Arthur Rubloff earned a reputation as one of the country's real estate giants, a philanthropist who donated millions to local universities and the Art Institute--and a dapper dresser. After he died in 1986 at age 83, his wardrobe was gathered from his residences in Chicago, New York, and Palm Beach, packed into 72 boxes, and stored in a climate-controlled cedar attic at his brother's Lake Forest home. Only recently did his family decide to part with his custom-made duds in a public sale.
"He had most of his stuff made in London or Paris," says longtime friend and associate Abel Berland, vice chairman of the residential real estate company Rubloff Inc. "It did mean a great deal to him--God bless him." Ever extravagant, Rubloff is rumored to have occasionally sent clothes to Paris or New York for laundering because he didn't think Chicago cleaners passed muster.
Among the 1,000 items of clothing pulled from his overflowing closets are 100 hand-tailored suits (39, 40, and 41 long); 40 cashmere coats; 500 silk ties; 100 pairs of shoes, most Gucci (sizes 10 to 12); 300 to 400 silk handkerchiefs; 15 tuxedos; cashmere sweaters; suede gloves; and top hats, straw boaters, and his signature bowlers. There are silk socks, silk suspenders, silk boxer shorts with colored piping, and silk pajamas with monogrammed pockets. Prices run from $1 for a wooden monogrammed "AR" coat hanger to $250 for a cashmere blazer with 14-karat gold buttons and $450 for a shearling coat. Perhaps some of Rubloff's estimated $100 million is left in his pockets.
The sale runs Friday and Saturday from 10 to 7 at the Three Arts Club, 1300 N. Dearborn. Admission is $3; first come, first served. For more information, call 951-9800.