"Clothes tell a story about you. They can change people’s perception of who you are and what you’re capable of."
- Josh Kercher
I buzz into the building of the KERCHER studio. "Look for an invisible door on your right," Josh tells me through the intercom. I think to myself, What the hell does that mean??
Sure enough, hidden in the shadows of the entrance stairway is a dark, nearly imperceptible elevator door that looks more like a wall with a light switch than anything.
I punch the switch and the wall slides open to reveal a cockpit-like elevator. The ride up to the fourth floor is slow and so eerily quiet that I question whether I'm moving at all. Suddenly the elevator jolts open and I step into Josh's studio.
I'm immediately greeted by a bar that looks like a piece of art; front and center is a bottle of Chicago's infamous Malort...off to a good start, I think. To my right are a few awesomely dressed mannequins that can only be described as "street-dapper," and looking down the long hallway I see a photography setup and enough audio equipment to hold a Kanye concert. Josh approaches sporting a big smile and his regulars: dark jeans, Harley tee, black hoody, leather jacket and desert boots.
It's then that I realize this whole experience is a perfect depiction of everything Josh Kercher--unconventional, intimate and downright cool, with a sense that some of that coolness is gonna rub off on you by the time you leave this studio.
Josh is, in my opinion, Chicago's premier style icon. He and his wife Holly run a bespoke men's clothing shop (of his own namesake) in the heart of downtown Chicago. But as you'll soon find out, Josh Kercher is no run-of-the-mill custom clothes shop. Josh believes clothes tell a story, and his job is to help others tell theirs. He believes in deep relationships and connecting with people on a personal level. These beliefs shine through in his business and his style, and they're the reason I'm pumped to have Josh as the guest for the first-ever Mugsy podcast.
In our convo, we dive into:
- Why Josh has zero degrees of separation to Kevin Bacon.
- How his small-town roots shape the way he approaches life and business.
- How he went from college dropout to fashion powerhouse.
- His advice for anyone looking to pursue a passion or start a business.
- His style tips on how to become more stylish, simply & affordably.