With retail experience of some 30 years, Bruce Gage has led the pack when it comes to dressing some of the city’’s best dressed men. So, for those who are interested in his entrepreneurial zeal and fine eye for style and detail, you can find him at the Bronzeville Artist Lofts.
Tell me about the concept of Mario Uomo?
Mario Uomo was conceived because there were no upscale stores servicing Black men.
Being a Black man, I know what we like to wear to church, the club, just hanging out and work.
I know what kind of colors we like and fit, how long or short we like our jackets, and the [mainstream] stores just did not cater to Black men or women.
How long have you been in business?
I have been in the fashion industry for over 30 years. I have owned two brick-and-mortar stores:
LeFunch for Men (with my uncle) on the South Side [and] the second store was Mario Uomo, in the West Loop, across from Harpo Studio.
How long have you been designing?
I was a pioneer. My peers thought I had lost my mind. I have been designing all my life.
What are you doing now?
Now, I am getting into tanning and designing deerskin products.
How do clients find you now?
I now have a showroom in Bronzeville. It’s by appointment. This is the future of selling high-end men’s fashion. It’s very private, one-on-one, 24 hours, 7 days a week at 436 E. 47th Street. This was the center for Black artists in the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. We are located in the home of the first Black- owned department store, which was owned by the Jones Brothers.
How do your clients find you?
Well my clients find me when I send out private invites to invite them over for pop up events, word-of-mouth, Facebook and running into them on the street.
What services do you offer?
I offer full service custom suits, shirts, shoes, luxury coats and leather.
For more information: Miglio Di Mario Uomo, 436 E. 47th Street, 312-391-0831 or [email protected]