Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy's
Six designers have been chosen for the sixth year of The
Chicago Fashion Incubator (CFI) at Macy's on State Street. These designers will be given the opportunity to learn
the economics, marketing and merchandising of fashion from industry experts, mentors from Macy's and the broader fashion
The Chicago Fashion Incubator (CFI) at Macy's on State Street provides each of the six emerging Chicago-based designers
with the resources, including workspace, curriculum and mentoring, to launch their careers in fashion. The Designers-in-
Residence (DIR) are provided office space, including computers and software; a workshop room with sample production space
and resource section; and a showroom.
DIR are required to complete a core curriculum of workshops and seminars conducted at the Incubator location at Macy's
on State Street for the duration of a one-year period starting in March 2013. CFI is part of the Mayor's Fashion
Initiative, which supports and promotes fashion designers living and working in Chicago through events, seminars and city
Young, fresh and motivated, these six Designers-In-Residence are taking the Windy City by storm. Find out more about the
Incubator and meet the masterminds behind Macy's newest collections:
About the Chicago Fashion Incubator
Macy's on State Street and the city of Chicago have been
promoting Chicago's burgeoning fashion industry since 2005, when they presented the first Fashion Focus Chicago event that
highlighted both aspiring and established designers. The Incubator soon evolved from this event. Being a national
department store operating on local level, Macy's has the resources to share equipment and experts with Chicago designers.
Designers from the program are enjoying great success through their experience at the CFI, including
partnerships with Toyota - Japan, showing their collections on the runway as part of Fashion Focus, and gaining a clear
vision of what they want to be as designers.
"The success of the designers has been a testament to the structure of the program," said Ralph Hughes, Vice
President of Corporate Communications of Macy's. "When given the curriculum and opportunities, young designers are put in a
position to thrive at a crucial stage in their careers."
Agnes Hamerlik is an artist and fashion designer currently living
in Chicago. She graduated cum laude from Columbia College in Spring 2012 earning a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in fashion
Hamerlik has a fine art, surreal and avant-garde style to her work. She has a couture approach to garments based on quality
of the product, fine fabrication, craftsmanship, innovative construction and limited edition pieces focusing on luxury
eveningwear and high end contemporary women's wear.
View more of Agnes Hamerlik's designs online.
Pictured above: Design by Agnes Hamerlik
Lagilelei Nadeau was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She graduated
from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York and Michigan State University for fashion design. While
attending FIT, she interned with Nicole Romano, later working as an assistant fashion designer at Tahari and then
In 2010, she launched the Lagi Nadeau jewelry collection which has been featured in Marie Claire, Vogue Knitting,
Sugarlaws; and has accessorized fashion collections such as Kay Unger and Phoebe Couture. The Lagi Nadeau label will expand
into an inaugural womenswear line with the launch of her Spring 2013 collection which blends high-end sophistication with a
dash of edge.
View more of Lagi Nadeau's designs online.
Pictured right: Design by Lagi Nadeau
Katelyn Pankoke moved to Chicago after receiving her Bachelor's
degree from Florida State University in Apparel Design and Technology. She launched her bridal line, Elaya Vaughn Bridal in
November of 2011. Pankoke then went on to become a contestant on the current season of Project Runway (Season
Pankoke's passion for bridal stems from a love of all things glamorous. She describes her design aesthetic as artful
femininity. A dream element of whimsy is apparent in her designs, from lighter than air tiers of silk organza to crystal
View more of Katelyn Pankoke's designs online.
Pictured above: Design by Katelyn Pankoke
Takako Yamanaka was born and raised in a family of artists; educated in Japan and the United States. Yamanaka studied
fashion design in Tokyo and later in New York. She worked for a variety of garment and accessories companies, including
making costumes for dance companies and artists.
Being exposed to both the Eastern simplicity with Western sensitivity, Yamanaka draws inspirations from both cultures
reflected in her avant guard style. Having a great respect for craftsmanship of design has always been an integral part of
her life and work.
Yamanaka does not have a website at this time.
Pictured above: Design by Takako Yamanaka
Olivia Hwang's interest in bridal design started when she was a child looking at fine lace and delicate lingerie wear at
her father's lingerie shop in Seoul, Korea. Hwang studied fashion design and construction and graduated with honors from
the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She worked as a bridal gown designer in New York and New Jersey, but has
returned to Chicago to start her own bridal line.
She describes the collection as timeless couture gowns that combine tradition with current fashions utilizing silks,
French lace, and embroidery of the highest quality. Hwang's collection is conservative and classic yet, unique in that
customers have flexibility in the styling of their own bridal looks to reveal and enhance beauty and personality.
Pictured above: Design by Olivia Hwang
Shelby Steiner draws inspiration from all things in life with
the intent to bring awareness and better humanity. Whether the inspiration is derived from a controversial subject matter
or simply something beautiful that people need to pay more attention to, she aims to bring awareness through fashion.
Steiner's vision for transforming the traditional role of a designer, by combining activism for change, is seen each
season through authentic print designs and signature styling that includes heavy layering and mixed media.
View more of Shelby Steiner's designs online.
Pictured right: Design by Shelby Steiner
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