©2009 Chicago Tribune/Alex Garcia
This week, the Tribune ran an obituary on an 89 year-old Chicagoan who I was sad to see pass. As we wrote, “Lawrence Pucci was one of the last remaining master tailors from a bygone era of American style. A proud, lifelong Chicago resident and booster, Mr. Pucci custom-made exquisite, hand-stitched suits that were sought out by the rich and the powerful. Household names including former Bears owner George Halas, Hollywood stars Dean Martin and James Mason and musician Victor Borge were among his customers…” When I photographed him on Michigan Avenue, I was struck by how much of an ambassador he was not just for Michigan Avenue and the city, but for that bygone era so far removed from my world of blue jeans and casual shirts. I’m not one for sartorial flair, but if you were to spend time with Mr. Pucci you would see it wasn’t about an expensive suit but about the whole essence of dressing, acting and being the polite and refined gentleman. It wasn’t just a style, but a world view. Since meeting him years ago, I still carry a greater appreciation for the formality of an era that our world has long since passed by.