Local Style: Rick Patrone of Rue Chicago

Rue Chicago

The style just keeps coming, and this time it comes to our latest Rue Local hotspot: Chicago. In honor of Rue Chicago’s much-anticipated recent launch, we chatted with Director of Brand Partnerships Rick Patrone to get his insider take on the city’s super-friendly inhabitants, where to get the very best deep dish pizza, and which side of the baseball line he falls on.

Rue La La: As the most populous Midwestern city, how would you describe Chicago’s personality?
Rick: I hear this all the time, “Chicagoans are so open, friendly, and nice.” It’s unexpected from a big city, but don’t get me wrong, we can be tough – just go to any White Sox game to hear the South Siders rant.

Rue La La: What about its style personality?
Rick: Chicago is more fashion than fad. We are hip, cool, and stylish. Many out-of-towners who come here and take a walk down Oak & Rush see some of the most glam folks in the city. They’re surprised. Yes, we have our own attitudes, traditions, and values, but we certainly keep up with the latest and greatest trends.

Rue La La: You’ve lived in Chicago your whole life. How would you describe your style as a result of growing up there?
Rick: I tend to think of myself as a new-fashion guy with old-fashioned values, so my tastes and preferences reflect that of a new traditional, if that makes any sense. I like three-pieced suits and very loud shoes with red, grey, black, or brown patent leathers. Many times men forget the importance of finishing off a great suit with clean, polished footwear. It’s a must.

Rue La La: What’s the most treasured item in your closet and how did it get there?
Rick: Two things: I love vests and cuff links. I have a checkered John Varvatos vest I can wear dressed up or dressed down. It was an impulse buy (as always). And for our five-year wedding anniversary, my wife gave me a pair of Mont Blanc cuff links. They’re classic and distinguished.

Rue La La: What’s your hair-saving secret to battle all the elements that come Chicago’s way?
Rick: Art of Shaving products. I was an early adopter about seven years ago when I met the ambassador at a Neiman Marcus event. Pre-shave oil and a fine badger brush help keep my face looking fresh and young all year round.

Rue La La: The Magnificent Mile is the must-see stretch of real estate in the city. Which boutiques, restaurants, or museums do our Members have to stop at?
Rick: Chicagoans certainly have a love affair with restaurants. One of my favorite hotspots is Vivere at the Italian Village. It’s a swanky upscale twist to an iconic Chicago brand that has been a staple in the city for over 80 years. Another is Gibson’s on Rush. At any given time it attracts the “Who’s Who” of the city and A-list celebrities when they’re in town. Johnny Depp and his castmates dined there a few years back when shooting for Public Enemies and tipped their waitstaff $10,000.

Also, some of the newest boutiques can be found on Oak Street which borders North Michigan Avenue. Tory Burch is a quick legend and Shrine Haberdashery is a recent opening offering one-of-a-kind, upscale men’s accessories and apparel. The Denim Lounge has become a popular place for the newest and coolest jeans, too.

Rue La La: What do you tell your family, friends, and other visitors that they absolutely have to go see when they come to town?
Rick: Our city has so much to offer, but what really makes Chicago unique is that our athletes are the main attraction. In the summer, it’s the Cubs or Sox, in the winter the Blackhawks. To hear the anthem at United Center is something one never forgets.

Rue La La: Chicago is known for its deep-dish pizza, among many other things. Who makes the best?
Rick: Giordano’s. It takes about 45 minutes, but is worth the wait!

Rue La La: Finally, Cubs or White Sox?
Rick: I like to suffer … the Cubs.

August 18, 2011