#90 Tony Long, Founder / CEO, FashionBar Chicago


Instagram: @tonylongfashionbar /@chicagosfashionweek

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Tony Long,
Founder / CEO, FashionBar Chicago

I have nearly 80 pairs of shoes and all of the different pairs that I own define the various aspects of my personality. But for the past 7 months I've been drawn to wearing these military combat boots. They're not Doc Martens, they're military issue combat boots. And I wear them specifically because of the military connotations around them, that is, the connotation of being in combat. 

You see, for me, being an entrepreneur is like being in combat. Because not only am I trying to live my life and celebrate the individuality that I have, they also give me a sense of power when I'm getting things done that I need to get done in order to run my business. 

I also find these boots significant because I have my college degree in marketing management and have 18 years of corporate experience. So when I wear these boots to meetings with clients they also symbolize the strategic and tactical components of how I use marketing to create business relationships that can really push this idea of Chicago as a fashion beauty and wellness destination. 

When I wear these boots I feel powerful. I can conquer my fears in these boots. Chicago can be such a rough city, and to some these boots may look rough also — but when they look up and see my face I'm a totally different person. So these boots also allow me to emerge myself into this environment and really be a part of this city in my own unique way.