Vic Lloyd Doesn't Take Vacations

Vic Lloyd.

Vic Lloyd.


Menswear’s takeover of the fashion scene during the last few years has left us with unforgettable releases. It led to openings of sneaker shops, designer street style lines and collaborations between the most unlikely pairs. That is, unlikely if this were 10 years ago. But it’s not. And now, Fat Tiger Workshop (FTW) is helping put Chicago on the fashion industry map. 

Since the opening in 2013, Fat Tiger Workshop has become more than clothes. As defined by its founders, FTW is “more complex than a simple retail store.” It is a “vehicle…for others to express their ideas and visions.” 

Its co-founder Vic Lloyd knows Chicago, knows fashion, and most importantly, he knows hard work. Born and raised on the city’s south side, he went to a private high school that failed to inform him of what he could do; that he could take something he was passionate about and make a career out of it. 

“I was always into fashion but there was nothing I did in my formative years that suggested I could do this for a living.

That’s just another way that Chicago’s education system fails its youth and why businesses like this deserve recognition and continued support. In this case, the consequence of that is a good one. Vic constantly finds ways of putting the community first. For that reason, FTW is more than distinctive pieces that are affordable. The store’s founders host regular workshops that are free and open to the public. 

“Being in this business there are a lot of things I had to learn through trial and error. Our workshops focus on everything we do together or separate. We just want to pass that knowledge along that we learned through doing things.”

Before opening FTW in 2013, Vic worked at Leaders 1354, a streetwear boutique in Chicago. The job left him with a decade of experience and an understanding of what to do in order to succeed. FTW gave him and his team the place to house their creativity. Since its opening, the brand has grown while remaining true to its core values. 

“We’ve grown in space and ideas and just trying to get more attention put on Chicago and all the things that the city has to offer, on the fashion end and creativity side. It’s about pushing the culture forward in Chicago.” 

About a year after Fat Tiger opened, the guys started hosting pop up shops around the country to really push that culture and, of course, share their pieces with the rest of the world, since they don’t sell any of their clothes to other shops. 

The success that FTW has seen is thanks to the hard work of its founders. With plans to create something that will change the world, Vic doesn’t have time for feeling overwhelmed or vacations. 

“I don’t understand that feeling. Maybe I’m living being overwhelmed and I’m just used to it, so it doesn’t feel that way. I don’t want to go to on a vacation, I kind of have never been. When I travel, I’m working. That’s my thing, it’s work.” 

You can buy FTW pieces in store at 836 N Milwaukee Ave or online at

Vic Lloyd with his dog.

Vic Lloyd with his dog.


“I pay attention to trends but I think to be a good dresser you have to be a person who understands trends but also understands classics. My biggest trend is comfortability.”


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Gosia Labno is a photographer and writer based in Chicago. She holds a B.S. in Media and Cinema Studies and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies. She is working on a collection of short stories chronicling the lives of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Follow.