Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Style Tribe Sports C/FAN and Zamrie

Young fashion darlings of local Chicago blog The Style Tribe indulged in a shopping spree at our LAUNCH/CFI pop up shop---and came out covered in C/Fan and Zamrie, lines of our beloved past DIR members Christina Fan and Ashley Zygmunt, respectively.  Take a peek at what Nicole, one of the 5 Style Tribe girls, chose to play dress up with!

Image via The Style Tribe


The Chicago Fashion Incubator is taking the world by storm!  With our sartorial machine's success gaining steam, we are pleased to see that the media has taken an interest in us---call us the einstein of the fashion and retail industry!  We were the subject of an article written by an organization called Changing Gears.

Changing Gears is a public media project interested in exploring the economic transformation of the industrial Midwest, through the stories of people driving and experiencing this change.  Our Executive Director Lara Miller was interviewed for the article, as was past DIR Stephanie Kuhr (creative mind behind her line Dottie's Delights) and Donaldo Smith (main man of his brand Killian Gui).    

Happy to have been recognized---read up

CS Praises Pop Up Shop Opening

For the fashion minded Chicagoan, one knows to, nay takes pleasure to, page through the current month's Chicago Social Magazine.  Well you can imagine our delight when skimming through CS's coverage of art affairs, cultural celebrations and socialite soirees, we saw our very own fashionable festivity!  With compliments galore (gosh're making us blush!), take a look at the LAUNCH Pop Up Shop Opening rave review in the June 2011 edition of Chicago Social.

The Salon Series: Lara Miller

We at CFI, are not one to brag, BUT when one of our own has a special event---we like to shower them with attention!  On Monday, June 27th, The Salon Series will be featuring CFI's Executive Director Lara Miller for an exclusive dinner soiree in Wrigleyville.  The series will spotlight the limited, oversized bamboo/organic cotton blend scarf collection created out of the brilliant collaboration between Lara Miller and JC Steinbrunner---the founder of The Salon Series.  Each individual scarf from the collection will be hand-silk screened with Miller and Steinbrunner's sketches and will come to life in the following colors: sage, dusk red, cream, light blue, and dark blue. The evening will kick off with refreshing bubbly, a to-die-for trunkshow, AND a reduced 30% off on specials and special orders on the 2011 hand-loomed collections.   The event will open the floor to guest of honor: Lara will offer a discussion of her inspirations and goals, as well as the hard knocks of being a Windy City designer.  The stylishly subtle affair already has a hot following with Racked Chicago and Refinery29...

CFI Public Open House

Exciting news, my eager readers: July 28th, we are opening our studio doors to the public for a peek behind the CFI curtain!  Join us this Thursday evening and see how the Chicago Fashion Incubator machine operates....or should I say creates!  Come see the space that serves as the drawing board for fashion innovation!  Get up close and personal with our DIR: have a chat about their process, see their sketches come to life, and view the garments they have so masterfully created.  It should be an afternoon of fashion and fun so be sure not to miss it, we'd love to see you there!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Four P's

Prada, Pucci, Proenza, Posen.....?  Can't keep a girl from dreaming.

Sorry to break your fashion concentrated hearts, dear readers, but today, the four P's in question are not rooted in the above mentioned immaculate design houses.  Instead, they refer to the four essential P's in fashion and retail marketing: Product. Place. Price. Promotion.  Although these elements may not be as aesthetically pleasing as Prada's fall runway collection, they are still an exciting key to success in the industry!

The idea of the P's came from Nicole Rehyle of, a boutique blog and support firm for retailers and wholesalers.  She explains the four P's presence (excuse the alliteration) in the industry as well as four other factors that play into fashion credibility.  To get the whole story from the horse's mouth (and in this case, the horse is a zebra sporting this season's chic stripes), read Nicole's piece and apply those P's to your fashion dreams!

A Blog About A Blog

Hello! This is Katelyn Finn, I'll be blogging for the Chicago Fashion Incubator a bit this summer!

With social media invading our thoughts, and every answer to every question imaginable at our internet capable finger tips, I have to beg the question:  how does a fashion designer take advantage of this online marketplace?

As I was writing my daily submission....POW!  The idea was right under my nose (literally and figuratively) : a blog would serve as the perfect vehicle to both establish and further promote an emerging designer with his or her line.  Agreeing with me on this point is Jane Hamill, a Chicago fashion professional herself.  She is the founder of Jane Hamill Consulting which is a firm that works with fashion designer companies on the business side of things. On her own blog, Jane spotlighted the DOs and DON'Ts  of the operational management of a fashion design blog written by Erika Gimbel, a Chicago freelance writer.  Take care to study these helpful tips, my fashion forward readers!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Breakfast

As they say, "the early bird gets the worm....", but in this case, we should say: "the early bird gets a fabulous fashion preview"!  This morning at the Hilton Chicago, our current DIR and past CFI alumni designers had the opportunity to showcase their pieces on the the runway at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Breakfast.  The event, themed "Chicago: The Great Global Marketplace", highlighted the city's business driven creativity and innovation.  The keynote speaker of this event was Macy's Chairman, President and CEO: Terry Lundgren who was being honored for his dedication and innovation in the retail industry.  Another attendee, our city's Mayor Rahm Emanuel, spoke on issues in the Chicagoland business arena as well.  CFI is honored to be apart of such an exciting Chicago event!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Designer Bio: Shavonne Dorsey

Last but not least, our sixth 2011 Designer in Residence is Shavonne Dorsey of Shavonne Dorsey Apparel.  Described as simple and powerfully feminine, the Shavonne Dorsey collection specializes in fashion and fit for the plus size market. Each Shavonne Dorsey design reflects the elements of a stylish, opulent and classy woman. The line features perfectly fitted sheath dresses available in a wide range of sizes. Timeless, classic designs are updated with special details that add a twist of originality, essential to making the Shavonne Dorsey customer feel special.  Be sure to take a look at the beautiful collection at

Designer Bio: Kahindo Mateene

Continuing with our study of CFI Designers in Residence, the next designer to keep a eye on is Kahindo Mateene.   A graduate of the Illinois Institute of Art – Fashion Design Program, she is influenced by the dichotomy of her vibrant African heritage fused with western design sensibilities. The brightly colorful African print is the signature of Modahnik, the designs are modern, feminine and visually appealing with an underlying sexiness.  Modahnik has a socially conscious mission at its core: to produce in Africa using fair trade practices.  Indulge in the Modahnik experience at

Designer Bio: Eric Kipp

A modern perspective to classic menswear with a commitment to quality and U.S. manufacturing, Eric’s line focuses on sharply tailored suits and separates that easily transition from office to evening. Eric is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. His extensive experience in a wide range of menswear was a platform for launching his custom tailored clothing company in Chicago. Eric is using his residency at CFI as a launching pad for a new ready-to-wear line. Browse over the fine suits of Eric Kipp Custom Clothiers and get the latest news about his new collection at

Designer Bio: Crystal Simms

Wanting to learn every in and out of the fashion industry, Crystal Simms (our designer of the day), graduated from The International Academy of Design and Technology in our own fair city.  Upon graduating, Crystal wanted to continue her path in design and began working for a prestigious Chicago based couture house.  After gaining valuable experience in the field, she established her own line, Crystal B. Designs.  Embracing the female figure, Crystal B. Designs fuses architectural form with a womanly silhouette to create a garment nothing short of amazing. Check out her designs at

Designer Bio: Concetta Ciapriano

As promised, we continue our profiles of the 2011 Designers in Residence at the Chicago Fashion Incubator.  Our next designer in question has had, what you could describe as, a lifelong love affair with the art of design.  Concetta Cipriano is utterly fascinated with the concept of transforming a simple yet metamorphic piece of fabric into a fully developed work of art.  Cipriano's pieces strive to express the delicate balance between between femininity and structure,  between intricacy and simplicity.  Her line, titled Cettina, is an aesthetically pleasant equilibrium of strength and beauty---the same elements the embody the women she designs for.  To view more of her sartorial creations, visit her website:

Designers in Residence Bio's: Taneasha Prunty

The Chicago Fashion Incubator at the Macy's on State serves as home to six highly talented and innovative designers.  With fall fashion season in full swing, it is only natural to give you an insider's look to the world of our blooming designers.  Today's show stopper is Taneasha Prunty: the creative mind behind her line, Gidi.
After studying finance at UIC, Taneasha decided to follow her passion and try her hand at designing elegant evening wear for the sophisticated woman.  Running with her idea  that every woman should invest in classic staples, Taneasha created a line that provides timeless beauty, or as she calls it "relaxed couture."  Aesthetically, she connects the subtle sophistication of vintage with the modern flair of the contemporary.  With such a striking appeal, the impression of her line is always unforgettable. Be sure to take a peek at the exciting new evening wear line, Gidi: