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Artistic Director Jay Franke Shares His Favorite Things

The Chicago Dancing Festival cofounder loves Thom Browne suits, vintage cocktail picks, and jelly beans.

Photos: Anna Knott

Jay Franke, 39, may have hung up his dancing shoes (he previously performed with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Twyla Tharp’s and Lar Lubovitch’s companies), but his passion for the art form lives on: He is now cofounder and co–artistic director of the Chicago Dancing Festival (chicagodancingfestival.com), an annual four-day showcase of the world’s top companies. Franke’s dedication to excellence extends to the Gold Coast condo he shares with his partner, fund manager David Herro, and their four cats. Below are some of his favorite things.

Thom Browne suit

Thom Browne suit

($2,200, Apartment Number 9, 1804 N. Damen Ave.)
“I feel confident, playful, and a little mischievous in Thom Browne’s looks.”

 

Jelly Belly jelly beans

Jelly Belly jelly beans

($12 a pound, Candyality, 520 N. Michigan Ave.)
“I am a type 1 diabetic, so I carry little bags in case my blood sugar takes a dive.”

 

Globe-Trotter suitcase

Globe-Trotter suitcase

($1,745, George Greene, 49 E. Oak St.)
“Let’s face it: This goes with any outfit.”

 

His grandfather’s tie clip

His grandfather’s tie clip

“I wear this as a reminder of his influence on my life.”

 

Frederic Malle perfume gun

Frederic Malle perfume gun

($160, Barneys New York, 15 E. Oak St.)
“It’s the scent of a fancy Paris hotel—without the attitude.”

 

Vintage cocktail picks

Vintage cocktail picks

“These are the best way to liven up a drinks party and inject a little humor into a martini.”

 

Max Ingrand chandelier

Max Ingrand chandelier

(from $5,000, Casati Gallery, 949 W. Fulton Market)
“This was a gift from David. It’s the most stunning piece of ‘jewelry.’ ”

 

Martha Graham photograph by Barbara Morgan

Martha Graham photograph by Barbara Morgan

“Graham, the matriarch of modern dance, influenced me not only as a dancer but as an artist.”

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