Chicago Designers travel to 'EMERGE!' at NYC's Fall Fashion Week

Thursday, 06 September 2012 18:36 Written by  Iya Bakare

Designers Nicole Harry, Shelly Patoff-Becker and Taneasha Prunty will head to the East Coast this week to represent Chicago at one of the social events of both the season and the year. On September 11, these ladies will showcase their 2013 collections in NYC’s Fall Fashion Week’s EMERGE! Show, which features the work of up-and-coming designers from all over the country. This season, Taneasha’s clothing line GIDI was selected from Chicago, and she chose Nicole Designs All and Three Hearts Boutique to accessorize her garments.

“This is a great opportunity to show Chicago has a reputable fashion hub and we have great designers here,” Taneasha comments.

The Chicago native says she recognized fashion as a part of her life at an early age, but it was fueled by her mother, who is a seamstress and aspired to design her own line. At the age of five, Taneasha says she learned to sew. Both of her parents cultivated her talent and encouraged her vision. With a father as an entrepreneur, Taneasha adds her parents instilled the significance of a great work ethic in her. As homage to her mother who inspired her to pursue her dream, The Chicago Fashion Incubator graduate says her mother named Taneasha’s line GIDI.

Influenced by periods of time, the Chicago designer says her designs celebrate the curves of a woman in an elegant and sophisticated way, much like pieces from the 1940s and 1950s.

“My design aesthetic is not to be the next trendy designer, but to create timeless, classic and redefined pieces,” Taneasha adds. “I want to create investment pieces and essentials of the wardrobe, along with sexy, but appropriate silhouettes.”

Nicole Designs All’s bold statement pieces and 3 Heart Boutique’s black and blue diamonds will adorn GIDI apparel as it hits the runway for the Who’s Who in fashion to see. Both Nicole and Shelly’s pieces will make a second appearance at NYC’s Fashion Week. Pieces of 3 Hearts Boutique were in last season’s show. Nicole’s first stint was at the 2012 Spring Show, which accompanied Chicago’s GOCA Designs line at the EMERGE! Show.

“With my work, I intertwine wire to create organic designs and shapes,” Nicole comments. “I want to disturb perfection in my pieces to create beautiful jewelry.”

The Rhode Island native says she moved to Chicago in 2002 and stayed upon graduation from The Harrington College of Design in 2007 to pursue her career as an interior designer. With aspirations to own her own business, Nicole discovered her entrepreneur spirit and ability to sell her own jewelry when the interior design company where she worked closed its doors in 2008.

“I learned so much from them [AHA Designs] when I worked there,” the jewelry designer adds. “God blessed me with this talent and let me know what I had to do and what was next for me.”

Like Nicole, after three years, Shelly and her sister Molly continue to share their passion for giving back and supporting Chicago through their jewelry business.

“It’s not just about jewelry, it’s about giving back,” Shelly comments. “We [Molly and I] love helping others, and we love celebrating other women.”

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare, GMO's managing editor, earned both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in print journalism. She earned her B.A. from Delta State University with a minor in English and graduated with a M.A. degree from Columbia College Chicago. In her spare time, the Chicago native continues to freelance and ponder ways to both inform and improve her community one story at a time.

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