Inspired by James Bond’s sleek suits, clothing designer and entrepreneur Zachary Uttich sought to create the same suave swagger through fashion. His West Side custom clothier, BLVDier (211 N. Green), brings a bit of Bond to the men of Chicago with classic tailoring and an attention to detail that would make M proud.
With six years of suiting under his belt, Uttich knows exactly what men want when it comes to fashion. “The Chicago guy isn’t the guy who wants to get really loud and fashion-forward like a New York guy, but he still appreciates the idea of putting on a well-made piece of clothing,” he says. “A lot of guys come in here and they’ll want a suit, but they don’t want something that’s just going to look like a wrinkled, crumbled mess at the end of the day.”
To tailor his suits to a Chicago demographic, Uttich has turned to more modern fabrics and blends: Where linen suits breathe and wrinkle, a linen-cotton combo ensures a light suit that holds its shape but fights the chill of the city’s unpredictable spring weather. Sourced from locales like Italy and Brussels, customers can hand pick the same fabrics used by lines like Ermenegildo Zegna, Thomas Mason and Loro Piana.
When the weather does finally heat up, Uttich advises men to embrace color: soft baby blue and burgundy color palates are right on trend — think bright, light and soft jackets. But at the end of the day, he admits that it’s all about the client’s personal tastes. During meetings he and his clients reference pictures and even movies to nail down the exact design. “We’ll be able to put a fitting garment on [a client] and he’ll be able to take a look at a book of options. We get to change the buttons, monogram his name on the inside, choose a collar or a cuff on the shirt — everything’s pretty customizable,” he says. “I kind of steer him in the right direction.”
As for Uttich’s personal style rules, he prefers the classically minded pieces. “I’m all about waistcoats, vests, double-breasted jackets and slightly higher rise pants because pants nowadays are always so low rise,” he says.
While most gents might be intimidated by the idea of a custom tailor — we get it, James Bond is a tough icon to live up to — Uttich insists that it’s not just for 00 agents. “Custom clothing is so affordable now, and because it’s so accessible I think everyone should try it once in their life. It’s one of those things that’s kind of a rite of passage,” he says. “I want to make sure that I am accessible to every guy, but also carve my own niche in the Chicago market for custom suits.”
For more information, visit Blvdier.com.
PHOTOS BY ALEX MAIER