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Macy's Chicago Designers in Residence

April 8, 2008 12:18:27 PM PDT
Six local designers have been chosen for the inaugural year of 'The Chicago Fashion Incubator' (CFI) at Macy's on State Street. The 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. "This is another important step toward developing the next generation of design talent in our city," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "By partnering with a major retailer like Macy's, we're providing local designers with the opportunity to develop their skills and learn more about the fashion business."

The Chicago Fashion Incubator (CFI) at Macy's on State Street provides the Chicago-based designers with resources to launch their careers in fashion. The Designers in Residence (DIR) have been given office space, including computers and software; a workshop room with sample production space and a resource section; as well as a showroom. DIR are required to complete a core curriculum of workshops and seminars at Macy's on State Street for the next year. CFI is part of the Mayor's Fashion Initiative, which supports and promotes fashion designers living and working in Chicago through events, seminars, and city programs.

"We want to empower these six designers with the retail tools that they need to succeed in the business of fashion," said Ralph Hughes, Vice President of Corporate Communications of Macy's. "Macy's, in partnership with the City of Chicago, will provide a rich learning environment while simultaneously elevating the visibility and status of Chicago's fashion industry."

The designers will receive mentoring by Macy's Chicago-based merchant, marketing and store teams as well as other professionals in the fashion industry and business community at large.

The Designers in Residence

Glenn Mallory - 6ACE by Glenn Mallory features classically designed garments emphasizing detail, created with leather and other finer quality natural-fiber fabrics. Mallory's designs have been featured in several highly acclaimed fashion shows in Chicago ? the Annual Barbara Bates Foundation Fashion Show in May 2004 and the Catwalk Is On Fire fashion show at the House of Blues in June 2004. His line has also appeared in the Heard The Inner Voice fashion show at Excalibur in February 2005.

Mallory is a Chicago native, born and raised on Chicago's South side. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design from the International Academy of Design and Technology in 2004. Mallory is currently an assistant designer for Barbara Bates, where he does custom work and develops the concepts for his collection. Custom orders available. Call 312-781-5266

Kate Coxworth -Kate Coxworth's line Kate Boggiano specializes in women's blouses, shirts, and tops designed to support Coxworth's classically modern design philosophy. The line was founded on the principles of high quality and great fitting clothes, manufactured in the USA. The name "Boggiano" comes from Kate's Italian grandmother's maiden name to represent the Italian craftsmanship mixed with the American feel that is the essence of her brand. Customers can order quality blouses from the collection or "Create Your Own" blouse, which allows women to order custom made blouses based on fit and fabric with a 10-day turnaround.

Kate Coxworth, a native to Chicago, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in fashion design from Indiana University in 2003. Prior to moving to Chicago, Coxworth worked at Polo Ralph Lauren in New York City.

Kate Boggiano is founded on the principles of high quality and great fitting clothes that are manufactured in the USA. kateboggiano.com

Agga Raya - AGGA B. offers clean classic silhouettes with a distinct element of art. She has an edgy approach to fashion, but still maintains a sophisticated style. Raya currently runs her own production and design studio and distributes her AGGA B. collection to specialty boutiques in Chicago.

Raya's previous experience includes working in New York City as a fashion stylist at various photo shoots and runway shows for brands such as United Colors of Benetton, Levis, Cache, and Arden B. While in New York City, Raya also designed clothing for an International Modeling competition at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan as well as Traxx Records. Available at Gamma Player and Koros

Raya grew up in Poland with her mother and father, who were clothing designers and manufacturers. Raya attended the Polish University of Law in Lodz and moved to the USA in 2004.

Lidia Wachowska - Evil Kitty is based on a character called Evil Kitty. Some of the items are reminiscent of this mischievous character, while others are more sophisticated. Wachowska created rebellious feline while studying to be a graphic designer. Wachowska uses unusual textures and fabric combinations featuring the Evil Kitty logo to keep her designs consistent with the rebellious Evil Kitty brand. The line also consists of "cruelty-free" attire that does not use real leather or fur.

The Evil Kitty brand has spread throughout the world and is being sold in boutiques in the USA and Europe. Wachowska's Evil Kitty clothing line has been featured in Chicago Is...Red Hot!, a fashion show produced by the Apparel Industry Board International as part of Fashion Focus Chicago and Chicago Fashion Week.

Wachowska was born and raised in Poland. At the age of 19, she immigrated to the USA and enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago with hopes of becoming a graphic designer, but eventually found a love for fashion design. evilkitty.net

Yana German- YANA Collection is elegant, feminine and classic with a modern flair yet a progressive edge. Her designs are made to make women feel beautiful. The pieces are designed to add a dressy element to a woman's wardrobe, while remaining versatile enough to be paired with jeans for a more casual look.

German developed her personal love for fashion and design through her involvement with the arts. Her artistic career began as a professional ballroom dancer, where she was surrounded by exotic and exciting fashion.

German was born in the city of Gomel Belarus, which at the time was part of the Soviet Union, but is now the country of Belarus. Once moving to Chicago, German worked at a boutique, where she first introduced her designs that have now emerged into the YANA Collection. yanacollection.com

Kristin Rosynek Hassan -organiK Revolution offers organic basics with a twist. organiK Revolution clothing is eco-conscious, multi-occasion appropriate, yet still allows you stand out from the crowd. The eco-friendly bamboo denim and jersey knit fabrics also make the pieces comfortable and easy to care for.

In 2006, Hassan's designs received first place in Costume Design for her Alice and Wonderland collection at Aii's FAME Fashion Show, as well as Best in Show at the Aii Portfolio Show. Hassan currently freelances for a plus sized children's wear line, while preparing the upcoming debut of the organic Revolution line in local boutiques.

Hassan graduated with a Bachelor's degree in fashion design from the Illinois Institute of Art. While in school, Hassan interned for Karin Berger Ltd., Lara Miller, and wrote for the MODA Fashion Gazette. organiKRrevolution.com

About Kimberly Prodan

Interim Executive Director of CFI

Kimberly Prodan is the Interim Executive Director of the Chicago Fashion Incubator (CFI). As Interim Executive Director, Prodan is responsible for the overall operational management of the organization, while serving within the guidelines created by the Board of Directors.

Prodan has been involved with the retail industry for over 10 years. Prodan previously worked for Macy's in Chicago as the Associate Planner for St John, Bridge, and Designer Apparel. Prodan has also had experience working on the front lines of major department stores, recruiting retail talent, managing one of the largest cosmetics departments in the country, and buying and planning for women's designer and bridge ready to wear.

Prodan graduated from Oakland University in Rochester, MI with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She is a member of the Junior League and Young Executives for Success (Y.E.S!) in Chicago.


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