Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Chicago man takes face masks into luxury
by Melissa Wasserman
2020-07-10

This article shared 3768 times since Fri Jul 10, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


During COVID-19 David Altman is encouraging people to wear their heart on their face with masks that his brand Vintage Luxe Up is currently making out of vintage luxury designer silk scarves.

Altman grew up on Long Island, New York, and is from a retail family. His father owned a chain of stores that sold women's sportswear in New York and Florida. His mother worked with his father, then went to work on the wholesale side of things. While fashion was always part of his DNA, Altman, did not always know what he was going to do after college. He graduated from Emory University with B.A. in international studies and art history.

From there, he went into Bloomingdale's executive training program in New York City. His next move was working as a direct mail merchant, which Altman explained, meant catalogs.

Altman joined Neiman Marcus Direct when it was a catalogue company. He described during his time there, it went through an evolution and he was an e-commerce entrepreneur, launching websites for Neiman Marcus, Chef's Catalog, Victoria Secret and Bath and Body Works.

"For me it was always about the discovery, the hunt," said Altman. "Seeing something that I never saw before was always very interesting to me and I consider myself a lifelong student. I ask a lot of questions because I want to learn, but I also ask questions because I find that if I ask questions about other people, it causes them to rethink their beliefs and, fundamentally, what I think about the biggest successes I've had in my career have all come from asking three questions: 'what if…?' 'Have you thought about…?' 'Have you tried…?' Those have really propelled a pretty interesting career…"

Altman then worked at L Brands ( formerly Limited Brands ) for four and a half years where he built Victoria Secret Direct Beauty, Victoria Secret Direct Accessories and Bath and Body Works Direct. His job, he described, was to work with partners to develop a direct relationship with their consumers, calling it "human to human."

"My mandate was to break down the silos between the two businesses," said Altman.

Altman, who has been a Chicago resident for about three years, formed MarketShare Advisors International LLC in 2010 and is its current Chief Executive Officer ( CEO ).

Feeling fortunate to have been able to touch and influence a large number of brands over the years, Altman said he started to think of what he was doing when he was most successful and fulfilled.

"That was selling a vision, selling a dream, picking a path, but also executing a strategy, shaking things up and changing the conversation, building high-performance teams and winning cultures and then delivering superior financial performance rooted in sustainability," he explained. "When I think about building teams— interview on skill, hire on cultural fit, promote on performance, fire on character. Character is very important to me, so it matters how you play the game."

In February of 2020, a friend had given Altman two Hermes scarves. Not knowing what to do with them, he scrolled through Instagram for inspiration. He somebody else cut and repurposed an Hermes scarf into a mask. So, he did just that. He made 20 masks out of the two gifted scarves he had, sold them on eBay and donated the profits to local Chicago charities. The first style, he recalled, sold out.

"I've always been a tactile person," said Altman, Vintage Luxe Up's CEO. "Some people see with their eyes and some people see with their hands and when I look at something I want to touch it. For me, it was always about the touch, the feel of beautiful product and textiles and just texture was always very important to me."

When eBay could not differentiate between the upcycled products he was selling and counterfeit products, Altman built Vintage Luxe Up. The brand launched in June 2020.

"It was important to be purpose-led," said Altman of his venture. "We're here to conserve Earth's scarce natural resources by using vintage textiles, so we're not using electricity, we're not using water, we're not using petroleum to transport textiles. We're using textiles that are already in existence."

Altman added other purposes Vintage Luxe Up carries are providing much needed work to local tailors and seamstresses and donating 15% of sales to COVID-19 relief funds.

"The conversations I'm having with customers has been such fun for me," Altman said. "Talking to people, how it's brightened their day, the fact that we can take something that can be the most mundane thing in the world, one of those blue paper masks, and turn them into works of art that lift your spirit—it's fashion and function and soul. All these goods have a story."

Altman said while Hermes is a customer favorite, there are also masks made from Versace, Gucci, Missoni, Fortuny, and other luxury designer brand vintage silk scarves. Each scarf makes about 10-12 unique masks ( because of how the pattern goes ) that are hand numbered. The brand's goal is to launch a new style every week and email subscribers get an exclusive first look.

From sourcing, to scouring, web development, working with local tailors, and packing and mailing ( sometimes hand-delivering ) the order, Altman puts effort into every step at Vintage Luxe Up.

"This really encompasses everything for me that I love—luxury product, digital commerce, story-telling and sustainability," he said.

Altman's career has been largely linked with style. When he talks about his personal style he said his clothes are "fun Ralph [Lauren]—" an eclectic mix of patterns and patches. His home, which he shares with his 4-year old chocolate lab Annabelle, he described, is boho, eclectic. He emphasizes with pride that every piece has character and a story.

"I think it's important, which is why the work that I'm doing at Aids Foundation of Chicago is important to me," said Altman in regard to having more business leaders that are openly out to serve as role models. "I've been out and openly gay since I was 30, at work and at home with my family, so I'm certainly proud of who I am and happy to mentor anybody, because it does get better. That's a bit of a cliché or a statement, but it does get better."

"I talk a lot about storytelling because I believe as humans we're less motivated by facts and figures than we are about real people, about real stories in real time," he said. "So I kind of look at my career as a story."

To learn more about Vintage Luxe Up, visit vintageluxeup.com .

To learn more about David Altman, visit marketshareadvisors.com .


This article shared 3768 times since Fri Jul 10, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Recap: Mogul's holds first-ever International ERG Day
2021-11-30
Employee resource groups (ERG), affinity groups, business networking and diversity councils have helped unite likeminded tribes of people throughout the workplace for more than 30 years. ERGs are aligned with one clear focus in mind: fostering ...


Gay News

Designer and entrepreneur Kiki Bryant discusses future of 'Lollipop Lola'
2021-11-26
On Jan. 21, 2021, Kiki Bryant set a $2,000 fundraising goal on Kiva.org to launch a children's doll based on her original book character, Lollipop Lola. The goal was met that same day. "That was a ...


Gay News

Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce elects first Black LGBTQ president in organization's history
2021-11-24
In November, the Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce elected Darien Marion-Burton to serve as the organization's first Black LGBTQ president. Marion-Burton will begin his role in January 2022 and said he's excited to bring a ...


Gay News

LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois head stepping down
2021-11-24
LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois Director Jerome' Holston has publicly acknowledged that he will be leaving his post at the end of this month. In a statement, he said, "As my role as Director of ...


Gay News

Andersonville Chamber of Commerce plans holiday shopping events supporting 100+ businesses
2021-11-22
--From a press release - CHICAGO (November 22, 2021) - The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to kick-off the holiday season with a festive line-up of neighborhood events encouraging residents and visitors to "shop local" in support of the ...


Gay News

Eychaner helps launch Midwest media outlet
2021-11-18
Major Chicago-based Democratic donor Fred Eychaner is funding a new media outlet that launched Nov. 18, and which is aimed at covering state and local political races in the Midwest, Politico reported. The outfit combines Heartland ...


Gay News

Local chef heading sixth annual 'Chefsgiving' for local shelters
2021-11-17
For the sixth year running, Chef Bill Kim and Cornerstone Restaurant Group will host Chefsgiving the weekend before Thanksgiving. In partnership with Inspiration Kitchens, Kim and more than 45 Chicago chefs will prepare meals and come ...


Gay News

Word is Out: Queer Media Collaborative launched by LMA
2021-11-17
--From a press release - Local Media Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of Word Is Out: The Queer Media Collaborative, with initial funding from the Google News Initiative Innovation ...


Gay News

Word is Out: Queer Media Collaborative launched by LMA
2021-11-17
--From a press release - Local Media Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of Word Is Out: The Queer Media Collaborative, with initial funding from the Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge. The Queer Media Collaborative (QMC) will focus on business ...


Gay News

Rebirth Garments, Roscoe's among HRC/Showtime grant recipients
2021-11-16
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Showtime announced the 20 recipients of "Queer to Stay: An LGBTQ+ Business Preservation Initiative" to support and uplift small businesses that focus on LGBTQ+ people of color, women and the ...


Gay News

More than a quarter of LGBT state, local employees face discrimination at work
2021-11-16
--From a Williams Institute press release - More than one-quarter of LGBT state and local employees have experienced discrimination at work About half of LGBT people who work in education and law enforcement are not out to their supervisors Over 600,000 LGBT employees ...


Gay News

Chamber of Commerce elects Marion-Burton Board President,first Black, LGBT Pres.
2021-11-05
--From a press release - [Oak Park, IL] On Tuesday, November 2, the Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce elected Darien Marion-Burton as President of its Board of Directors. Marion-Burton, who will take over for Dr. Mary Ann Bender starting January ...


Gay News

Actress Angelica Ross transfers leadership of trans talent incubator to E.C. Pizarro III
2021-11-04
By Max Lubbers - In 2017, E.C. Pizarro III listened as Angelica Ross presented about TransTech Social Enterprises, an incubator to build and promote transgender talent in technology fields. He approached her afterward, volunteering to design artwork for TransTech. Now, ...


Gay News

Mayor Lightfoot: $20M+ in grants will support business, nonprofit recovery
2021-10-22
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) announced today a $20M Chi Biz Strong Grant Program for small business and nonprofit relief and a ...


Gay News

Local business gives historic Edgewater storefront new life with holiday pop-up
2021-10-21
--From a press release - Oct. 20, 2021 - Chicago, IL - The iconic former Granville Pictures storefront at 6200 Broadway in Edgewater is getting a second life with a holiday pop-up from local business City Grange. For nearly 90 years ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.