The 16th Annual Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence

Runway Show Competition Featuring Top Emerging Fashion Design Students

On Friday April 28th the Driehaus Design Initiative celebrated the future of fashion at The 16th Annual Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence. The event, themed Elements, featured a runway show highlighting the talents of top emerging Chicago fashion design students.

Hosted by Inese and Richard H. Driehaus, The 16th Annual Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence took place at Vintage Studios (700 S. Desplaines Street), showcasing 25 designers’ innovative collections, and excellence in sewing techniques and garment construction. 

The elegant fashion soirée was emceed by Sylvia Perez, News Anchor/Reporter on Fox 32 Chicago, and included a pre-party with hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, live entertainment, a live auction, and an exclusive VIP after-party. 

The first place designer won $7,500, including photography & make-up for the production of a lookbook, a garment display at Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue, and additional media opportunities. The second and third place designers, as well as the five honorable mention designers won cash honorariums.

Wendy Krimins, General Manager, Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue,  selected one participant to receive the Neiman Marcus Distinguished Designer Award and a window display at the Michigan Avenue store, plus one-on-one meetings with a partner, buyer or executive.

Judging the runway show was be a panel of industry experts including:  

-Ellie Cotey, Head of Wardrobe, Joffrey Ballet; 

-Mark Roscoe, President, Mark Roscoe Design;

-Jennifer Worman, CEO of T&J Designs and Blogger at Red Soles and Red Wine.

Participating students were invited to join Driehaus Design Initiative and the Chicago History Museum for the Runway to Showroom: Driehaus Business of Fashion Symposium. The symposium is a day of industry-led panels and open dialogue focusing on business to help designers achieve success. It also includes a guided behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum's costume collection with Costume Curator Petra Slinkard and Costume Collection Manager Jessica Pushor followed by a curator guided tour of the Making Mainbocher exhibition.

Local fashion and design schools participating were:  Columbia College Chicago, Dominican University, The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.    

                           About Driehaus Design Initiative

Driehaus Design Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was established to promote and encourage design education and to foster public appreciation and understanding of all aspects of fashion design and history. Driehaus Design Initiative contributes proceeds from The Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence to support fashion and design endeavors in Chicago. 

  Follow on Instagram and Facebook: @DriehausDesignInitiative