Meet the 2009 Designers. Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy's

Melissa Gambel introduced the 2009 designers. Left to right: Ashley Zygmunt, Alonzo Jackson, Cynthia Ryba, Catherine Furio, Jess Audey and Nora Del Busto.

Last night there was a changing of the guard at Macy's. It was a celebration to wish the class of 2008 Chicago Fashion Incubator designers well, and to say hello to six designers who will be occupying their studio space within the offices of Macy's on State Street. The outgoing class included Kate Coxworth Kate Boggiano, Yana GermanYANA Collection, Kristen Rosynek HassanorkaniK Revolution, Glenn Mallory6Ace by Glen MalloryAgga RayaAGGA B and Lidia Wachowska Evil Kitty.

The new Designers In Residence are provided workspace, curriculum and mentoring to launch their careers in fashion.


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Nora Del Busto is inspired by architecture which shows in her manipulation of plain fabrics into structured one-of-kind pieces, I was familiar with Nora's designs from student competitions including a winning design for Latino Fashion Week 2008.

Catherine Furio designs classic clothing with a modern and innovative sculptural twist. The tuxedo design she displayed was fairly classic. Turn it around and there was an open back!

Ashley Zygmunt's new line Zamrie provides the customer confidence with a line of ready to wear that combines a well tailored fit that graces a woman's body.

Jess Audey is committed to the classic tradition of cocktail dresses with an innovative touch. AUDEY (

Cynthia Ryba molds and shapes fabric in an organic fashion with fluid silhouettes. After working downtown for the last few years, she is inspired to develop a work to evening line of clothing.

Alonzo Jackson's Fashion Geek clothing is best recognized by the Duck Mascot and has been worn by music stars such as Kanye West and Jermaine Dupree.

There was only design from each designer to view at the event! I am looking forward to seeing more pieces from each of them, to see what they will do next and how they will evolve.

And how is the 2008 class doing? Kate Coxworth said she is moving her studio to Pilson where other established designers are thriving.  Kristen Hassen has sold to boutiques and has her line for sale online Agga Raya has an exciting new line of what she called "very reasonably priced" clothing on the brink of launching. Stay tuned – Second City Style will keep you updated on the Chicago Fashion Incubator designers – both the old and the new!

—Carol Calacci
photos: Second City Style

1 thought on “Meet the 2009 Designers. Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy's”

  1. “In the nightlife business, ego tends to drive people more than worrying about the details, the party and the product, so we really strive to keep our ego under wraps and work together with all of our business partners to create a collective vision, which is sometimes direct and sometimes a compromise.


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