(L to R): Jonnie Rettele, Leah Fagan, Stephanie Kuhr,
Donaldo Smith, Miriam Cecilia Carlson, & Christina Fan
The 900 Shops hosted an inspiring event to announce the six talented individuals that were chosen to be this year’s designers inducted into the Chicago Fashion Incubator. A space on the 5th floor of the 900 Shops was set up to showcase the work of past CFI designers and to introduce Chicago to the next class. I attended with Paige Peterson to meet and greet the designers that will be getting a lot of attention in the coming months. As part of the Chicago Fashion Incubator, each designer will have the opportunity to learn the economics, marketing, and merchandising that goes into developing a collection. Throughout the experience, they will have the support of industry experts, mentors from Macy's, and the broader fashion community. This opportunity is truly one-of-a-kind for these individuals and is proof of the hard work, dedication, and vision that it takes to be a successful designer.
The 2010 Designers in Residence and their lines:
*Christina Fan - C/FAN is the marriage of menswear inspired details, such as pocket squares, and feminine silhouettes, which creates a line that is extremely versatile, high quality, yet still affordable.*Donaldo Smith - Killian Gui is a contemporary menswear brand that masters the blend of elegant business attire with modern casual wear.
*Jonnie Rettele - Nonnie Threads is a result of early-mid 1900's inspiration, merged with a modern semblance. She is motivated by men's desire for functionality, fit, and ambition for modernity.
*Leah Fagan - PELOTON features Leah's trademark look; well-crafted separates, innovative details that are casual, yet polished, and, most importantly, a fabulously comfortable fit.*Miriam Cecilia Carlson - M.C.C. features draped and manipulated fabric inspired by ideas and thoughts of life.
*Stephanie Kuhr - Dottie’s Designs is a line of vintage-inspired lingerie and foundation wear, under the name Dottie's Delights.I had a chance to meet each of the designers and was truly impressed by their collections. They all showed a sense of maturity in their designs and an attention to the needs of the ready-to-wear consumer—which is an important aspect of fashion. But, making it into the CFI is just the first step—the hard work lies ahead for these talented Chicago faces. Whatever the outcome of their future, we will all be watching closely to see what these designers are made of. My very best goes to each and every 2010 CFI designer...Chicago's rootin' for ya!
p.s. Want to get a look at the collections for yourself? Check the hours below for the pop-up shop, located in the 900 Shops, 5th Floor—and get over to support your local Chicago designers!
**Store hours: Starting Thursday, March 18th, the retail store will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each Thursday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.**
Myself and Paige Peterson: