Featured Clothier: Billie Kershasky, Chicago

Tailored, classic, and confident.

Billie Kershasky, Master Clothier and Regional Director with Astor & Black.

Meet Billie:

Tell us a little bit about your background. Where do you come from?

I was born and raised in central Wisconsin, and I moved to Chicago in 2006 to be a flight attendant for a major international airline. Since college, I’ve gone down a thousand different career paths. I spent time as an English teacher in Mexico, a Spanish teacher in Wisconsin…I even rolled crepes for a while.

How do you describe your personal sense of style?

Tailored, classic, and confident.

Billie Kershasky with client Mark Sullivan of Merrill Lynch, Chicago.

About the Work:

What brought you to Astor & Black?

I consider myself extremely lucky to have found Astor & Black when I did because I was in the right place in my life to take on an endeavor of this caliber. This is the first career where I have been able to use my creativity and leadership skills in a way that is constantly stimulating and always evolving.

What are you favorite trends for the Spring/Summer Season? 

For Summer 2012 I’m most excited about loafers. There are a few gorgeous blues and purples from Donald J. Pliner and Cole Haan that are getting a lot of attention.

What A&B products are you most excited about right now?

I’m excited about the blended sport coat fabrics Astor & Black is offering this season with wool/linen blends and silk/wool blends. Loro Piana Cashmere Cloud is hands-down my best selling sport coat. Nowhere else can you find such exceptionally soft cashmere that is lightweight enough to be worn in warm weather.

My top selling suit fabric this season is from Summer Tasmanian Super 150’s wool and silk (also from Loro Piana) because it is truly as light as air. You can wear one of these on a humid, 95° day and not even feel like you’re wearing a suit. It’s pure genius if you ask me.

What does it take to be a successful Clothier at Astor & Black? 

To be a successful Clothier at Astor & Black, the most important skills are self-motivation and time management. Although our leadership team at A&B gives us a lot of support and guidance, I would never have gotten here if I didn’t wake up every morning and make the decision to take action in the areas that are most challenging and unnatural for me.

I have to say, this job is fascinating. For instance, when I create a jacket or a suit that I’m really excited about, I don’t stop thinking about the garment for the next 6 weeks – literally, I have dreams about it – until it arrives and I get to deliver it to the client.

Billie Kershasky with client Jim Tracy of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

On Chicago Style:

What do you love about Chicago’s fashion? Is there anything you would change about the way people dress in your community?

If it were up to me, the men of Chicago would dress better. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few dapper individuals in the Midwest, but for the most part, the gentlemen of the Windy City could use a bit of guidance in this area. I’ve found that a lot of the men I work with don’t know how they’re supposed to dress, much less the difference between a notch vs. peak lapel or a center vent vs. side vent.

I’d love to see more cognac brown shoes worn with grey and navy suits as opposed to traditional black oxfords. Show me some tapered fitting trousers without that sloppy break. And c’mon guys, would a pocket square hurt?

What should a visitor to Chicago put on his packing list?

People don’t think of Chicago as a beach town, but Lake Michigan is a great place to take in the sun! Be sure to bring some beach gear, a jacket that breaks the wind, and some stylish shoes (but make sure you break them in first). In my opinion, walking is the best way to see the city. Don’t bother asking a cabby for recommendations or directions – most of the taxi drivers in Chicago don’t know their way around.

One last note from Billie: I’m a huge supporter of social media. I think it has completely changed the way we communicate with our friends, business acquaintances, our favorite brands, and even celebrities. Lately I’ve been too busy to update my Twitter as much as I’d like to but I definitely get into it when I can.

To schedule an appointment with Billie Kershasky or a Professional Clothier in your area, contact us online, or call us at (877) 278-6718.

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4 Comments on “Featured Clothier: Billie Kershasky, Chicago”

  1. May 5, 2012 at 5:08 am #

    Well done Billie…you are the real deal (and spot on with your love for Loro Piana!!)

  2. Brandon Bowers
    May 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    Billie is great at what she does and keeps her clients looking sharp! She pays attention to detail and goes the extra mile to ensure her clients are 100% satisfied.

  3. Del
    May 2, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Billie is amazing, highly recommend working with her!

  4. Christian Boehm
    May 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Billie is a gamechanger for anyone who wants to develop a great sense of style

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