Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Design Challenge Results

Congratulations to designer Shelby Steiner for being chosen to have her garment displayed at the Art Institute Museum. 
 Shelby Steiner
Interpretation of “In the Conservatory” by Albert Bartholome (1881)

Lagi Nadeau
Interpretation of “The Millinery Shop” 
    by Edgar Degas (1885) 

Olivia Hwang
Interpretation of “Woman in the garden”     
by Claude Monet (1866)

Agnes Hamerlik
Interpretation of “The Two Sisters” by James Tissot (1863)

Kate Pankoke  
Interpretation of “A Ball” by Jean Beraud (1878)

Takako Yamanaka
Interpretation of “Women of Paris: The Circus Lover” by James Tissot (1885)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"Meet the Buyers" Panel
Chicago Fashion Incubator Public Seminar
  • Michael Blossom, Florodora
  • Helen Yi, Helen Yi
  • Cecelia Meyers, Cake Style

  • What? This diverse panel assembled from local boutiques, online boutiques, and department stores will share their approach to making purchasing decisions and what they look for when approached by designers.

    Thursday, May 30th, 8:30am - 10:00am
    Chicago Fashion Incubator, 111 North State Street, 11th floor, Chicago, IL 60602

    A great oppurtunity to get access to buyers that can be very difficult to reach!

     What you will take away:
  • The buying calendar, when are buyers looking for new products?
  • How and where do buyers source new products?
  • How to approach buyers
  • What to expect after you receive an order

  • Seminar Preview:
    Jane Hamill, Director of Designer Education for CFI and Founder of Fashion Brain Academy, is the moderator of this panel.  The seminar will start by asking each buyer the same question and learn from the different responses. We'll quickly open it up to the audience so you can get YOUR questions answered.

    Do not miss this event!
    Get your tickets here!

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity Design Challenge

    What is the challenge? 

     The CFI designers-in-residence will compete to design a garment inspired by an impressionistic painting. The exhibition will be held at the Art Institute where curator, Gloria Groom will judge the winning piece. The designers will choose one image to influence their design. 

    What image did the designers choose?

    Designer: Lagi Nadeau
    Artist: Edgar Degas
    Art Piece: The Millinery Shop (1879)                   

    "I love the color palette and this was the first piece that spoke to me. After I selected it I realized that being in Louisville for a Kentucky Derby themed trunk show not too long ago may have influenced my pick, I loved seeing ladies selecting their hats to complete their outfit." 

    Lagi was drawn to the colors, details, and pleating of the dress in the piece. She plans to incorporate these elements in her design. 
    Designer: Olivia Hwang 
    Artist: Claude Monet |Art Piece: Women in the Garden (1866)


    "I loved the scenery and the way the lighting hit the white dresses."

    Olivia plans to execute her design in a luxurious form as the picture illustrates. She was inspired by the white extravagant dresses and the detailed black trim. This art piece is perfect for her inspiration as a bridal designer.

    Designer: Shelby Steiner
    Artist: Albert Bartholome | Art Piece: In the Conservatory (1881)

    “I was immediately drawn to the prints; the mixture of polka dots with stripes.”

    Shelby is inspired by the layering and prints of this art piece. In her previous collections she has mastered the idea of mixing prints and modernizing them into her distinctive aesthetic.

    Designer: Katelyn Pankoke
    Artist: Jean Beraud | Art Piece: A Ball (1878)

    "I first noticed of course, beautiful white gown, which inspired me as a bridal designer."

    Katelyn plans to use texture, color, and the depth of the art piece she has chosen. She is inspired by the focal point of her art piece which portrays a woman in a beautiful white dress. 

    Designer: Takako Yamanaka
    Artist: James Tissot| Art Piece: Women of Paris: The Circus Lover (1885)


    "I was drawn to the color because a lot of my pieces are colorful and are detailed."

    Takako was inspired by this piece because of the beautiful color, lace, and fan details; she will use these elements in her design. Her garment will also include a Japenese and western influence.

    Designer: Agnes Hamerlik

    Artist: James Tissot | Art Piece: The Two Sisters (1863)

    "This art piece inspired me because it shows loyalty and connection between sisters."

    Agnes was attracted to the emotional elements of this picture. She was also inspired by the muted color pallet and the sisterhood theme; she plans to incorporate these inspirations in her design.

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013

    Shelby Steiner Shows her Collection at Dovetail

    Dovetail Chicago represents CFI designer Shelby Steiner's 
    2013 summer collectionDovetail features "Stuff that’s handpicked with love. Stuff that you’re excited to own. Stuff that will last you for decades to come". 

    Shelby’s inspiration for this collection was the tragic event that occurred in South Africa where there was a loss of 1,600 rhinos. Her collection exhibits, “Intricate custom patterns with manipulated imagery of rhino skeletal structures were carefully crafted by the designer in a kaleidoscopic form.”

    Summer 2013

     Event Information:

    When? Friday, May 3rd, 2013 | 7PM-10PM
    Where? Dovetail, 1452 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60642
    Visit Shelby:

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    CFI Designer Lagi Nadeau Packs Her Bags and Heads to Nashville

    CFI designer, Lagi Nadeau showcased her Fall 2013 collection in the Nashville Fashion Week. From a review from The Tennessean the Nashville fashion show was a mix of "beautiful, sexy, feminine, edgy, charming, cutting edge and wearable." Her collection consisted of whimsical prints and fantasy knits.  Lagi is now caring her women's collection and jewelry at Jamie Inc, a luxury boutique in Nashville, TN.
    Lagi Nadeau at Nashville Fashion Show
    To see a sneak peak of Lagi visit:

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    CFI Designers + Columbia College Students = Business

    Columbia College Students collaborate with the CFI designers to help them with the business aspects of their collections.

    Columbia College Students with Designer, Olivia Hwang
    Each designer is grouped with 2-3 students. The Columbia Students are seniors who are educated in the business side of the fashion industry. The groups meet weekly to discuss marketing plans, social media skills, and other key business tools.

    This is a great oppurtunity for the designers and students! They have the oppurtunity to learn the designing and business side of the fashion industry.

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    CFI Collaborates with the International Vintage Poster Fair

     (See below for details)

    The International Vintage Poster Fair highlights original works of art in fashion advertising. This years exhibit consisted of vintage fashion posters, titled "Dressed to Sell"

    The event was held at Chicago Cultural Center this past Friday night. The International Vintage Poster Fair held an exclusive preview party benefiting CFI designers. The designers had an enjoyable experience at the party! They were able to network while appreciating fashion, art, and cocktails. 

    (See more pictures from this event below)

    Designers: (left to right) Shelby Steiner, Olivia Hwang, and Takako Yamanaka

    Designer: Katelyn Pankoke and Fiance

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Introducing the 2013 Designers-in-Residence!

    Has another year past already?  It is once again time to welcome in a new group of designers into the CFI Program, we could not be more excited!  Read all about the great new talents below!

    2013 Designers-in-Residence:

    Agnes Hamerlik
    Agnes Hamerlik is an artist and fashion designer currently living in Chicago. Hamerlik graduated cum laude from Columbia College in Spring 2012 earning a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in fashion design. She has a fine art, surreal and avant-garde style to her work. Hamerlik has a couture approach to garments based on quality of the product, fine fabrication, craftsmanship, innovative construction and limited edition pieces focusing on luxury eveningwear and high end contemporary women's wear. http://agneshamerlik.virb.com/contact

    Olivia Hwang
    Olivia Hwang’s interest in bridal design started when she was a child looking at fine lace and delicate lingerie wear at her father’s lingerie shop in Seoul, Korea. Hwang studied fashion design and construction and graduated with honors from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She worked as a bridal gown designer in New York and New Jersey, but has returned to Chicago to start her own bridal line. She describes the collection as timeless couture gowns that combine tradition with current fashions utilizing silks, French lace, and embroidery of the highest quality. Hwang’s collection is conservative and classic yet, unique in that customers have flexibility in the styling of their own bridal looks to reveal and enhance beauty and personality. Hwang does not have a website at this time.

    Lagi Nadeau
    Lagilelei Nadeau was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York and Michigan State University for fashion design. While attending FIT, she interned with Nicole Romano, later working as an assistant fashion designer at Tahari and then Ammara. In 2010, she launched the Lagi Nadeau jewelry collection which has been featured in Marie Claire, Vogue Knitting, Sugarlaws; and has accessorized fashion collections such as Kay Unger and Phoebe Couture. The Lagi Nadeau label will expand into an inaugural womenswear line with the launch of her Spring 2013 collection which blends high-end sophistication with a dash of edge. http://laginadeau.com/

    Katelyn Pankoke
    Katelyn Pankoke moved to Chicago after receiving her Bachelor's degree from Florida State University in Apparel Design and Technology. She launched her bridal line, Elaya Vaughn Bridal in November of 2011. Pankoke then went on to become a contestant on the current season of Project Runway (Season 11). Pankoke’s passion for bridal stems from a love of all things glamorous. She describes her design aesthetic as artful femininity. A dream element of whimsy is apparent in her designs, from lighter than air tiers of Silk organza to crystal encrusted bodices. http://www.elayavaughn.com/Elaya_Vaughn_Home.html

    Shelby Steiner
    Shelby Steiner draws inspiration from all things in life with the intent to bring awareness and better humanity. Steiner’s vision for transforming the traditional role of a designer, by combining activism for change, is seen each season through authentic print designs and signature styling that includes heavy layering and mixed media. Whether the inspiration is derived from a controversial subject matter or simply something beautiful that people need to pay more attention to, she aims to bring awareness through fashion. http://shelbysteiner.com/

    Takako Yamanaka
    Takako Yamanaka was born and raised in a family of artists; educated in Japan and the United States. Yamanaka studied fashion design in Tokyo and later in New York. She worked for a variety of garment and accessories companies, including making costumes for dance companies and artists. Being exposed to both the Eastern simplicity with Western sensitivity, Yamanaka draws inspirations from both cultures reflected in her avant guard style. Having a great respect for craftsmanship of design has always been an integral part of her life and work. Yamanaka does not have a website at this time. 

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    Incubator Designers Take on New York City

    A few weeks ago, Macy's provided our designers with a WONDERFUL opportunity: to fly to New York City, have lunch with the head of Macy's, Terry Lundgren, and visit Tommy Hilfiger in his showroom!

    Read all about the designer's adventure first hand on Lagi Nadeau's Blog!