Driehaus Design Initiative celebrated the achievements of emerging Chicago fashion design students at The 15th Anniversary Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence on Friday, April 29. The show, themed Reflections, also spotlighted six student alumni who have since launched successful fashion design ventures.
The event raised over $140,000 with proceeds from the evening benefiting fashion and design school programs that encourage education and appreciation of fashion design and history in Chicago. Participating schools included, Columbia College Chicago, Dominican University, The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The show took place in a private space in the warehouse district, where a full runway was constructed allowing the students’ innovative collections to be professionally showcased to the 430 guests in attendance. Their mini-collections mirrored their knowledge of textiles, excellence in sewing techniques and garment construction.
Judges were industry insiders: Caryn Klein, Costume Director, Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Kpoene’ Kofi-Nicklin, Creative Director, Mignonette Bridal; Wendy Krimins, General Manager, Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue; and Kristin Larson, Chicago Correspondent, WWD.
The first place prize of $7,500 was awarded to Alante C. Baugh from The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago. The $5,000 second place prize went to Sharrell Smith from Columbia College Chicago, and Kelsey Kasom from Columbia College Chicago received the third place prize of $2,500.
Wendy Krimins, general manager, Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue, selected Hayley Jill Hogan from Columbia College Chicago as the recipient of the Neiman Marcus Distinguished Designer Award. Hogan will now have the opportunity to display her winning designs in the windows of Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue, in addition to one-on-one meetings with a designer partner and a Neiman Marcus senior buyer or executive.
Additionally, participating students joined Driehaus Design Initiative and the Chicago History Museum on May 17, 2016 for the Runway to Showroom: Driehaus Business of Fashion Symposium. The symposium helps emerging designers elevate their brand and launch a sustainable and successful business or career. Students may bring their portfolios and engage in an open discussion of experience sharing, while receiving beneficial insight and tailored, personal advice. A behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum’s costume collection with Costume Curator Petra Slinkard and Costume Collection Manager Jessica Pushor is included.
To reflect on the past 15 years of fostering fashion design success, Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence alumni sent their work down the runway to showcase their career accomplishments since placing in the fashion competition.
Hector-Javier Monàrrez, 2009 First Place Winner, graduate of International Academy of Design and Technology-Chicago
Fraley Le, 2010 First Place Winner, graduate of International Academy of Design and Technology-Chicago
Laura Lanzerotte, 2012 Second Place Winner, graduate of Dominican University
Gabriel Saldana, 2013 First Place Winner, graduate of Columbia College Chicago
Liz Bahl, 2015 First Place Award Winner, graduate of The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago
Samantha Sipos, 2015 Honorable Mention Award Winner, graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For more information, please visit driehausdesign.org.
– Carmen N. Turner
Top photo: Sharrell Smith (second place); Richard H. Driehaus; Skip Grisham, artistic director; Alante C. Baugh (first place); Kelsey Kasom (t hird place); Hayley Jill Hogan, Neiman Marcus Distinguished Designer Award winner.
Photos by Kasia Jarosz and Allen Bourgeois