Chicago Focuses on Creative Ways to Tap into the Fashion World

Friday, 29 October 2010 10:59 Written by  Iya Bakare

Chicago ripped the runway this fall as Fashion Week breezed into the city. Local designers, retailers and other fashion promoters collaborated to celebrate the fashion industry in Chicago and the work of emerging, established and aspiring designers.


7thMarket, a company in Chicago that focuses on establishing up-and-coming designers, produced a Pop Up Shop in the city’s Wicker Park neighborhood for the creative lounge CHICAGO’s one-year anniversary festivities, inspired by TOYOTA prior to Fashion Week. Festivities included workshops, a fashion show and an opportunity for local designers to display and sell their pieces. Some of the local designers featured in the Pop Up Shop include Agga B., Anna Fong, Ashley Scott of DRAPES and Lidia Wachowska of Evil Kitty. 

Although the agency is local, Director of Brand Development Kortnee Quiza says 7thMarket provides a platform for designers to connect with consumers on a global scale.

“It wasn’t until ultimately owning a boutique we recognized the challenges that new designers face entering the competitive market,” comments Quiza. “We are abreast of the issues independent designers face when trying to gain exposure and position themselves in the creative market alongside larger companies. It’s important to accommodate designers and artists no matter the size of their company or budget. We aim to provide and execute creative action plans in the effort of achieving their goals.”


Tiffiny Miller, CEO of Lo. Ve. T. Miller, produced a fashion show, “Fashion Relief,” during Chicago’s Fashion Week in efforts to raise funds for the Gulf Relief Foundation.

“It saddens me how we live on this earth and sometimes we don’t do anything to help it,” says Miller.

Miller adds she sympathizes with those who were affected by the oil spill and didn’t see many efforts to contribute to those who suffered because of it. fs3

Like Quiza, Miller also works to fill a void in the fashion industry for aspiring artists who are serious about their work. Miller adds many hold the misconception that fashion is only for an elite group of people and says she strives to break that notion.

“I see the industry as promising,” says Quiza. “There is a lot of young talent here. Unfortunately, we are lacking the outlets and opportunities to aid in the growth of new businesses, so many designers are gaining knowledge here and then transferring themselves to larger cities.”

Both Quiza and her business partner, Jackie Lumzy, have studied and worked in other cities such as New York, London and La Coruna, Spain. Quiza says they want to bring their experience to Chicago and use it to assist other artists.

“We plan to create a series of events that not only incorporate designers, but artists and creative professionals all under one roof,” adds Quiza.


-Photos by Adiat Baker

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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