American fashion isn’t just about New York anymore (just don’t tell New York – they won’t believe you anyway). And one of the cities which is really putting effort into scouting and promoting new design talent, with great success, is Chicago.
While L.A. and Miami have their own brands of bikini fashion and are often the “other” fashion cities the industry thinks of, Chicago is quickly coming closest to New York’s sense of style.
Perhaps it’s because Chicago is also a city of business professionals, perhaps it’s the similar climate, or perhaps it’s Oprah! But the city is attracting designers who perhaps would have a harder time making it in the overcrowded New York market.
“I thought I had a better chance of making it here,” Kate Coxworth, a Chicago native who had read about Mayor Richard Daley’s fashion-related initiatives, told WWD. “The pond is definitely a lot smaller here. To get this much attention from people who can help you and want to help you is unlike any other place in the country.”
What are these fashion initiatives that other American cities should take note of? A Mayor’s Fashion Advisory Council, a city director for fashion arts and events and a city-sponsored annual Chicago Fashion Week.
Not to mention the Chicago Fashion Incubator. Coxworth became one of six local designers chosen to share office space and and resources. Plus, 48% of Coxworth’s Kate Boggiano line’s sales come from events like Gen Art’s Shop CHICago and the One of a Kind Show and Sale at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.
American cities, this is the way to boost your economy and keep fashionable shoppers in your stores.