Anna Hovet is fashion’s Queen of Comfort

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The black and cream dress is the Rosario Dress ($119).

Chicago fashion designer Anna Hovet is part revolutionary, part night owl. A combination of her energetic fervor, passion for down-to-earth designs and her late nights in the studio have spring boarded Anna Hovet Designs to the forefront of new American fashion.

Less than five years ago, “on a whim,” as she puts it, Hovet departed a job in the corporate world to try her hand at something that she is fanatical about: making comfortable clothing that’s easy to wear. Then, within a few months, Anna Hovet Designs, nestled in a warehouse district of the Chicago’s Near West Side neighborhood, was filling orders for boutiques and buyers around the country.

“I love to be comfortable, and that’s something that I think is often overlooked in fashion,” Hovet said.

“Women want to be comfortable — both physically and mentally — in what they wear while also showing off a little personal style,” she said. “So, as designer, it’s important for me to tailor the aesthetic to the needs of the customer.”

All of Hovet’s knits, dresses, shirts and sweaters are made in Chicago and nearby Cicero. Naturally, the designer feels that her place in the Midwest has a lot to do with her design aesthetic.

“In Chicago, women’s fashion mindset is slightly more conservative, but, if not conservative, then at least more practical,” Hovet said. “Here and around the world, people want to buy clothes that are trendy but not too unattainably haute couture. Clothes they are actually going to enjoy and want to wear.”

Hovet, who is also known in some circles as the Queen of Comfort, puts a heavy emphasis on color blocking, which she said does a lot to highlight the body and a woman’s best features no matter what her shape or size.

Her more dressy pieces from the summer 2013 line, such as the Krista Dress, come in solids and bold colors such as jet black, royal blue and red. The dress is available online for $99. Her new fall 2013 line, with signature sweaters, warm up the sullen chills of Chicago autumn with pleasant earth tones in brick red, off-white, plus subtle pinks and shades of grey. A sporty streak is in much of Hovet’s work that makes itself present in the fall line as well has the Anna Hovet Men’s Line of knit sweatshirts and hoodies.

Most every Anna Hovet Designs piece is washable and dryable. Her practical fashions have been featured in Lucky magazine and have been worn by Academy Award-winning actress and native Chicagoan Jennifer Hudson.

Find Anna Hovet Designs in some of Chicago’s local, independent retailers, including Vividbraille, located at 2064 N. Damen Ave., and Cerato located at 3451 N. Southport Ave. Visit www.annahovet.com.

BY ANDY FRYE