The Hipster Businessman feat. Michael Chernow

May 15th, 2013

Michael Chernow is not your typical businessman. The young, hip, tatted-up NYC native has created an empire out of meatballs.

“I’m a born and bred Manhattan guy. I started working in restaurants when I was 13 years old – I’ve always had a passion for people, food and hospitality. I worked in many restaurants and night clubs through my teens and twenties, and knew from early on that I wanted to own my own place. My dream came true in February of 2010 when I opened The Meatball Shop in the Lower East Side. We’ve opened 3 more since: West Village, Williamsburg Brooklyn and Chelsea. We are slated to open the 5th location on the Upper East Side this summer. I feel real lucky to have turned my dream into a reality, and to have the opportunity to give back a lil something to the city I took from for many years.

My style has been curated over the years of living in NYC. It’s the fashion Mecca of the world…growing up here has allowed me to witness fashion trends first hand, and now play a part in it. I take style seriously, sounds kinda funny, but true. How I think about style shines through in all of our restaurants – I also design and decorate all of the The Meatball Shop locations. I think through every detail, as the little details are where all the magic happens.”

1. Downtown Business Casual


Michael understands the power of simple, high-quality classics with proper fit. A navy blazer, white tee, khakis and chukkas never looked so cool.

“This is a simple go-to for any occasion. I can wear this t-shirt/jacket combo for a day around the restaurant, or out to a fancy event. It’s versatile and comfortable.

I love putting on a suit or a shirt and tie, but I don’t get as many opportunities to do so as I’d like. If I wore a suit to work at TMS my staff would crack jokes all night… Really. I don’t believe the days of ‘dressing to impress’ are over; it’s just a question of timing and scenario.”


Michael and I share some of the same favorite European brands.

“The pants are from Filipa K, a Swedish brand that I love. Every Christmas my wife and I go back to Denmark where she’s from, and I make sure to stop by Filipa K at least once while we’re there.”

  • White T-Shirt by James Perse ·
  • Black Blazer by Theory ·
  • Khakis by Filippa K ·
  • Brown Suede Chukka Boots by APC

2. Classics w/ a Twist


More menswear classics here (pencil stripe shirt, nautical sweater, slim chinos) with some personal twists (amber shades, buttoned collar, revealed tats, limited edition sneaks).

“This outfit is simply comfy. I love throwing a sweater over a button up, especially when it has some life to it. I’m not typically a light blue shirt & dark blue sweater guy…I like to keep it a little funky.”


“I love this Uniform Wares watch that I recently got from a shoot I did with Mr. Porter. Simple but stylish.”


You know you’re doing your damn thing when you have your own edition of Vans.

“The sneakers I am wearing are The Meatball Shop x Vans collaboration jammy jams… I pushed for a year to have these made, so pumped about them. They are available on”

  • Sunglasses by RAEN ·
  • Blue Striped Vintage Button up by Levi’s ·
  • Navy Striped Sweater by J.crew ·
  • Watch by Uniform Wares ·
  • Khakis by Filippa K ·
  • The Meatball Shop x Vans Red Sneakers by Vans

3. Welcome to the LES


Just because you’re a businessman doesn’t mean you have to dress like one. Michael keeps his style true to his personality – laid back, cool, downtown NYC-inspired.

“This is essentially how I roll every day in the spring. Super simple, comfortable and laid back.”


“I grew up in NYC…my style on the day-to-day is jeans, sneakers or boots, and a t-shirt or flannel.”

  • Blue Hawaiian Hat by Brixton ·
  • Sunglasses by Retrosuperfuture ·
  • Blue Flannel by Vintage ·
  • Blue Jeans by Levi’s ·
  • The Meatball Shop x Vans Red Sneakers by Vans

Thanks for reading, and special thanks to Michael for participating!

Yours in style,

Articles of Style


Photography by Alex Crawford