Los Angeles gifted the fashion world with Moschino’s Jeremy Scott, and New York with the namesake brand Marc Jacobs. But Chicago is home to creative up-and-comers who are striving to make a name for themselves in the industry. From the duo behind HERO/BLACK, to Chance the Rapper’s overalls designer, these Chicago fashion designers are of some of the best and influential creatives in the game.
Below are 5 designers to keep your eyes on this year.
RHEA FERNANDEZ & ANGELA BRANTLEY of HERO/BLACK
Take one look at designers Rhea Fernandez and Angela Brantley’s collection of silver leather bralettes, graphic sweatshirts, and mesh dresses and you’ll realize that they are a fashion force to be reckon with. Straying away from the “right-off-the-runway” motto that most labels follow, HERO/BLACK received recognition for their unique mens and womenswear pieces. Featured in local Chicago publications, the design house is easily one of the biggest up-and-comers for the high-end and streetwear-obsessed.
Shop HERO/BLACK here.
M2057 by Maria Pinto
A fitted teal midi dress adorned with a jeweled broach, a burnt-orange two-piece set completed with a statement belt, and ruffled and ruched Victorian-inspired leotards. This vast array of styles and silhouettes is one of the many reasons Maria Pinto is one of the most well-known fashion designers in Chicago, and rightfully so. Having dressed the former First Lady Michelle Obama, television host Oprah Winfrey, and dancers from the Joffrey Ballet, Pinto’s creativity isn’t only reserved to the runway. Her features in publications like Women’s Wear Daily, The New York Times, and Vanity Fair have made her namesake brand sought-after by celebrities, socialites, and Chicago fashion-lovers alike.
Shop M2057 here.
SHEILA RASHID of SHEILA RASHID BRAND
If you watched the VMA’s, The Grammy’s or SNL, you most likely spotted Windy City-native Chance the Rapper donning neutral-colored overalls paired with a plain white tee. Chicago’s very own Sheila Rashid is the designer behind the lyricists signature look. While the overall trend became popular for women in early-2015, Rashid brought the look to life on award shows by using Chance as her muse. With feature stories in publications from Vogue to Essence, Rashid is the go-to designer for overall enthusiasts nationwide.
Shop Sheila Rashid here.
ANNA HOVET of HØVET
Dubbed the “Queen of Comfort,” it’s safe to say that leisurewear designer Anna Hovet knows a thing or two about turning a simple hoodie and sweats into a fashion statement. Her collection of United States-made, and minimalist-yet-silhouette- savvy designs helped land her feature stories early-on her career. Magazines like the former Lucky, and newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune embraced her unique twist on basic loungewear, and fashionistas in cities around the country rejoiced — comfort is the new black.
Shop HØVET here.
SHERNETT SWABY of SWABY
You may know this Jamaican-born, Chicago-based designer from her debut on the first season of Project Runway Canada, or from her recent features in publications like Chicago Woman and Modern Luxury NS. But no matter where her name first appeared, she’s taking Chicago’s custom market by storm. With proficiency in design and tailoring, Swaby’s Humboldt Park boutique offers custom alterations to her range of basic sweaters and luxurious “couture” dresses. Her design method allows for complete customization for the woman looking for incomparable fit that will have her continually falling in love with her wardrobe.
Shop Swaby here.