Last weekend, we were thrilled to be a part of Simply Stylist‘s inaugural Chicago event.The leading source for connecting consumers with top tier insiders in the fashion industry and currently active in New York and Los Angeles, Simply Stylist will now offer Windy City fashionistas the latest tools, tips, and secrets from a panel of renowned experts. Hosted by E! News correspondent, Catt Sadler, the day of fun, fashion-themed day included a scrumptious brunch in River North’s Dana Hotel followed by a panel of stylists, bloggers, designers, and editors carefully selected by Simply Stylist founder Sarah Boyd. Speakers included fashion blogger, Jacey Duprie (Damsel in Dior), celebrity stylist, Trish Townsend (Carrie Underwood), celebrity make-up artist Tia Dantzler (Jennifer Hudson) beauty expert Stacey Roney (Glossed & Found), and style expert Corri McFadden (Founder/Owner of eDrop-off).
The morning kicked off with Simply Stylist’s exclusive networking brunch sponsored by HauteLook (complete with a fun tweet-in raffle!), a panelist meet & greet, and a hilarious kick off to the festivities with celebrity stylist and Chicago native Marcellus Reynolds. Reynolds had us rolling on the floor with his anecdotes about his humble model beginnings, his turn into a stylist in the cut throat industry of New York, and all the celebs he’s had the pleasure of styling, for better or for worse.
After brunch, we made our way to the Vertigo Sky Lounge on the rooftop for the panel discussion and were treated to the dazzling media persona of our host, Catt Sadler E! News correspondent. Sadler posted a variety of questions to the lineup of panelists, asking Tia Dantlzer how it was doing the makeup for President Obama (“The second time, the dogs were in the room with me!” she exclaimed), and how fashion blogger Jacey Duprie first broke into industry (she worked a string of tough jobs including E! News with Sadler herself and an assistant for Producer Brian Grazer). Corrie McFadden touched on how she worked her way up the ladder of Chicago’s society events when she began her business (“I saved up all my money to go to whatever gala was going on, just to network!”) and Glossed & Found founder Stacey Roney admitted that it’s still just her, the site’s editor Graham Kostic, and their videographer as the site’s full-time staff, despite how much it’s brimming with content. Trish Townsend was one of the first celebrity stylists who started on her own from a banking background as a television “wardrober” in Nashville, and got her break when the music industry there took notice. Each panelist shared their own tips and tricks they’ve picked up along the way, and discussed the emerging class of fashion, beauty and lifestyle in Chicago. Each personal journey shared was unique and brought something different to the table.
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Once the panel completed, the panelists mingled with guests as the party began! Complimentary food and cocktails were served while guests enjoyed the shopping event on the hotel’s 5th floor. Hair styling by Blowtique, complimentary gift bags, and a designer shopping event including Henry & Belle denim, online boutique Rad and Refined, California brands such as MinkPink, Myne, Wildfox, Lovers & Friends, Bella Colletta Jewelry, and Olivia + Joy Handbags. Celebrity stylist Jacqueline Rezak (Tegan & Sara, Miley Cyrus) was on hand to style VIP attendees while Stylist to the Stars Eric Himel (former clients include Giuliana Rancic, Ali Larter, Jenny McCarthy) provided style tips held throughout the day. And at the end of the day, us Chicago fashionistas sailed into the sunset looking great, and feeling good, especially knowing a portion of all tickets will go I AM THAT GIRL, Simply Stylist’s national charity partner. I AM THAT GIRL is building a community that inspires girls to discover their innate worth and purpose. Thank you Simply Stylist and welcome to Chicago!
-Alia Rajput Photos: Andrew Bruah and Second City Style