CFI Launches A New Class And A Pop-Up Shop!

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For the 2nd year in a row, Chicago's in for a sartorial treat. The Chicago Fashion Incubator is about to welcome an all-new class of six Designers In Residence into its business-minded program for up-and-coming Chicago designers. CFI equips designers with the skills they need to turn themselves into fashion empires, and lucky Chicago shoppers can get in on the action. CFI and the 900 Shops on Michigan Avenue will host a pop up shop where you can check out fresh designs from CFI. The pop-up shop and CFI will host a monster list of events between now and mid-April. We've worked up the only guide you'll need for all the fashion goodness going down in Chi-town this spring, so check back with us to make you don't miss out. We also chatted up the all-new Designers In Residence to get to know the new kids on our style scene.

Crystal Sims, of Crystal B. Designs, dished with us what she's hoping to learn from CFI's amazing fashion program. "The one thing I hope to take away away from the Chicago Fashion Incubator Program is experience in creating a bigger network." CFI educates and mentors designers on how to grow their business, not just their designs.

Taneasha Prunty is the creative heart and soul of Gidi. She specializes in evening gowns that blend vintage sophistication with a modern edge. We wanted to know how Chicago has inspired Taneasha's work. "One word: architecture! Chicago's unique architecture takes you back to a different time and place. I love the exquisite detail in the buildings."

Eric Kipp, of Eric Kipp Custom Clothiers, had a different answer for us. "Chicago has a deep tailoring heritage, which along with the beauty and rich history of the city is a tremendous inspiration for me." We cant wait to see how this inspiration plays out in his line of tailored suits and separates for men.

We wanted to know what made Kahindo Mateene of Modahnik decide to pursue a career in fashion. "I really wanted to combine my love of fashion with my African heritage and upbringing...I wanted to showcase how African fabric can be made modern and appeal to the contemporary woman."

Kahindo's colleague Shavonne Dorsey, of The Shavonne Dorsey Apparel, had other motives for her fashion goals. "I wanted to focus on fashion design because I saw a void in what was being offered to women, as well as plus-size women." We love Shavonne's awareness of the Chicago fashion scene and we're looking forward to having her right here in our community.

Cettina is a line of ready-to-wear women's fashion, designed by Concetta Cipriano. We wanted to know what kind of mark she hoped to leave on the Chicago fashion community. "I plan to build my business here in Chicago by designing, producing, and selling within the city...I'd like to bring it closer to being recognized around the world as the strong fashion capital I know it can be." We love Cipriano's passion, and we couldn't agree more!


With so much going on at CFI's pop-up shop this spring, it's going to be a veritable vortex of great fashion. But as we love to do, Refinery29 has come to your rescue. Use the guide below to plan out your style schedule, and make sure to check back in the coming weeks. We'll update you on changes and additions to the schedule.

All events will take place at CFI's pop-up shop, located at the 900 North Michigan Avenue Shops, on Level 5. Can't make it to any of these events? We feel bad for you, but there's hope. The pop-up shop itself will be open for business from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 12 to 6 p.m. on Sundays, from March 19 through April 23.

March 2011
March 18, 12 to 5p.m., Kristin Hassan Trunk Show
March 19, 12 to 5p.m., CFI Meet-n-Greet with Nora del Busto, 2009 CFI alumni.
March 20, 12 to 5p.m., Meet-n-Greet with the 2011 Designers In Residence (brand new 2011 class!)
March 24, 10a.m. to 7p.m., Agga B. Trunk Show
March 25, 10a.m. to 7p.m., Agga B. Trunk Show
March 26, 12 to 3p.m., Evil Kitty Trunk Show

April 2011
April 1, 12 to 6 p.m., Dottie’s Delights & Miriam Cecilia Manicures & Mocktails (Trunk Show + Cocktails, yes please!)
April 2, 7 12 to 5 p.m.,Spring into Glamour and the Future with Evil Kitty (Fashion Show + Trunk Show)
April 3, 1 to 5 p.m., Anna Hovet Trunk Show
April 7, 6 to 9 p.m., Kristin Hassan Fashion Show
April 8, 4 to 7 p.m., Alidade Trunk Show
April 8, 8 to 10 p.m., Zamrie Fashion Show
April 9, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Dottie’s Delights Spring Pin-Up Photo Shoot Event (FREE pin-up styling and photo shoot!)
April 10, 12 to 3 p.m., Zamrie Trunk Show
April 15, 6 to 9 p.m., Nonnie Threads Trunk Show
April 15, 6 to 9 p.m., Miriam Cecilia Fashion Show
April 16, 2 to 6 p.m., Alidade Trunk Show
April 17, 12 to 5 p.m., Kristin Hassan Trunk Show
April 17, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Nora del Busto Trunk Show