The designers in residence: Glenn Mallory, Kate Coxworth, Agga Raya, Lidia Wachowska, Yana German, and Kristin Rosynek Hassan
Last night marked the introduction of the Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy's on State Street, part of the Mayor's Fashion Initiative. The CFI provides six emerging designers with work space and office space, curriculum, and mentoring. The Mayor's Fashion Initiative supports and promotes fashion designers living and working in Chicago through events, seminars, and city programs. The CFI furthers that goal by directly supporting the chosen six talented designers, with the hopes that young designers will stay in Chicago and succeed in the fashion industry, without being more or less forced to relocate New York City or Los Angeles. As Mayor Daley explained tonight, "If we are to be a global city, we must keep [fashion designers] here."
The six designers in residence were selected based on their applications, interviews, talent and stage of business development. 6ACE by Glenn Mallory features classically designed garments emphasizing detail, created with leather and other finer quality natural-fiber fabrics. Kate Boggiano by Kate Coxworth is founded on the principles of high quality and tailored fitting blouses and shirts that are manufactured in the USA. AGGA B. by Agga Raya offers clean classic silhouettes with a distinct element of art. Evil Kitty by Lidia Wachowska is based on a mischievous character called Evil Kitty, and offers garments reminiscent of this character as well as more sophisticated looks. YANA Collection by Yana German is elegant, feminine and classic with a modern flair yet a progressive edge. Last but certainly not least, organiK Revolution by Kristin Rosynek Hassan offers organic basics with a twist. organiK Revolution clothing is eco-conscious, multi-occasion appropriate, yet still allows you stand out from the crowd. Carol Calacci and I got the chance to talk with Hassan about her designs and vision, and we are confident organiK Revolution will truly be revolutionary. Unlike previous attempts at designing organic clothing, Hassan has figured out a way to avoid what she referred to as the "hippie look" and actually design desirable, affordable and eye-pleasing garments.
The event took place on the 11th floor of Macy's on State Street, in the space where the designers will be turning their vision into reality. Mayor Daley introduced the designers in residence, followed by Ralph Hughes, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Eternal Affairs of Macy's, who spoke of the importance of the many contributors to the CFI, saying that it "takes collaboration to make anything worth happening actually happen." Emily Frager of Fleishman Hillard was introduced, who along with her team offered public realtions guidance and expertise, as well as Stacie Hartman of Shiff Hardin LLP.
The CFI will provide for one year the tools to build a business, including facilities, professional mentoring, and workshops. The Mayor said he hopes this year long program will result in the "next Ralph Lauren or Donna... Karan". Follow the designers' progress on Comcast On Demand throughout the year. Almost like Project Runway!
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