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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – Ellen Mirojnick Costume Q&A

Having created some of the most recognisable contemporary costume design of the 20th century for Wall Street in 1987, Ellen Mirojnick returns to dress belated sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. But how has time altered the broker’s look and what sartorial influences does the current economic climate bring to the new world of finance?

Talking exclusively to Clothes on Film, costume designer Ellen Mirojnick tells us exactly what to expect when director Oliver Stone’s much anticipated follow up hits cinema screens next month.

All the principals’ shirts in the film were made by Anto of Beverly Hills.

Clothes on Film, Chris: How has Wall Street trader attire evolved since the first film?

Ellen Mirojnick: The attire of The Street has evolved. Depending on firm, different dress codes exist. All include moneyed accessories and designer shoes. For example, there is a company lead by an impeccably well-dressed man. He requires every trader and anyone representing his firm to be as polished as he is. From personal grooming to the suitings, they are immaculate. If the code is not met they are sent to the groomer. The look is a very clean style, with a crisp edge. To have the EDGE – the key component is they have to be the EDGE.

At the other end of the spectrum there are firms that encourage a more relaxed casual code. This casualness is head to toe, including no socks with their Gucci or Feragamo loafers. Jackets, shirts and ties are kept in lockers for meetings with clients. At this firm the look on the trading floor is controlled casualness. However, a trader is not allowed on the floor wearing sneakers. There are other small firms, where traders might be in shorts, collared tee’s and baseball hats while trading along side of someone who appears to have stepped out of GQ. The evolution is large.

It feels as if the first Wall Street opened the door to encourage a man to exhibit his personal style. Over the past 23 years, Wall Street has come to symbolize a moneyed style. Always with a certain confidence; one’s own personality and panache. Whether it is as easy as jeans, a button-down, no socks and Gucci loafers or put together in a bespoke ensemble, the pieces are expensive and convey power.

Gekko’s appearance is altered subtly throughout to indicate him reverting to type; the return of the ‘shark’. His distinctive retro style amber sunglasses were made by Barton Perreira. Later in the story he wears a sharkskin blue suit, a distinctive two-toned worsted.

COF: Are the costumes more muted and less showy in this sequel to reflect a change in the economic climate?

EM: The film, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps starts in the summer of 2008, as the crash began to unfold. The world closes in on GREED IS GOOD. New York’s Gilded Age was about to implode. The elements in this film are very rich and naturalistic. As wealth accumulated, during the aughts, the excesses blurred the boundaries of style, causing a gilded muscular appearance. But, when everything is gilded, one cannot discern the showiness or the colourfulness; it all appears to be the same until you get close and see the expense in the details.

COF: Who is behind Michael Douglas’ suits as Gordon Gekko this time around?

EM: This time around Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko has a character arc; very different from the first film. Gordon Gekko starts off as a quiet shark circling the story. One doesn’t know when or where that shark will attack. In the film, he has a few different beats, ending with a great Machiavellian Gekko twist. In the beginning of the story, the single-breasted summer suiting in taupe/grey worsted was made by Canali. The costume was designed specifically for Gekko to be a man that blends into the city. When Gekko emerges as the shark we know, I’ve designed his costumes to be BOLD! He is in his element, sharking in a new pool. Gekko shines in satirical splendour. In contrast to the beginning of the film, once he feeds, his costumes become muscular, bold and totally Gekko bespoken.

Jacob’s style is intended as youthful, sharp and modern. He wears a two button collar to match the proportions of his neck.

COF: How about Shia LaBeouf as Jacob? His clothes are obviously hipper and slimmer than Gekko’s. More Italian looking…

EM: Shia LaBeouf’s clothing is all bespoke, as well. Jacob is hip, he is rich, and he wants it all. The cut of his suits have a purposeful sharp silhouette. Every decision about the proportion and perception was made to serve the character, the story and ultimately the actor.

COF: Does the contrast collar and cuffs ‘Gekko shirt’ make a re-appearance?

EM: No, this is 2009, Gekko’s new style is simply powerful, bold and handsome.

Jacob, Bretton and Gekko’s costumes subtly reflect three different generations in the finance trade. They are distinctly different men.

COF: Is Josh Brolin as Bretton James the ‘new Gekko’? How did you go about creating his look?

EM: Josh Brolin is a fetching Bretton James. He is all about presentation, money, power and conquering the world. Bretton is ruthless. This time, the stakes are much bigger than when Gekko originally played with similar ingredients back in the eighties.

When designing a look for a character, I always think about the actor playing the character. I break it down, to build it up. It is an assignment that is architecturally inspired. To think about Bretton, one thinks of Darth Vader.

The short brown leather jacket Jacob sports while riding his motorcycle was made by Belstaff.

COF: How about Carey Mulligan’s costumes as Winnie Gekko, what was your approach with her?

EM: A timeless filmatic silhouette. A mixology of easy urban style.

COF: How involved were the actors in their costumes? Did you discuss with them at length before fittings?

EM: Every actor is very involved determining their costumes, they must be. Everything is discussed, every aspect covered. It is very important that the costume component fit first and foremost with the director’s overall vision of the film.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is due for release on 24th September in the U.S. and 6th October in the UK.

With thanks to Ellen Mirojnick.

© 2010 – 2014, Lord Christopher Laverty.


  • Naomi R.

    I love good menswear in film. All the little details that communicate character… makes me want to learn more about classic tailoring. 🙂

  • Louis

    Great interview! I personally loved Jacob’s Y3 shoes when visiting Gekko. Tré Cool.

    • Max

      Anyone have more details on those shoes and the grey sweater/top he was wearing when visiting gordon

    • Chris Laverty

      I’m not sure about specific neckties at the moment, that’s something I’ll have to look in to when I get chance. However for another great read about the fashions of Wall Street 2 try THIS ARTICLE at Valet.

    • Steve

      I´ve been doing some investigation myself, but i can´t find it! It’s a real piece of art that neck tie 🙂

    • Michael Dettelbach

      The ties in the movie that Shia wears are Hermes, and not Andrews as suggested further down. Andrews may have copied the tie, but they did a poor of it. Google “Magnolia Clothiers” and check out the bottom of page 3. You will find a better replica of the piece.

  • Annina

    DO you know who designs Winnie’s Jacket in the last scene?

    • Marc


      I have to know the details about a black evening suit what Gekko was wearing on the evening.
      What kind of fabric? what brand?

  • Gary

    I really like the tie from Wall steet — I would really like an email on where to get that tie

  • Franck


    I’m searching for photos of the suits in this great movie. Photos of Labeouf, Douglas or Brolin. Can you help me to find it please. I’m “fond of” the suits in this movie.

  • Ed Kopec

    Where can one purchase high collar shirts like the ones worn by Gordon Gekko in ” Money Never Sleeps”?

  • cynthia

    can you plz tell me who made the purple polka dot tie that michael douglas wore in this movie?

  • Vanessa Garcia

    I am also trying to find out who makes the unique checkered/striped tie that Shia wheres on Wall Street 2… I am having the hardest time and I would greatly appreciate it the help

  • Chris S


    I know this is pretty late but while anticipating the dvd release, I managed to see the film again recently.

    One subtle detail I missed the first time around was Bretton James shirt collar style, I was wondering if Josh Brolin/Bretton James was wearing the ‘Cutaway Collar’ style shirts for the majority of the film and if not could anyone please inform me what style collar they actually where? Thank You!

    • Chris Laverty

      Yes, it is a cutaway collar, referring to how the collar tips are cut away to the sides. They tend to be worn with wider neckties.

  • Alexander M

    Jacob, as a character was well digested by Shia LaBeouf.

    He was immaculately dressed throughout the film; his tie matching was Superb. Hermes tie collections are overall a timeless piece of art. I loved how he dressed to take Winnie out for dinner with Gekko.. His Gucci shoes attracted me straight away. Ever since Gucci leather loafers were accepted nationally for Dress shoes, it does go well with his concept. His Ferragamo bag when he visited Gekko seemed nice? I would like to know more about it.

  • rick

    the tie wore by shia in the movie and all of the ties are andrews ties i have the same exact tie and when i saw the movie my date thought that i had seen it before because of it and mind you i went to the premier

  • Dave

    I am trying to finf out what kind of jeans Shia LaBeouf wore in the Wall Street Movie?

  • Myron C. Merchant

    Where can I get that Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps t-shirt from?

  • Logan

    I’ve been looking for information about the weekender bag that Jake’s character takes to London when he visits Gordon…
    Appreciate any help!

  • AL

    In the scene where Shia visits Michael in London, Gecko has on an awesome dark patterned suit. Anyone know the designer?

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