George Zaharoff is a mid-luxury menswear designer based in Chicago. His impeccable tailored clothing including made-to-measure and off-the-rack suits, jackets and trousers is rich in details, extraordinary textures, and unique fabrics hand-picked from the finest Italian mills. Described as a “Wunderkind” by WWD, George Zaharoff’s energy, heart and frequent store appearances have inspired a solid base of loyal customers among Chicago’s elite. In the 90’s he had a wildly successful women’s fragrance that sold at Bergdorf’s, Neiman’s and Nordstrom, which broke a record at the Oak Brook Nordstrom for most bottles sold in one day. In 2000, he was awarded the “Vendor of the Year” award from Neiman Marcus. His mother was also a successful clothing designer, creating clothes for iconic TV shows including Dynasty, Dallas and General Hospital, and for the Reagan’s (she designed Patti Davis’s wedding dress). Coincidentally George’s present-day West Loop showroom is in the same building as his mom’s former studio, where he remembers playing among bolts of fabric as a child.
Where were you born ?
Holy Cross Hospital, Chicago
How long in Chicago:
My entire life
Creative Director for Zaharoff – I like this word because I’ve literally created from concept to product everything from shoes, suits, shirts, neckwear, fragrance bottles, labels.
Best Ethnic Food:
Francesca’s Bryn Mawr
Best place for late night dining:
Taco Bell (seriously)
Paciugo of Broadway, best gelato I’ve ever come across.
Best place for a romantic date:
Best Sunday brunch:
our Seasons Hotel Chicago
I’m not a club or lounge person. I would rather spend time with friends at home and my little Italian Greyhound, Piccolo.
Best place for a power business meeting:
The Zaharoff Studio, of course!
All-around favorite spot in Chicago:
I love how the Near West Side (where we are at) has transformed itself.
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?
I love the Westin River North. It’s quiet, great location, and has a Westin Heavenly Bed (which I have at home). The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago for those who want to take it up a notch.
Favorite shopping venue/boutique:
I make almost every single item in my closet; otherwise Bergdorf Goodman is my favorite place, Nordstrom for everyday essentials.
Best place to buy Jewelry/Watches:
The Spa at the Four Seasons Chicago
Favorite Charity Event:
“I Wish...To Party,” The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois Associate Board’s Annual Fall Event
Favorite Cultural Event:
The Opening Night Gala at the Lyric Opera
Favorite Cultural Institution:
The Art Institute of Chicago
Best Aspect of Chicago:
Absolutely positively the beautiful people. We are down-to-earth but worldly. Of the top 100 cities in the world I’ve been to, Chicago is by far, my favorite city in the world.
Morton’s The Steakhouse
So many places all over the world, but Chicago has great pizza: Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
Best Gym/Athletic Facility:
The Pain Stop Massage Therapy, Wicker Park (for a real massage)
Best Limousine/Driving Service:
I haven’t used a service in ten years, I prefer my own driver.
The Divine Art: Four Centuries of European Tapestries at The Art Institute of Chicago
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore:
The Museum of Science and Industry