're seeing a lot of amazing women come through the door at Drumbar. What seems to be their must-have piece for fall?
LB: Amazing!! Some of the most gorgeous girls in this town. And I've seen a few in my fall favorite, the trench coat (Burberry's trench preferably) but nothing says fall like a trench. With the right heel & little skirt or flats & a skinny jean... classic!
R: What is your must have piece for fall?
LB: Sweaters (or jumpers in England) merino, cashmere, wool blends, turtlenecks, V-necks-it's all good. Over the shoulders, tied at the neck or waist in the day, ready to pop on when the evening cools down. Won't leave home with out one.
R: If you could be a print, pattern or solid which would you be?
LB: SOLID (AS A ROCK) [laughs]
R: Like lots of city dwellers, we have to be social immediately after work. What do you think the secret to a day-to-evening outfit is?
LB: Style is something that is always present, and when it comes to dressing, staying in your lane or what your lifestyle dictates is always best. Unless you are going to a formal, always dress to impress for day & you will automatically be on point for evening. (I don't subscribe to casual Friday's! Looking good Is a man's best defense).
R: Your suits are always impeccably cut. Let the cat outa the bag; where do you buy them and who is your tailor?
LB: I am a perpetual shopper, always building my wardrobe. Constantly rotating things per season, travel etc. I have bought suits from the four corners of the earth but I buy off the rack too. No one shop in particular, and any good men's shop will have in-house tailor but I have my go-to tailors in NYC. Old school spots that are under the radar. However my goal now is to have all of my suits made-to-measure, Savile Row to be exact. As you get more mature, these things matter.
R: You've been in the social scene for a while now. Was there a specific time in any city with anyone in particular that was a pivotal in the development of your character?
L.B.: New York in the 80's! Hands down the epicenter of all things nightlife, music, art & fashion. I've always been at the forefront of the nightlife scene in every city I have lived in and socializing was a vital part of any artist existence. Without it you were not relevant. I became friends with more people than I can name in this small space, but I would have to say Keith Haring opened NYC up for me. Hanging with Keith was like having a key to the city. Yoko Ono tonight, Iman or Francesco Clemente tomorrow night. It was non-stop. I miss Keith.
Then, everything revolved around the club scene where as nowadays everything revolves around social media. We need to socialize more. Get out see & be seen. Dress fabulous, look good, live, & love life!
R: Let's be honest here. Chicago is not a fashion capital and some people aren't going to dress well to go out for a night. Your pet peeve about the way Chicago men dress?
L.B.: Poor quality, poor fit. The two most important rules in fashion is 1) QUALITY. 2) FIT. Again, looking good is a man's best defense.
R: But then on the other hand, Chicago is a city with some great shopping, so where could these guys shop to curtail this faux pas?
L.B.: Most men are lazy about shopping, the new metro-sexual man must be ready to comb the racks. Shop for sale, build your wardrobe & never, NEVER buy cheap shoes. Nordstrom Rack sells great men's shoes at 60-70% off retail, just be prepared to look. For example, I found a pair of $650 black Prada wingtips at Marshall's off Michigan Ave last Christmas priced at $150. You gotta keep your eyes peeled!