Friday, March 18, 2011

LAUNCH/CFI Party: New DIR Introduced!

LAUNCH/CFI was a smash hit success!  For all of those in attendance, we are thrilled that you could join us!  For those who couldn't be there, words can not explain the amazing displays of fashion that were present, but we'll do our best to set the scene:  
Located on the 5th floor of 900 N. Michigan Shops, the annual CFI  pop up shop was the perfect back drop to showcase the fantastic designs from both alumni designers and our new Designers in Residence (DIR) all while raising funds for our incredible organization. 

Guests sipped on their choice of refreshing cocktails from Svedka along with a variety of flavors from vitaminwater and vitaminwaterzero served by Blue Plate CateringKIND Snacks were paired with Barefoot Wines along with tasty bites provided by Frankie's Scaloppine and treats from King Cafe.  A lucky group of  Gilt City Gives ticket holders were able to shop the store and meet the designers before a crowd of over 350 of Chicago's fashion media and industry insiders came to celebrate.  A chic crowd added to the the visually spectacular main event: the CFI garments.  To put it plainly: the level of sartorial perfection was at an all time high.
Equally as exciting as the aesthetic of the designs sported by FORD models cat walking around the pop up shop, was the formal introduction of our new class of DIR:

From left to right: Shavonne Dorsey, Eric Kipp, Concetta Cipriano, Kahindo Mateene , Taneasha Prunty, Crystal Simms  (Refinery29 profiled our fabulous new DIR!)
To say the LAUNCH/CFI attendees took an intense interest in the designers' original pieces would be an understatement!  The new DIR hit a fashion home run---three cheers for CFI!  Congratulations to our six new Designers in Residence: we are so proud of you and look forward to your great success to come!

Over all the LAUNCH/CFI event was an enormous success and there is only more fashionable entertainment to come: exclusive trunk shows, fashion shows and other fabulous events.  If you are looking for a more low key but equally fashionable outing?  Perhaps to shop or browse beautiful, chicago based lines?  The pop up shop is open on Thursday through Sunday for your shopping pleasure.  See the below CFI pop up shop calendar for special events and store hours.

Insiders tip:  In the upcoming weeks, we will give you the opportunity to get a closer look at these talented new scene stealers.  Designer Biography pieces will give readers a bit of a background of the designers, as well as an inside peek at each line and collection.  Should be a sartorial treat!

ALSO:  check out Fox Chicago interview with our very own Lara Miller and CFI Alumni Kate Coxworth!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Partners in Fashion Crime

In keeping with our Chicago community based mission, we eagerly jumped at the chance to partner with Columbia College’s Fashion Studies Department.  

Only being a few weeks into their Chicago Fashion Incubator experience, our six Designers in Residence have the incredible opportunity to pair with Columbia students enrolled in a course titled “Decision Making: Fashion Management.”  This class focuses on the fundamentals of critical business decision making that are necessary in developing a competitive edge in today’s fashion/retail business market.  Groups of three to four students pair with one of the six CFI designers to perfect the designers’ business plan.  At the semester’s end, the student teams will give presentations highlighting the most relevant needs of their field work. This symbiotic relationship offers designers the benefit of Columbia’s academic influence, while simultaneously giving the students the opportunity to get hands on experience in the fashion/retail industry.  

Good luck to both our CFI designers and Columbia students---can’t wait to see the finished product!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March 15th - Meet the 2011 Designers at Launch/CFI!

2011 Launch/CFI invite 

Click on the invite above or here to purchase tickets


And be sure to save the dates for a month of full of shopping and shows! 


 2011 Launch/CFI Events Calendar

Lara Miller

The Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy's on State Street


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The Chicago Fashion Incubator | 111 N. State Street 11th Floor | Chicago | IL | 60602

Designers in Residence Move Into CFI Studio

Exciting new changes are under way at the Chicago Fashion Incubator!  Just this morning, our fresh faced and bushy tailed 2011 Designers in Residence stepped into the studio.  The smell of freshly cut fabrics filling the air, sewing machines waiting patiently to be used, and brilliant ideas of beautifully tailored jackets and exquisite gowns bounce in the heads of our newly formed group.  The clean and open work room awaits!


Our 2011 Designers in Residence (DIR) have been chosen and we are so happy to start a new chapter with them under our beautifully feathered wing!  The six new designers will be given the opportunity to learn the economics, marketing and merchandising of fashion from industry experts as well as mentors from Macy’s and the broader fashion community. 

To celebrate the exciting new additions to our team, CFI will partner with the 900 North Michigan Shops on a pop-up shop to showcase the achievements of the alumni designers and to announce the next DIR through a dedicated retail store and series of exclusive events and trunk shows.  The pop-up shop will spotlight CFI designers from the last four years starting on Thursday, March 17 through Saturday, April 23, 2011 and will be located on Level 5 of the 900 North Michigan Shops.  The pop-up shop hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each Thursday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
The new class of designers will be be formally announced at the kick off opening LAUNCH/CFI, a fundraiser and reception, on Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. in the pop up shop.  To purchase tickets (at $25) for LAUNCH/CFI, please visit   Another sartorial treat to look forward to at LAUNCH/CFI, will be the limited edition soy, organic, cotton blend “Made in Chicago” t-shirt with a graphic design by Associate Designer Brandon Breaux of Ends Wealth Corp.  Available for purchase during the five week long pop up shop, only 170 t-shirts will be issued with all proceeds from the $35 garment benefiting CFI.
LAUNCH/CFI will be an event you won’t want to miss---Refinery29 agrees!  Come out and indulge in the creativity and brilliant design that is The Chicago Fashion Incubator.  Join us for an evening of fashion and fun---hope to see you there!