"On October 2, Chicago will be on an international stage, and our city's fashion designers will share in the spotlight," said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. "Our bid plan celebrates Chicago and we are proud to showcase the talents of the art and design community that thrives here. We appreciate the support of Chicago's business community and our world-renowned fashion designers."
The female delegates traveling to Copenhagen will be wearing the designs of Maria Pinto, who has established a name for herself in Chicago and is now well-recognized in the world of fashion. An alumna of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Pinto majored in fine art with a focus in fashion, and later attended both New York's Parson's School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Pinto opened the doors to her first boutique in the city's West Loop neighborhood, drawing celebrity clients like First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey.
Another Chicago-based style maker, Lee Allison, has been producing his own line of neckties, dress shirts and accessories since 1995. His distinctive silk ties are cut and sewn by hand in a studio located in one of Chicago's most fashion-forward neighborhoods. Lee Allison creates the signature designs himself, and has been creating ties for Chicago 2016 since the bid's beginning.
When asked by Chicago 2016 to help create the outfits for the male delegates going to Copenhagen, Chicago 2016 and Allison teamed up with clothier, Hart Schaffner Marx, another hometown favorite since 1872, to fully fashion the men for this significant event.
Hart Schaffner Marx, the flagship of HMX Group, is a leading American tailored clothing brand. Hart Schaffner Marx suits are proudly made in suburban Chicago with a skilled union workforce. The brand was founded by first generation American brothers, Harry and Max Hart and their partner, Joseph Schaffner, who built a legacy of innovation that continues today. Hart Schaffner Marx tailored clothing is sold in leading department and specialty stores to discerning gentlemen who value service, style and unparalleled quality. Hart Schaffner Marx has been worn by U.S. Presidents, past and present, including most recently, President Barack Obama during his 2009 inauguration.
The collaboration on the Copenhagen wardrobe is truly representative of Chicago and honors local businesses, both new and old. Chicago is a leading center for fashion and design, home to more than 250 fashion designers and 400 independently-owned retail boutiques. Mayor Richard M. Daley and the City of Chicago continue to support the growth of Chicago's fashion industry by providing the necessary resources for established businesses and nurturing new and emerging designers. Lee Allison is the co-chair of the Mayor's Fashion Council, a group of 20 volunteer designers and industry experts including Trideep Das, from HMX Group. Maria Pinto has also previously served on the Mayor's Fashion Council.