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Chicago Moves Fashion Forward

By Hanna Aronovich in Miscellaneous on Aug 7, 2006 5:45PM

Mayor Daley plans to dress up – the city, that is. Already known for its dining, architecture, theater and lately film, Daley is hoping Chicago soon makes its mark on the fashion industry.

On Sunday, the Tribune reported the city hired a fashion czar. A former lawyer, Melissa Turner was selected to serve as Chicago’s first fashion director. Her mission: revive Chicago’s fashion community and keep talented designers smack in the Midwest, rather than jetting to New York or L.A. fashionwindow.jpg

Chicago has already made strides to promote the fashion industry. Along with Fashion Week debuting last year (this year’s fashion week takes place in October, FYI), the city has several fashion-focused sites, organizations and foundations.

However, despite several notable design schools, most fashion-school graduates leave the city because of a lack of opportunity.

Although some are balking at the thought of Chicago making an imprint on the fashion industry, Daley points to the expanding number of independent boutiques. “Chicago has evolved into a city of fashion entrepreneurs and more and more designers are setting up shop here," the mayor said in a statement. "Naturally we wanted to encourage these positive trends and help bring people and resources together to take Chicago fashion to a whole new level."

Putting Chicago on the fashion-industry map will help boost the city’s economy as well as its reputation, the Tribune says. Fashion Director Turner plans to create a Chicago fashion industry database to identify the full scope of the fashion business in the city. The next step, the Tribune reports, is to launch a Chicago-focused Web site to help designers find materials, retailers contact designers and consumers identify shopping areas.

Turner will also work with Federated Department Stores Inc. to help the soon-to-be Macy’s on State create “a fashion incubator” for select designers.

Chicagoist is a sucker for attention, and if Daley wants to add fashion hub to Chicago’s list of notables, then we’re all for it. Plus, with more unique boutiques in the city, there’s no excuse to keep wearing those gauchos.

Magnificence, reflected via e.q.