Chicago tailor Ge Wang will leave his mark on NFL Draft

Chicago tailor Ge Wang will leave his mark on NFL Draft

As Ronnie Stanley strolls across the stage in downtown Chicago Thursday night to be revealed as a first-round draft pick — perhaps by the Chicago Bears — the suit he’ll be wearing will stand out, destined to blow up on Twitter and Instagram. 

Ge Wang, who founded and runs the Chicago-based bespoke suit company ESQ Clothing, coyly won’t delve into what Stanley will be wearing. It’s going to be a major reveal for Wang and his hand-made bespoke suit shop, which has risen to prominence in NFL circles over the past few years.

“I’m just grateful for the opportunity, especially for Ronnie,” Wang said. “This is a night they’re going to remember for the rest of their lives. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

Wang’s path to outfitting the likes of Stanley, former Bears running back Matt Forte, Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith and plenty others isn’t what you may expect. He’s a native of suburban Chicago and attended Glenbard South High School before earning a political science degree from Notre Dame. That route brought him to DePaul’s law school and on to practicing real estate law in Chicago. 

While working as a lawyer, though, Wang felt he couldn’t find a suit that fit him, so he started dipping into custom-made ones. Something about that experience took hold, and he decided to give up a stable profession to follow a passion. 

“I had absolutely no experience, to be honest,” Wang said. “I just kinda knew what I liked wearing and I went from there.” 

So Wang started designing custom, hand-made suits out of a tiny, 250 square foot room in his Lake Shore East condo. His dog was running around, his girlfriend was nonplussed, and his parents questioned why he left his old job.

But he came in contact with a friend of a friend of a friend, who happened to be former Bears fullback Jason Davis. Davis liked Wang’s stuff, and word got around the Bears locker room. And then, all of a sudden, Wang had a request from Forte to make him a suit. 

“You know that feeling you get when you get off a roller coaster and you can’t feel your legs? That was kind of what it was like,” Wang said. 

Forte became one of Wang’s best clients — “now he comes in here and we shoot pool and play FIFA together,” Wang said — but also was key in promoting ESQ Clothing. NFL players talk a lot, which is why after seeing the garment he made for Forte, Wang had a message on Instagram from Charles asking for a suit. 

Wang was able to tap into his Notre Dame connections, too, to help get the word out there about his business. For a high-end, custom shop — ESQ’s team of tailors are picky about the materials they use, and hand-made bespoke suits start at $2,000 — having pro athletes wearing his stuff was a huge credibility booster. 

But what athletes seem to really love about ESQ’s suits is the custom printing they can put on the lining of a suit jacket. Portland Trail Blazers and former Irish swingman Pat Connaughton has the Golden Dome printed inside one of his. Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce both ordered jackets with their likenesses in it, as did former Notre Dame running back and NFL Draft hopeful C.J. Prosise. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown went a different route: Skittles. 

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Those designs turned heads. But Wang thinks what Stanley will wear Thursday night is going to stand out even more. 

“He came in asking for something — the color scheme was just beyond, something I would’ve never have thought of,” Wang said. “What you’re going to see is going to be really cool.” 

Power Rankings Roundup: Too little too late for the Bears this year?

USA Today

Power Rankings Roundup: Too little too late for the Bears this year?

If you haven't heard, the Bears have won three straight. Normally such a thing would earn them a nice boost in the Power Rankings, but because Power Rankings are so very arbitrary and so very meaningless, you can just never be sure. A win against Aaron Rodgers, in Green Bay, would probably start changing people's minds. So, you know, just go do that! Here's what they're saying this week:

NBC Sports – #13
As we were saying, there are times when Mitch Trubisky can be really good. At other times ... uh, not so much.

ESPN – #14
Until recently, everything went wrong for the Bears' offense. Poor quarterback play, uneven playcalling, bad blocking, poor execution ... you name it, the Bears were guilty of it. The past couple of weeks have been a different story, but the Bears need tons of luck to reach the playoffs.

USA Today – #14
Mitchell Trubisky has been on fire while orchestrating four wins in five weeks. But looking like too little, too late for reigning NFC North champs.

Sports Illustrated – #20
Teams seem to beat the Cowboys this year by building a lead and sitting on it while Dallas stumbles around and shoots themselves in the foot—and that’s exactly what the Bears did.

Yahoo Sports – #14
We know what’s happening right? Mitchell Trubisky is playing just well enough to end this season to make the Bears give him another season. Maybe that’ll work out as they hope. Maybe.

CBS Sports – #15
The offense has come alive to give them some playoff hopes, ever so faint. But Mitch Trubisky has made big strides.

Sporting News – #14
The Bears are seeing the Mitchell Trubisky they expected to see earlier in the season, and much of it is the product of a more favorable schedule. They have him running again, which in turn has him passing with more confidence. Don’t sleep on the QB leading them back to the playoffs.

Bears could be in position to land top TE in 2020 NFL draft

Bears could be in position to land top TE in 2020 NFL draft

The Bears are going to take a long, hard look at the makeup of their tight end room this offseason. Trey Burton, who's teetering on joining a growing list of free-agent busts signed by GM Ryan Pace since 2015, will be back because of his cap hit, but the rest of the depth chart offers more questions than answers moving forward.

Adam Shaheen, 2017's second-round pick, has likely played his last down in Chicago. He's regressed in his third season with the team and after an injury-plagued start to his career, it appears time to move on. Special teams standout Ben Braunecker is likely to be back, but he offers little upside beyond the game's third phase. J.P. Holtz and undrafted rookie Jesper Horsted have been pleasant surprises and may develop into the team's future at the position, but it's a risky proposition to rely on two players who were fringe-NFL guys at the start of the season.

It's highly unlikely Pace will invest more free-agent dollars into tight end because of the hefty paycheck being cut to Burton. He'll have an $8.55 million cap hit in 2020, which ranks among the highest-paid tight ends in the NFL. As a result, Pace will be forced to dip into the 2020 NFL draft class to upgrade the talent level.

Fortunately for the Bears, the second round is where this year's top tight ends are expected to come off the board. In fact, Pace may end up having his pick of the litter if ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay's prospect rankings bear out.

McShay, who teamed with Mel Kiper, Jr. to answer the 30 biggest questions at the start of the NFL draft season, doesn't have a tight end with a first-round grade. His highest-rated player at the position just happens to be in the range where the Bears' first selection currently sits.

"Over the past three years, there has been an average of two first-round tight ends, and Iowa's T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant were both top-20 picks last April," McShay wrote. "But don't expect a repeat. No one has really emerged this season like Hockenson, Fant and even Irv Smith Jr. did in 2018. The highest-ranked tight end in my rankings is Vanderbilt's Jared Pinkney at No. 49. Unless we see an underclassman rise through the process, I don't see a first-rounder in this group."

The Bears currently own the 45th pick (from Raiders) and 50th pick in the second round.

The bad news is Pinkney isn't the kind of pass-catcher the Bears are searching for Matt Nagy's offense. But the good news is there are a few players in this year's class who offer some upside as a receiver (we'll have a complete breakdown over the coming months). And if Pinkney is considered the best of the bunch, the Bears should have little trouble adding a player who fits their needs at a good value later in the draft.

Maybe Horsted will do enough over the final three games to convince Pace that Chicago already has its young ascending tight end on the roster. But if he doesn't, the Bears will have plenty of options to choose from in April.

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