Yung Creatives • Antonio "Tone" Taylor
Yung Creatives is a monthly panel curated and hosted by These Days' Jake Krez at Soho House Chicago. To provide added insight on the talented young people taking the stage during the next discussion, we've decided to pair the event with a series of digital features. Over the upcoming weeks, we'll turn the spotlight on each member of the forthcoming panel one at a time.
Since it's humble beginnings in 2002 at 1354 East 53rd St., Leaders, a Chicago streetwear boutique was the unofficial social club of the Hyde Park community and of a young Antonio Taylor. Like many in Chicago, Tone embraced Leaders as a teenager. It was a spot to congregate, stay fresh, and creative expression has always been welcome. This environment inspired Tone to stick around and join founder Corey Gilkey and employees at the time Ty Mathis and Vic Lloyd as the store's intern in 2009. Since then, Tone has become the face of Leaders, and continues to carry out the brand's mission as the store manger of their current location at 672 N. Wells.
A couple locations and 6 years later, Tone is the one teaching lessons and molding a new batch of Chicago youth interested in working in fashion. As a former intern of Leaders himself, Tone learned first hand the value of having a mentor. Tone and Leaders continue to offer an internship program that allows young creatives to learn the business directly from the people doing it. As the store manager, Tone is able to shed light on everything from day to day business operations, to design, including the raw colorways of the head wear Leaders has become known for.
With Leaders moving to Chicago's west loop in early 2016, Tone will make the move as well, resuming his duties with the local boutique. In addition to his work in the fashion world, Tone is also putting hours in behind the scenes for the third edition of Oreo Fest, being held at Portage Theater on December 27th. The post Christmas event sets to draw people to Chicago's north side for a festival disguised as a dance party featuring a battle between DJ Oreo and Atlanta's Metro Boomin with guest appearances from Saba, Leather Corduroys, Z Money and many more.
Being one of those familiar faces in the crowd and a lot of hard work has provided Tone with a number of opportunities and will likely continue to do so. Now that he's worked his way into industries he's passionate about, Tone uses what he's learned along the way to pass on gems to the next generation who think they have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. For more details on Tone's career and for a chance to ask him questions yourself, make sure to check out Yung Creatives at Soho House on December 28th featuring a discussion with Tone, DJ Oreo, Katrina Jackson and hosts Jake Krez and Alicia Gutierrez.