Chicago Fashion Incubator

Chicago Fashion Incubator.

Chicago Fashion Incubator. It was one of those evenings I came home after a fashion event and snuggled in to write. I carefully took off my jewelry — faux pearl earrings that were a purchase made by my mother, in the 90s-fashion-jewelry-Macy’s-era and this gold statement necklace I bought at one of my favorite thrift shops in PA.

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What I wore. Full details @duffydossier on Instagram.

I back hung up the white leather skirt I bought consignment shopping on Oak Street a few weeks ago and neatly folded my pink ribbed tee. I unzipped and unlaced my suede knee-high boots, rolled off my nude hose and slipped into black velvet-capped pajama pants and a white thermal tee that has been worn relentlessly into comfort and ability …

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Gidi’s Pink Jumpsuit for Spring! #Love

I layered on socks I stole from a date a few years back — and settled into bed. It was time to write about my experience at The Chicago Fashion Incubator pop up. After sifting through every social media platform and posting a few Instagram’s that had me itching in inspiration, I finally had the focus to sit down to write.

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Lagi Nadeau’s black coat.

It’s a funny thing — inspiration. It comes out of nowhere. Creativity is something that comes in a form only recognizable to you and the creative soul you posses. It’s one of the questions I have for every fashion designer I meet: what inspired this collection?

Anna Brown’s two piece set inspired by a 60s movie character.

I’ve asked that question many times, now, and each answer is vastly different.

“I was inspired by the orange blossoms I saw abroad.”

“I was inspired by a character in a 1960’s movie.”

“I am inspired by the waterfalls and architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water.”

… and so on.

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Molly Brown Knitwear.

It’s riveting, to me, to hear the intricate details that are at the root of a fashion designer’s inspiration. I feel like it brings me that much closer to what the what they’re actually getting at — I can more clearly see the meaning behind why she uses a certain fabric or why her stitch lays that certain, different, unique way.

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Vary Form’s entire collection.

Tonight was one of those moments I felt inside Chicago’s fashion industry, almost like I was in the beats of its pulse. There were 8 presentations within this evening’s Chicago Fashion Incubator pop up, and I was obliged to meet each one.

The fashions, much like their designers, took boundless forms. Swimwear I would dieeeeeeee for, menswear I’d rock as a button-down dress, a black ankle-length blended-fabric coat perfectly crafted for a Chicago winter … the list goes on.

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Gabrielle Zwick’s fashion sketches for one of her most recent collections.

Liz Bahl, Anna Brown, Shruit Kriti, Masha Titievsky, Connor Writt, Gabrielle Zwick, Taneasha Prunty and Lagi Nadeau made excellent impressions.

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My fashion friend Brian Gee and me!

Before I left tonight, I was told in March of 2017 The Incubator brings in a new class. And before I leave you here, hanging, on the brink of Spring — this is “Macy’s Chicago Fashion Incubator (CFI) is a product of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Fashion Initiative. In 2005, then-Mayor Daley recognized the wide reach of Chicago’s fashion industry. Realizing the significant impact fashion has on the local economy, he envisioned fashion as a driver for job creation, cultural growth, trade development, and tourism.” (

xo, Duffy

About Alex

Founder, editor and content creator of, launched June 2013.