Twenty-five students from top-notch universities in Chicago competed for cash prizes to launch their lines, and the winner would receive a mentorship with Jon Cotay, owner of Akira.
This exclusive event was attended by Chicago’s finest dressed at their best. Glittering sequin and sheer overlay dresses, finely tailored suits, and elegance dominated the evening. The theme of the evening was appropriately called “Driven by Design.” The pre-party with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and a silent auction was enjoyed alongside a selection of classic vintage cars.
Attendees were ushered into their seats for the runway show. ABC7’s Linda Yu was the master of ceremonies, and introduced Richard Driehaus, who made a speech on the importance of today’s young fashion visionaries.
The lights dimmed and the show commenced. Models sporting student designs strutted down the runway in beat to the thumping music. The designers were talented, creating unique and fabulous creations. The four honorable mentions were Nedziba Zukanovic, Marta Cerbat-Czernik, Kelly Long, and Andrew Cruz. In third place was Maribel Dinwidde for her hues of the night that evoke sensual, yet playful moods. Second place went to Laura Lanzerotte for her collection inspired by Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Yet Taken,” and the search for the right path. First place, and winner of five thousand dollars, as well as, the mentorship with Akira was Kendra Dekuiper for her collection inspired by Albert Camus’s, “The Stranger,” as it relates to metamorphosis. We will certainly be seeing more of these talented young designers in the years to follow! -Jenna Parcells
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