Chicago Scene

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For men who are fed up with the chaotic atmosphere and redundancy of formal wear retailers, Sonny Balani has the answer.

Taking custom clothing to a whole new level, the one-of-a kind, 1,300-square-foot showroom, BALANI (10 S. LaSalle, 312.345.1535) bridges the gap between a retail store and custom clothing shop. “We’re changing the way men look at clothes by adding modern style and sophistication to an antiquated art form known as custom clothing,” explains Balani. “Our showroom is a first in the industry: an exclusive, personal space where you can build your wardrobe at your leisure. We’re breaking through the stereotypes – the showroom cluttered with fabric samples, the stodgy intimidating atmosphere – to be today’s modern clothier.” The room is indeed sleek, sparse and luxuriously relaxing. The days of choosing your suit from behind an old English desk are gone, replaced by the Fabric Bar, where clients can select their fabrics while sipping on a complimentary beverage. Due to the racks of completed clothing, you might actually think you’re in a retailer when you stroll in. “We want people to envision what a style looks like with a particular fabric,” explains Balani. “Bu showing our finished work, clients get a feel for what’s possible, and can also find their own spark of creativity. Sometimes a finished piece gives them ideas they never would have had on their own. “Maintaining the high standards of personalized service, BALANI is open by appointment only, serving one customer at a time. “Serving one customer at a time gives us the opportunity to truly understand their needs,” says Balani. And you can take your tailor with you; after your first sizing, your measurements are kept in the database so you can order over the phone or net whenever you like. Take that, Men’s Warehouse!

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