Chicago Fashion Engage: Summer 2013

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What is Fresh Fashion and what do the words "Made in Chicago" mean to you? When was the last time you bought local from a designer or artist? Knowing whose making a difference in the community is what Chicago Fashion Engage is all about. With this edition get a insider's look into Chicago based designers, merchants and more. Meet our Spotlight Designer Lara Miller and peek at her 2013 fall collection. Discover Florodora, one of the finest boutiques right here in the Loop featuring the best local designers. Catch up with Spex and see why they have been more than just an optical shop. Chicago Fashion Engage wouldn't be complete without a hit list of upcoming fashion and shopping events for you to explore.

Lara Miller- Designer Spotlight

Born and raised in Chicago, Lara Miller opened her company in 2005. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute,

Lara is proud to manufacture her collection in Chicago. Her work is strongly influenced by the city's architectural and cultural landscape. Amongst the numerous awards and recognition she has had internationally, LM is a founding member of The Mayor's Fashion Council, part of Mayor Richard M. Daley's initiative to support and promote fashion designers living and working in Chicago through events, seminars, and city programs. LM brings a fresh and interesting approach to fashion with a "green" lifestyle and workspace setting a perfect example for all Chicagoan's and designers.

Lara uses eco-friendly fibers such as organic cotton, recycled cotton, bamboo, linen, hemp and vegan silk to create her modular designs. Most garments from her collection can be reversed or wrapped to create completely different looks. Lara is best known for designing ecologically sensitive clothing that connects to the personalities of the women who wear them.

Lara Miller's inspiration for her fall 2013 collection: the beauty of the end. "Finding beauty in deterioration, especially in architecture and in materials, but also when thinking about our humanity... How we live, choose, shift, change, and eventually end".

For more Lara Miller, events & sample sales:

*Photos courtesy of from their runway show, The Art of Fashion (photographer: Don Marshall)

Florodora Boutique- Inspiration from the past with an eye towards the future

Take one step into this boutique and you will be in love. Truly one of a kind featuring vintage-inspired contemporary fashions for women as well as unusual gifts, accessories and home accents. Best known for carrying local and made-in-USA designers with occasional lesser-known European brands that are hard to find in the States.

Florodora opened in 2007 & Florodora Shoes 2010 perfectly located in the historic Monadnock Building in Chicago's Loop. "We all need to get busy and support local when we can, and entrepreneurs need to start businesses here and keep them here" according to Florodora Boutique Owner, Michael Blossom.

Impressive list of Chicago Designers at Florodora: Anna Hovet Modahnik Neesh Brynn Capella Rapt in Maille Laura Lombard

Florodora: 330 South Dearborn Street, Chicago Florodora Shoes: 348 South Dearborn Street, Chicago Monday-Friday 10am-7pm, Saturday 11am-5pm (312) 212-8860


With 21 locations all over the city and suburbs, Spex is the ultimate place for sun and eyewear in the city and surroundings. Spex considers eyewear fashion and eye wellness to be of equal importance. Priding themselves on encouraging local talents and their creative endeavors and encouraging community integration every chance they get. In 2008, Spex established a successful community outreach program called ART+VISION to help support area artists by displaying works in a retail environment with diverse public exposure and community interaction.

View the current ART+VISION featuring Keith Hackett Photography now thru -August 1st, 2013 at the Lincoln Square location. Display is in collaboration with a preview of 2013 eyewear and sun wear collections from LAFONT.

Visit Spex wwebsite for more on ART+VISION or a list of locations.

*Photo OGI Eyewear available at Spex Locations

Never a dull moment in Chi Town, hit the scene this summer at these Chicago fashion events!

Impressionism, fashion and modernity exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago
This groundbreaking exhibition explores the vital relationship between fashion and art during pivotal years between the 1860s and 1890s when fashion plat formed into art.
For more on IFM exhibit:
111 South Michigan Avenue (between Adams and Monroe streets)
Wednesday, June 26, 2013-Sunday, September 22, 2013
Regenstein Hall

7th Annual Chicago Sidewalk Sale at Daley Plaza
Enjoy this two-day shopping event by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Featuring apparel and accessories from Chicago designers and independent boutiques. Catch the runway show at noon both days. For a list of designers visit
Daley Plaza
50 W. Washington St. Chicago
Tuesday, July 23 & Wednesday, July 24, 2013
9 am - 3 pm

The Magnificent Mile Shopping FestivalTM presented by MasterCardĀ®
Thursday, August 22 kickoff this massive 12 day shopping festival with an outdoor fashion show hosted by the 900 North Michigan Shops, The Shops at North Bridge and Water Tower Place along North Michigan Avenue 6:30pm.
Full list of events at:
August 22 - September 2, 2013
North Michigan Avenue
Chicago has a tremendous market for outstanding fashion, designers, merchants and events sitting right before our eyes. Fashion Engage is here to expose the Chicago Fashion Industry and give you the opportunity to explore these avenues right from your own backyard.
If you would like to suggest a local contact for CFE or