People SEEN Stealers Style

Q&A with Denise Ilitch

January 29, 2018

Denise Ilitch shares career advice, style tips and where she likes to shop and dine around Metro Detroit. 

By Rachel Schostak 
Featured photo by Boswell Hardwick 

Denise Ilitch has been an integral part of Detroit’s business and philanthropic communities for over 30 years. Ilitch is president of Ilitch Enterprises and co-chair and board member for Horizon Global. She also serves on the University of Michigan Board of Regents. She previously served as president of Ilitch Holdings, which manages Little Caesar Enterprises, the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers and Olympia Entertainment.

1. What are you up to these days? I am busy with Horizon Global which is a public company I co-chair with Mark Zeffiro. I am also immersed in helping to establish policy at the University of Michigan. I am most excited that I am represented by two speakers’ bureaus and will soon be professionally speaking to different business and student groups.

Denise Illitch

Photo by Boswell Hardwick.

2. You have such a distinguished career. Are there a few moments that really stand out in your mind? The moments that really stand out in my career are the years I worked side by side with my dad. I learned so much and had a lot of fun with him building our family companies.

Denise and her late father Mike Ilitch.

3. What career advice do you have for those who want to make it as entrepreneurs? Don’t take no for an answer. Be persistent.

4. Who inspires you in the business world? My late father continues to inspire me in business.

5. Where do you get your daily news fix? I read the New York Journal, New York Times, NY Post, Detroit Free Press and a new digital format called Fuel Leadership.

6. What do you love most about your community? I love the people in our community.  They just rock.

Denise with her co-hosts of Michigan Matters on CBS Detroit.

Now onto your Style…

7. Tell us about what you are wearing? 

St. John turtleneckElie Tahari blazer, Saks; 7 for All Mankind jeans; velvet booties (shop similar); custom Detroit Tigers 2012 Championship necklace; ring from Ross-Simmons Catalog; three diamond ring, Neiman Marcus.

8. Three words to describe your style?  Classic, fun, relaxed.

9. One item you can’t leave home without… My phone!  Ha.

10. You’re never fully dressed without…? I am never fully dressed without perfume.  I love Pheromone or Ysatis.

11. Do you have a style icon? Coco Chanel

12. Who or what inspires your style? Fashion shoots and accessories pages. I love reading any magazine that has either.

13. A must-have item for the season? Short, white sexy boots. I just bought a pair by Alexander Birman.

14. Best style advice ever received? The best style advice I have ever received is to be true to yourself.

Denise enjoying her time at Celani Vineyards.

15. Favorite quote or words to live by? My favorite words to live by are the Golden Rule.  “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.”

Your local love list: 

Denise getting an inside look at Little Caesars Arena during construction.

16. Where do you enjoy grabbing a quick coffee? I don’t hang there, but I love Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Original Blend.

17. Your go-to for lunch or dinner? My go-to for dinner is Phoenicia.

18. Where do you like to shop? I enjoy shopping at Lori Karbal. She has beautiful and unique gifts. And then, of course, there is Owen, her infamous dog.

19. One place you think everyone must check out when visiting Detroit? Everyone must check out the Fox Theatre — it’s one of a kind.



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