Chicago fashion has made some serious headway over the years. With the emergence of fabulous boutiques, high-end designer storefronts, fashion-tech start ups, and up-and-coming designers, we think it’s pretty safe to say that Chicago has put itself on the map. And it’s no doubt that the School of Art Institute of Chicago has played a major role.
We’re excited to share a little Q&A with the WALK’s Co-Chair, Roopa Weber, who is helping put on Fashion 2013, the school’s 79th annual fashion show happening this Friday, May 3rd! The show will feature more than 300 original pieces created by undergraduate students from SAIC’s internationally renowned Fashion Design program. Distinguished alumni include numerous designers we all know (and love) including: Halston, Cynthia Rowley, Maria Pinto, and Lawrence Steele. We have no doubt that several of these students will go on and have a great careers. Take a peek below at our Q&A with the fabulous Roopa. We have a feeling you will enjoy reading her responses and part-take in supporting Chicago fashion!
How did you get involved with the WALK?
I’m on the board of the Gene Siskel Film Center, which is apart of the SAIC. The board Chair, Ellen Sandor, my dear friend facilitated an introduction to be on the fashion committee in 2010. It was love at first site. I was enthralled with the talent of our students, our terrific committee members and the renowned Nick Cave, who was the chair of the fashion department at the time. Everything just fell into place and now I am co-charing the WALK 2013, our annual fashion show and benefit gala. I am so proud to be involved with SAIC and it’s fashion department - we’re excited for this year’s show, which we hope is one of the best yet so that we can raise scholarship dollars for students in the fashion program.
What should attendees expect on Friday at the Fashion Shows?
Expect the unexpected. It will be sensory overload with over 250 garments all designed by our students in the fashion program. There’s always such great energy and excitement in the room because our patrons are huge supporters of our efforts and students. The high profile event attracts an interesting, eclectic crowd, who all share a love for fashion. The hour-long production has a very professional feel no less - Creative Director Conrad Hamather is now in his third year producing the show in Millennium Park; we have enlisted Michiel Helbig of Antwerp to do the sound design; backstage talent coordination will be handled by Shane Gabier of Creatures of the Wind; hair by ULTA Beauty and make-up by Maybelline New York will be stunning; and the models from Factor Runway have incredible talent. It has the makings of a true runway show and something for everyone. There’s nothing else like it in Chicago!
How do you think Chicago fashion has evolved?
Fashion is taking hold in Chicago like never before. We are especially lucky to have such amazing talent and incredible support from our major cultural institutions. For example, 140,000 visitors attended Fashioning the Object at the Art Institute last spring and summer, and Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity will be this summer’s blockbuster at the Art Institute. SAIC alumna Maria Pinto’s exhibition Fashion and the Field Museum is enjoying a 9-month run right now. The Chicago History Museum’s Inspiring Beauty exhibition about the Ebony Fashion Fair is on view until next year. We have Ikram Goldman, a fellow fashion committee member, who has taken fashion to another level here. We have access to some of the best shopping and designers, which I think will just get better and better. However, we need the community to support us to make progress and better position Chicago as a fashion hub. We want to make our great city a place where people come and STAY to work in fashion.
What’s your favorite part about Chicago fashion?
Chicago fashion is accessible, versatile and embraces each person’s individuality. There are, of course, high-end options but we have lots of stores, boutiques and markets that give people choices to still look great at affordable prices. And fashion is all about how you put something together. That’s why SAIC’s runway show is so fantastic. It makes you think about styling in a way you had never thought of before. I love having the change of seasons and the versatility it provides. I love layering as well so Chicago is a perfect pace to do that. Lastly, it’s also great having a friend who is a stylist, Teri Tkachuk, a fellow fashion committee member. She has an amazing eye and sense of style - her creativity inspires me and keeps me current.
What is some advice you would give twenty-something’s on wanting to break into the fashion industry?
Stay true to who you are, be curious, and don’t be afraid to challenge the boundaries. As Steve Jobs once said, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
Tickets for Fashion 2013 are available now and can be purchased here or at the door May 3rd.
In case you haven’t noticed, we have spring shoes on the mind quite a bit! And this weekend we’ll be shopping for a good cause. From Friday, May 3rd to Sunday, May 5th Coach (625 Michigan Ave) will make a 10% donation to the Step Up Women’s Program for every pair of shoes purchased! The non-profit membership organization is dedicated to igniting women and girls to fulfill their full potential. Although we’d like a pair of each, we’ve narrowed down our top 5 picks. Take a peek and happy shopping! Xo - GOLP
There are some wardrobe staples, you simply just can’t get around. Insert: the ballet flat. Over the years, ballet flats have taken on numerous forms and styles including this season, the d’Orsay flat! Spotted on celebrities and street style stars alike, these flats are quickly becoming the hottest style in footwear. We’ve picked a few of our favorites to help you snag a pair. Happy Shopping! Xo - GOLP
Name: Erica Bethe Levin
Title: CEO & Editor-In-Chief, CheekyChicago.com
Neighborhood: East Lakeview/Boystown
Name: Jessica Zweig
Title: President & Co-Founder of CheekyChicago.com
Neighborhood: River West
1. Favorite Street Style Start:
Erica: My BFF Stephanie Miller who now lives in NYC as the Social Media Director of SELF Magazine, has the best style - street or otherwise - out of anyone I know.
Jessica: Lynne Bredfeldt. I’ve never seen that girl (also one of my best friends) look anything less than absolutely chic. She’s the best dressed person I know.
2. Trend You’re Loving For Spring:
Erica: I bought a pair of 80’s inspired Joe’s jeans that are floral. My boyfriend laughed because he remembers the FIRST time they were in style!
Jessica: Emerald Green as the pantone color for spring. It’s actually my favorite color ever - so I’m really happy 2013 caught on!
3. On Repeat:
Erica: Since it’s still cool out, my leggings with leather patches.
Jessica: “I Love It” by Icona Pop and everything Cut Copy.
4. Bucket List:
Erica: Probably like most people, to travel the world, inside and out. That would be number one.
Jessica: Traveling to Dubai, Bali and Buenos Aires. Taking Cheeky national. Finally doing a handstand in yoga. Being a mom to a puppy.
5. Dinner Party Guest List:
Erica: I recently met with Christie Hefner and I think she’s one of the Cheekiest women I’ve ever met. I’d love to have her over for dinner.
Jessica: My closest friends. There’s nothing more important to me than my friends. I recently threw a house party and invited: James Goeke, Lisa Frame, Megan Taylor, Hedy Dietzen, Lynne Bredfeldt, Kevin Aeh, Erica Levin, PJ Monson and Rodelio Aglibot.
6. What’s On Your Bar Cart:
Erica: The better question is..What’s NOT on my bar cart?
Jessica: Casa Azul Tequila, a bottle of Moet, cans of Sofia, a bottle of something Skinnygirl, a bevy of red and white wines from Trader Joes and my champagne flutes with Cheeky logo engravings.
7. Can’t Live Without:
Erica: My teacup Yorkie, Pippin and my computer.
Jessica: My boyfriend, Brian.
8. What Every Girl Must Have In Their Closet:
Erica: A really spacious shoe rack.
Jessica: Accessories. Stackable bracelets, cocktail rings, statement necklaces, cool clutches and fun shoes. you can wear the same outfit a zillion different ways with the right accessories. Also, I’m a fan of top layers: coats are key. A classic peacoat for winter and a quality trench for spring are must-haves.
9. Top Three Beauty Products:
Jessica: NARS “glow stick” called Casablanca, Skin Authority Face Wash and BioCare NeoCutis Stem Cell Eye Cream.
10. Date Night:
Erica: Riccardo Trattoria or our couch.
Jessica: Volare. It was my frist date spot with Brian and we go there on a regular basis now. It’s straight out of the Sopranos, but a Chicago style crowd, incredible food and a packed house every night of the week.
11. Words To Live By:
Erica: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women.”
Jessica: Girls - Be nice to each other. If we were, we could rule the world.
12. Chicago Boutique:
Erica: Sofia Vintage
Jessica: Edith Hart in Bucktown. Amazing European and Australian Indie designers meet insane pricing with incredibly warm service - basically unheard of but it exists at Edit Hart.
Erica: Narcisco Rodriguez (the black bottle). I once got on the bus and the bus driver said, “Damn girl, you make my bus smell good.” I knew I had something there.
Jessica: Instagram. I’m obsessed and I’m proud of it. Follow my randomness @CheekyJessica.
15. If you could meet any designer, it would be:
Erica: The late, great, Alexander McQueen.
Jessica: I actually already met her: Betsey Johnson at an airport in Mexico and she was quite possibly the coolest, nicest, most down-to-earth woman ever. Eccentric people are my favorite kind of people.
16. Coffee Table Staple:
Erica: People magazine.
Jessica: My Voluspa candles, glass blown coasters from the Old Town Art Fair and a Time Out Chicago Magazine
17. Pinterest Board:
Erica: Food, drinks, desserts and more food.
Jessica: I’m actually more into home decor lately than the clothes in my closet. Hence, my Sanctuary Home Board.
Erica: I lived in Lincoln Park for almost a decade, and it’s still my favorite, but I LOVE Boystown as well.
Jessica: I live in River West now with my boyfriend but I lived in Old Town for over four years. I will always be an Old Town girl at heart. It’s my favorite neighborhood in Chicago.
19. Chicago Restaurant:
Erica: I cannot choose just one, I simply can’t.
Jessica: Darado in Lincoln Square. It’s the epitome of the hidden gem. A BYOB Mexican/French fusion restaurant in Lincoln Square. It’s been my favorite for all the years I’ve lived in Chicago and always will be.
There’s nothing like New York City, so it’s only natural that GOLP officially expands to the Big Apple! We are so excited to bring you new, under-the-radar discoveries in the SoHo neighborhood of New York just like we have for Lincoln Park, Chicago.
SoHo, also known as South of Houston, is historially known for being the home to lofts of local artists and art galleries but has grown to be one of the largest shopping mecca’s in New York City. We will still keep all things GOLP but as you see to the left, we’ve added a SoHo Edition tab. So set your RSS feeds, add thegirlsofsoho.com to your Bloglovin’, and let’s get to shopping. We look forward to this new and exciting adventure and hope you will join us for the ride! Xo - GOLP
You know we love a good print shop so when Chicago native, Kerry Kobe, emailed us introducing her oh-so-adorable line, Sweet Sanity, we were completely on board! In addition to her print shop, Kerry also specializes in sweet stickies…personalized adhesive stickers to adorn the many frills at your wedding or party! Her goal is to make her clients lives a bit more ‘sane’ (and creative) when it comes to event planning! Currently there are two variations of prints available (see below) on her Etsy shop that come in numerous color variations! For more information and contact, check out SweetSanityDesigns.com! Xo - GOLP