New Pop-Up Shops Promote Chicago Designers During Fashion Focus

By Jenny Berg October 24, 2011, 12:18 PM EDT

Photo: Daniel Tomei/ Tutto Bene Photography

International Academy of Design and Technology's Fashion Pops at the Block
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Fashion Focus, the city's version of fashion week, is organized by the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture in partnership with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The weeklong event, which ran October 17 to 23 this year, showcases the work of local designers through tented shows in Millennium Park, trunk shows throughout the city, and industry seminars at the Cultural Center.

New this year, a series of five pop-up shops at Block 37 sold designs from local designers such as Borris J. Powell and boutiques including Cityblue Apparel and Denim. Called Fashion Pops at the Block, the sleek white spaces also hosted fashion shows and doled out sugary snacks from Magnolia Bakery Tuesday through Saturday.

The largest of the shops sold wares from six graduates of the Institute of Design and Technology: Nora del Busto, Anastasia Chatzka, Horacio Nieto, LaTonya Williams, Tonya Pierce, and Anthony Stephon Badger. Dennis Remer of Frost designed the shop, bringing in lit Lucite fixtures, a 10-foot-tall boxwood hedge, LED lighting, and plexiglass chandeliers.

Travis Reed, the school's creative marketing director, helped current students gain hands-on retail experience through the pop-up. Reed and his students helped to create a State Street window display and design vinyl wall and column coverings. The team also cast and styled Factor models for fashion shows within the shop.

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