In addition to their marriage and two young children, Steven and Tara Grekin share a strong sense of style, though Steven is clearly the fashion fanatic in the family.
This was made obvious to Tara when her groom made a costume change at their wedding, trading his black tuxedo jacket for white between the nuptials and reception.
His fashion sense is rooted in childhood, a time when he hung out in his grandfather’s men’s wear stores. By age 11, he could coordinate shirts with ties and hem a pair of pants.
“I enjoyed it,” Steven says of his relationship with clothing. “And fortunately when I met Tara, she enjoyed it, too.”
Steven is the founder and medical director of the Grekin Skin Institute in Warren and Wyandotte, and Skin Perfection of Southfield.
Along with the demands of business and bringing up a family, the two are serious about looking good. “I think society today has a lack of elegance,” Steven says. “Tara and I bring elegance back to everyday life. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It’s having a sense of style.”
Their love and respect for fine clothing and tailoring is evident in casual conversation, visible in their appearance, and overwhelming in their closets — one for Steven, and one for Tara. Each space is orderly and well illuminated, with glass doors designed to keep dust from settling on their extensive and color-coded collection of evening gowns and dinner suits.
Steven’s de rigueur custom shirts with French cuffs are made in Hong Kong by Steve Santanyi. His shoes are also custom made in Hong Kong by Mayer’s Shoes. For his suits, he prefers Italian designers such as Brioni and Canali, and that’s where The Fifth Avenue Club at Somerset’s Saks Fifth Avenue comes in. Director Ken Dewey and associate Jolene Brunet have been personally assisting the Grekins with their shopping needs for several years.
Tara is also a devotee of personal shopping at Saks, something she does in 90 minutes between school drop-off and pickup. With that small window of opportunity, she appreciates the assistance of an expert or two. The couple have even sought long-distance help from Saks. Once, while traveling on business in Palm Beach, Steven realized he’d forgotten a belt. They phoned the Fifth Avenue Club and had a Kelly Cerito black alligator belt shipped to their hotel.
Back home, their favorite local boutique is Joseph Rubenstein’s Aurum Design, a jewelry studio in Rochester. Steven is also a fan of Carl Sterr in Birmingham. And they both “love” T.J. Maxx.
“For me, it’s not about fancy; it’s about the comfort,” Tara says. That means jeans, a jacket, and Gap T-shirts when she’s running with the children. She’s also a fan of Ralph Lauren and says the Lauren pant is “just fantastic.” Tara buys most of her shoes at Somerset’s Stuart Weitzman, where Leon Johnson helps her out. She finds footwear at Saks and Neiman Marcus. But when it comes right down to it, she says, her “favorite shoes on the planet” are Joe Boxer flip-flops from Kmart.
Tara also welcomes dressing up — especially if the Simone Vitale Band is playing. And she knows where to turn for custom looks. She works almost exclusively with Katerina Bocci, whose custom-design boutique is in Shelby Township. They met when Bocci designed a gown for Tara’s 30th birthday “bash.”
The Grekins love to shop while traveling. She favors L.A.’s Larchmont Street, and Steven is fond of Bangkok.
“It’s just picking up things here, there, and everywhere,” Tara says.
Because they both love fashion, Steven echoes her words, saying, “It’s fun. I think elegance is fun.”