Chicago Events. Derek Blasberg’s “Classy” Book Party with Nate Berkus and Gilt Groupe

April 16, 2010 • Events


Guests at the W Hotel's Altitude lounge

They couldn't have picked a more perfect day for the launch party of fashion writer extraordinaire Derek Blasberg's first titillating tome, entitled, "Classy: Be A Lady Not A Tramp". Held on the top floor of the swanky W Hotel, guests sipped cocktails and reveled at the panoramic views of Navy Pier and the Chicago skyline while the gorgeous spring sun dipped low in the horizon. The crowd didn't seem to need too many tips on the topic of class, as one fabulous attendee after another strutted around the hotel's Altitude Lounge, dressed to the nines for Derek. But still…we were all eagerly anticipating his advice. 

Blasberg has single-handedly put himself on the fashion map with an uncanny sense of style paired with a friendly and relatable way of redirecting the stylishly challenged. While working on degrees in journalism and dramatic literature at NYU, Blasberg interned at WWD and W magazine, and his first job out of school was at Vogue as an assistant to managing editor Laurie Jones. He's currently a senior editor at V and VMAN magazine and still contributes regularly to Harper's Bazaar, Interview magazine and the London Sunday Times. Needless to say, we were ready to got our hands on this long-anticipated style guide.

Chicago was one of several stops on Blasberg's book tour, and to celebrate, he was hosted by a little flavor of the city in our beloved Nate Berkus. Founder of Chicago-based interior design firm Nate Berkus Associates. Berkus (who is even more good-looking in person!) has won scores of Chicago hearts with his regular appearances on the Oprah show. Berkus is also a good friend and Gilt Groupe co-founder Alexis Maybank, (check out our exclusive interview with her!), as a presenter for the evening. 


Nate Berkus notes Blasberg's long list of accomplishments in his introduction


Nate Berkus introducing Derek Blasberg with Gilt Croupe co-founder, Alexis Maybank

When Blasberg took the stage, he was true to form in his no nonsense, hilariously up front manner, saying he was planning on reading an excerpt from the introduction but since we would all be receiving a copy of the book (yay!), then it was better if we just went home and started absorbing it ourselves. Berkus seemed genuinely touched by the support he's received from Chicago and, having been born in St.Louis, will always remain a Midwesterner at heart. Albeit, a very well-dressed one. We caught up with Blasberg after the show who, resplendent in a Burberry suit, was excited to be featured on Second City Style. When we asked hm about his impeccable threads, he casually noted he was friends with Burberry's creative director, Christopher Bailey, and so has a ton of perfectly tailored Burberry suits that he wears almost daily.

Blasberg was gracious in taking a photo with us, and laughed as we waited, posing, for Nate Berkus to finish up with his fan club before sidling over for the shot. "Everyone loves him!" Blasberg noted about Nate, and we reassured him that we indeed "love" him as well. Before doling out air kisses to both gorgeous men, we asked Blasberg if he had any style tips strictly for the stylish Chicago woman. He counted off his fingers three items:  big sunglasses for a chic dose of shade after a wild night of partying in the city; great fitting jeans – they will make you look ten pounds thinner; and a well-made, versatile trench that you can throw on to make you look instantly chic. We promised to adhere to these valuable tips and left him, thinking it must have been he who brought the warm spring sunshine to Chicago.


Blasberg explaining the concept behind his first book, "Classy" 

From left: Nate Berkus, me, Derek Blasberg, Carol Calacci

Check out this recent article on our new BFF, Derek Blasberg by The New York Times!

Photo Source: Second City Style

-Alia Rajput

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