AGE: 32. LIVES IN: South Loop. CLAIM TO FAME: Creative director and owner of KERCHER, a bespoke menswear line launched in 2015, with a ready-to-wear storefront set to open later this month. DREAM CATCHER: Kercher dropped out of community college in Michigan after a few months, and got a job at a car dealership. “[My manager] told me I had to clean up and buy some new clothes,” he says. “I ran to the mall, got dressed in what I could afford and showed up. … I was just a punk kid, [selling cars] to people who appeared to have this great life, yet they were listening to everything I had to say. I realized that clothing has this ability to alter people’s perceptions.” SARTORIAL SENSE: When Kercher moved to Chicago in 2012, he worked as partner at bespoke boutique Sebastien Grey Clothiers before branching out to launch his eponymous label. The business started as an appointment-only custom suiting showroom in River North, but as his collection expanded to include ready-to-wear — think denim, leather jackets, hoodies and T-shirts — Kercher decided to open a street-level storefront (suits start at $1,200). CUTTING EDGE: Kercher is the antithesis of a typical suit guy — he rolls up to work on a motorcycle, is covered in tattoos and wears ripped jeans and a leather jacket on the regular — so it’s safe to assume the new storefront will be just as untraditional. The all-white, 1,500-square-foot space will also host screenings, private concerts and art showcases. Later this year, Insta-famous Chicago-based graffiti artist JC Rivera will show his work in the space and collaborate with Kercher on a limited-edition line. “All of it goes back to what clothing really is,” the designer says. “We make a really beautiful product, but people buy it because they’re buying into who I am, and the lifestyle and culture that is a result of wearing the clothes.” ON TREND: This season, Kercher encourages Chicago guys to play with color. “If you want to adventure, try a merlot sports coat or an olive suit. Those colors can be way more versatile for the fall.”
Pictured on Josh (top image): overdyed black skinny jean, $725, available at KERCHER
Photos by Ramzi Dreessen; Shot on location at KERCHER, 20 W. Hubbard
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