Age: 45. Claim-to-fame: Director for Fashion and Culinary Programs for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Lives in: Kinzie Industrial Corridor. In focus: This is the 10th anniversary of Fashion Focus CHICago, October 4-12. [It’s] the first fashion week that is primarily community-generated — meaning, the runways and events are hosted by the local industry. There are dozens of runway, selling and educational workshops taking place throughout the city, making it a much bigger event this year, and hopefully more impactful to Chicago’s fashion businesses. Most excited for: Our youth fashion day programs. It’s a combination of workshops and a collaboration with Latino Fashion Week and youth-based organizations called (Pro)jectUs. It’s [about] empowering young and emerging designers. CFDA visit: The Council of Fashion Designers of America — an extremely important organization to designers — is coming to Chicago during Fashion Focus CHICago [for the first time]. Their presence is an incredibly powerful one, because not a lot of Chicago designers are represented on this council. The CFDA gets the conversation started about looking at our designers and what we have to offer. Open call: We posted a call for Fall/Winter 2015 look books sent via email and on social media to designers in Chicago. A jury will select up to 20 designers to speak to a panel of experts, including CFDA [members]. I’m excited about the CFDA seeing Chicago shine. Business savvy: I spent [years] working in IT and finance. I think people are always surprised how adamant I am talking about the business of fashion. Style file: I’m not professing that I’m a fashionista, but when I go out to walk my dog, I can’t go out in just anything. Local loves: [Some of the local designs] I’m looking at are Fourth Is King T-shirts [Fourthisking.com] and Anna Hovet stylized casual wear [Annahovet.com].
For more information on Fashion Focus CHICago, visit Fashionfocuschicago.org.
“I love the pop of color with these bright blue suede heels.” Similar styles available at Etsy: $45; Etsy.com
“I love how [Chicago designer] Lagi created this vintage-inspired silhouette with a neoprene, technical fabric. It’s modern, sophisticated and flatters
my curves.” Lagi Nadeau: Souk pencil skirt, $395; Laginadeau.com
“Don’t let me fool you — I kicked off my BucketFeet sneakers [Bucketfeet.com] right before I walked over.” Similar styles available at Nordstrom: Ivanka Trump Maggie pump, $77.96, 55 E. Grand; Shop.nordstrom.com
Photo by Ramzi Dreessen~Sun-Times SPLASH — Shot on location at The Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy’s on State Street (111 N. State)