Catching up with Jon Cotay

One of our Milestone Award recipients this year is the group behind Akira, one of the most exciting fashion retailers in Chicago! We caught up with co-owner Jon Cotay to find out about some of his favorite things.

Favorite Chicago icon? Oprah! When she put her mind to something, she always made it possible. I watched her show religiously during my years as a nurse and real estate agent. She sent an uplifting and positive message to her viewers.

The meal that best describes you? Asian meals best describe me. Each of my favorite spots has its own specialty: Joy Yee’s has smoothies, Isla Pilipina has Filipino food, Union Sushi has oysters, Japonais has sashimi, and OK Restaurant has dim sum.

What does your community mean to you and your work? As an immigrant and first-generation American, I’m in touch with my roots, but I also value the freedoms associated with living in the US. I can relate to both the perspectives of my American friends (who were born here), and to the issues of my parents (who moved here to start a new life).

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