Worn Out Wednesday – Dru Ortega
My name is Andres L. Ortega, but for the better part of my life, friends and peers have come to know me as Dru. Born in Bogota, Colombia, I was raised by my grandparents in Boca Raton, Florida. My grandmother had a penchant for the well-crafted home and a restlessness to redecorate our house routinely. Neither she or I knew it at the time, but she was laying the foundation for what would become my passion and inevitable career specializing in design public relations.
I moved to New York to work in investor relations after graduating from the University of Florida with a Public Relations degree and Business /Entrepreneurship minors. After the financial collapse in 2009 I was laid off at 23. I know many say it, but it was truly the best thing that could have happened to my career because it propelled me to pursue what made me happy.
Since then I’ve been adamant about pursuing jobs that would ladder up to a career hallmarked by creativity and touches on my appreciation for style, bespoke interiors and well-made products. In nearly eight years, I’ve worked on consumer campaigns for Target designer collaborations, like Missoni for Target and Nate Berkus at Target, in addition to introducing the retailer’s first in-house brand of home products known as Threshold.
I then brought my love for all things home design in-house to the online retailer One Kings Lane and helped reshape media and consumer perception of the brand as it shifted from a flash-sale model to a traditional eCommerce site. Today, I serve as the Associate Vice President, Public Relations Manager at Christie’s with a focus on promoting the 250 year old brand’s newly minted eCommerce division – which is adding art and luxury to my home + design PR experience.
From immersive and disruptive consumer events on a scale that only Target could create to helping develop creative and new processes at both a nimble start up like One Kings Lane and an established auction house like Christie’s – I’m fortunate to have made a career out of work.
Jeans: Levi’s are tried and true. The 510 series in a darker wash take me from the office to the bars any day of the week. I’ve also admired the American made and sourced brand Noble Denim by my friend Samuel Wessner – the guy has really nailed American comfort style.
Pants: I’m mostly in jeans or chinos so Save Khaki has great business/casual options.
Suits: Bespoke is the way to go. Beyond just fitting like a glove, the options for color, fabric, lining, buttons, etc. let me inject some of my personality into the suit. Most recently, I had a gray one made by My.Suit that has been a seasonal workhorse.
Shoes: I opt for slip on, low-sole shoes – I like the convenience and low profile. I just bought my first pair of Del Toro slippers — they are equal parts playful and smart. Summers are spent in Sperry’s or Clark’s desert boots and this winter I’ve been digging Topman’s Chelsea boot.
Accessories: I don’t subscribe to a single style mantra, so I like to play around with watches and accessories depending on the day. I found that Timex offers the right variety (and price point). For jewelry, I’m a fan of Miansai and Giles & Brother bracelets, and the guys at Patch NYC made me a special anchor charm necklace that is spot-on.
Outerwear: I don’t compromise comfort for style, so a jacket should wear just as good as a t-shirt. I like how sleek my Burberry down jacket is for brisk New York days, my All Saints denim jacket for cool fall nights and a lightweight neutral trench from Zara for spring. Plus a timeless navy pea coat is fool proof.
Favorite Cologne: Le Labo Santal 33. It’s become somewhat of a signature scent.
Favorite piece of technology: iPhone 6. I just upgraded from an iPhone 4 (not even a 4s).
Next tech purchase: Plantronics BackBeat Fit wireless headphones for the gym.