A few months ago, we mentioned that menswear shops in Chicago were on the upswing. Now there’s another menswear brand to keep an eye on: HonourMark, a company with roots deep in the Chicago business scene, dedicated to outfitting men that are “making their mark on the world for the better,” according to founder and CEO Michael DeNunzio. The company’s first line just launched, featuring four high-quality pieces of winter gear.
DeNunzio grew up in Glenview and moved to the city right after college, where he worked at Foote, Cone, and Belding, one of the city’s oldest ad agencies. It was there, in the thick of Chicago’s dot com days, that he met a certain kind of man: hard-working, professional, stylish, good-hearted. After four years in New York, working in the men’s fashion and apparel business, DeNunzio began to spot a crack in the menswear market. “A lot of brands were moving to target a much younger generation,” he says, “and I felt there was an opportunity to market to an accomplished man who’s making his mark on the world for the better.”
HonourMark uses a fabric called Ventile that was conceived during WWII to help protect the Royal Airforce. It’s cotton, so the jackets “breathe beautifully,” according to DeNunzio, but water will roll right off. “We don’t cut corners,” he says. “The insides are lined with Japanese cotton. We use military-grade snaps.” In January, they’ll be adding three more products: a men’s bag, high-end denim that can be worn to the office, and a beautiful line of knit shirts.
And who can blame a man raised in Chicago’s winters for growing up to make coats? “Let’s put it this way,” says DeNunzio. “We’ve sold a fair number of our Quilted Jacket to folks in the Midwest.” It protects against the wind, which is an oft-overlooked element in the fight against frostbite. “The wind is what really gets you cold,” he says. “I’m from Chicago, I know the winters.”