Chicago-based men’s apparel label, Bird Dog Bay, has a longstanding pedigree of making sophisticated, yet whimsical, men’s accessories and apparel that keep men looking Best in Show. From neckties to bowties, handmade cufflinks to collar stays, and 100% Egyptian cotton dress shirts to boxer shorts, each design is born and bred at the Bird Dog Bay Studio in Chicago.
We are excited to welcome Bird Dog Bay to the Chicago Artisan Market at Morgan Manufacturing (401 N. Morgan St., Chicago) on Sunday, December 2, 2018 (10am-4pm) along with 100+ of Chicago’s finest artisans in food, fashion, home goods + art.
The collection includes:
• Ties – regular & extra-long ties, bow ties, pocket squares for men & boys
• Shirts & Cufflinks – dress, polo & tshirts
• Belts – woven, embroidered & classic belts
• Outerwear – sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves
• Wallets & Luggage – all made in America
• Socks & Loungewear
Bird Dog Bay was founded in 2006 by Steve Mayer, who remains the lead illustrator and designer for all products within the company. Steve continues to enjoy hand-drawing every single pattern on all of goods including neckwear, socks, pocket squares, caps, cufflinks and more. Mayer believes that creating these illustrations for customers is the most rewarding job fathomable. Anyone physically wearing his artwork is the best compliment someone an artist can receive.
The Inspiration for Bird Dog Bay?
It all started in a little Chicago suburb called Sleepy Hollow, where Steve Mayer spent his youth. Both parents showed him the value of living life to its fullest, while at the same time, not taking it too seriously. The Mayer household was never short on two things: laughs and art supplies. Steve was a true designer from the beginning, sculpting giant serpents in the sand, throwing works of art on the potters wheel, crafting whole nativity scenes out of pipe cleaners, and, of course, drawing with his trusty 18-pack of soft leaded drafting pencils.
Steve began his career as the in-house graphic and tie designer for another high-end neckwear company – working diligently to perfect his craft. However, as the years passed, the thirst for a more creative endeavor grew stronger. While envisioning the renovation of the future home for his very own neckwear company, he knew he needed some companionship.
Just as he was able to revisit his roots in illustration, Steve
wanted to bring back his family’s love of pets. So he visited the rescue center and adopted his first four-legged friend. Gus was a beautiful Fox Red Labrador Retriever that was a lousy hunting dog (or “bird dog”) and had been in a Southern Illinois kill center for over two months – and was just about to be put down. Gus was also big and goofy, with no fear and zero manners…a perfect match…according to Steve.
One aspect of rescuing a young dog that has been in a cage for so long is they often get a little complex about being left alone and anxiety issues, which was exactly the case with Gus. Since Steve was still working for that another company at the time, he would start all his days with a broken heart. Steve would drive away from his house in the morning and see a guilt-inducing, disappointed “Bird Dog” Gus peering at him from the “Bay” window of their new home… the “Bird Dog Bay.”
Nowadays, Steve spends his days with Gus lying at his feet as he works on the latest collection. Besides inspiring the logo, Gus remains a favorite of the Bird Dog Bay team and visitors.
Bird Dog Bay