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

    • Big Jon

      Cool personal style and a limited edition sneaker line? That is fist-bump worthy.

    • Jonathan

      One of my favorite post. The style is young and fresh I can see myself in all of those outfits. My new style ICON besides WES!

    • http://undefined Michael F


    • Joe

      I wonder how exactly one gets limited edition Vans made for their business. Dan, I have to say I love your site. You and the team have inspired me to change up my style game. As a student transistioning to college, I would say this is the perfect time to do that. Keep it up!

    • Gazman

      If it’s warm enough to go sock-less, why wear a desert boot?

      • Martin

        Maybe he likes wearing desert boots…

        • Dan Trepanier

          Or he’s wearing low-cut socks…Gazman is a very rigid thinker

          Thx Martin

          • John Crossley

            Desert boots are great for spring and summer. Mine are more comfortable than some sneakers I own.

      • Daniel

        Desert boots were designed for the desert.

    • Steve

      TSB x TMS. It’s got a nice ring to it.

    • Alex G

      Where do you get Retrosuperfuture sunglasses in NYC?

    • Nick

      The best part of this post is how you presented the narrative and made it work with the photos. Great outfit and shots but even better picture of his style life.

    • cam

      your style is very nice michael but i am much more impressed by your story from the video on mrporter….incredibly inspiring stuff….all the best

    • TO

      For those who haven’t seen Mr. Chernow’s video with Mr. Porter, it is definitely worth a watch:

      Really cool feature, dig the Vans!

      • John Crossley

        Great video, shows how hard work pays off in all areas of life.

    • Kiel

      I really like those chinos. Perfect fit.

    • Jack

      This guy is everywhere. Great style. Effortlessly cool.

    • John

      Great style! Look #1 seems a bit more casual than business casual, but who said that’s a bad thing?

      The Scandinavian brands (nudie, acne etc) are indeed awesome.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Not me.


    • Tom

      Is the owner of this site still friends with the Die, Workwear author? How did you feel about that old post “Trepanier’s Style Intervention” which made the menswear rounds a couple years back?

      • Dan Trepanier

        I’ve never met the author of that website. Got a kick out of that post tho!

        My reaction to it on May 11th 2011:

        Thanks for reading Tom.

    • Ryan Reshad

      Whats the cut number on the Levis?

      • Brooks

        They look like 511s, but I’m not 100% sure.

    • Tom

      Gotta give a shout-out to the founder of TMS.
      Good meatballs, great style!

      • John Crossley

        It’s difficult working right down the street from The Meatball Shop. I’m in there twice a week for lunch now. Great meatballs.