For this year’s list, we’ve kept our overall ranking numbers but organized everything by category.
Design 50 2022: The Fifty People Who Shape Chicago (Introduction)
Design 50 2022: interior architecture and design for the home
Design 50 2022: exhibitors and defenders
Design 50 2022: Architecture and the built environment
Design 50 2022: Graphic design and brand image
Design 50 2022: Innovation, Incubation & Acceleration
+ Designer of the moment: Andre Brumfield of Gensler Chicago
Here are those who shape Chicago fashion.
Kyle John Hollings and Tim Gillengerten
Artistic Director and Creative Director/Owner, Transit Tees
“Our favorite projects are inspired by the experiences we have in our daily lives in Chicago,” says Tim Gillengerten of Transit Tees, who alongside art director Kyle John Hollings is working on more than eighty product designs to be launched. throughout 2022, including a line of merchandise inspired by their Chicago Handshake card game. Incorporating a nostalgic design into contemporary pop culture, the new drinking card game is a nod to Chicago’s history, culture and the city’s most controversial booze, the infamously bitter Malört of Jeppson. Nothing more local than that!
Sarah Azzouzi and Kyla Embrey
Co-Founders, Lost Girls
Lost Girls founders Sarah Azzouzi and Kyla Embrey got into the vintage clothing business by crossing state lines with Winnie, their hand-painted 1976 RV, before settling down. Three locations later, in Chicago’s West Town and Logan Square neighborhoods, they’ve expanded from apparel to accessories, apparel and homewares. But that’s not all: “We are extending our sustainability practices to education,” says Azzouzi. “We look forward to hosting workshops that focus not only on creating new items from recycled materials, but also on mending and repairing clothes. We hope people will mend their clothes rather than throwing them away quickly. While we understand that not everyone has the ability to buy sustainably, we can at least teach others how to make their pieces last longer by repairing them, washing them properly, or recycling them. For her, the future looks bright: “I think we will see a lot of innovation in 2022, like when we were in a recession. I think it forces people to get more creative and come up with unique solutions to our new normal,” she adds. “What does the world of retail, art and design look like with the pandemic still on our heels? Maybe more outdoor markets, event spaces, retail and overall architectural design.
MJ Jaworowski and Jose Villanueva
Notre’s latest collection has made headlines with its third collaboration with Vault by Vans, reimagining the Vans archives through contemporary street fashion, art, surf and skate culture. “The Vault by Vans x Our OG Style 36 LX collection will feature three playful tonal colorways referencing popular coffee drinks: espresso, matcha and tea. With this collaboration, we wanted to focus on the unique yet familiar ways we each choose to enjoy our favorite beverages in hopes of shedding light on the little things that connect us all. Transforming the iconic side stripe of the OG Style shoe into incorporating their handshake logo, the minimalist design boutique that is undeniably one of the Midwest’s high-end destinations for sneakers, streetwear and apparel, sends a strong message: the community comes first. “There are many ways to do things besides your own,” reads their tagline, which aligns perfectly with their design ethos, concept, and higher values.
“I believe Chicago’s design landscape for this year will reflect what we are all going through collectively,” says Sheila Rashid. “I sense there will be an urge or a renaissance of designers, creators to want to find ways to be interactive, collaborative and expressive through events and activations. Given that COVID is making things difficult, this is us also makes you want to go harder. And I believe that Chicago is giving birth to more artists, especially now, who will shape the future. By designing pieces that “confront and restrict gender identity”, the unisex brand by Rashid takes a fresh approach to creativity, simplicity and perseverance while delivering a sense of individuality that has attracted celebrities from Zendaya and Lena Waithe to Chance The Rapper and Bella Hadid. her work as “combining both tomboyish and feminine qualities,” has only just begun. “Right now, I’m working on a new story to tell through my clothing designs,” she says. want contribute to the Chicago design scene by continuing to release collections that inspire future designers and by hosting events and workshops to show people that you don’t have to leave town to ‘get there’.”
Anna Hovet Dias
Founder, Hovet Fashion Studio/Executive Director, Chicago Fashion Incubator
“The pandemic has created a substantial opportunity for new and existing creators to break into a Chicago scene that has been relatively quiet for the past two years. I’ve seen many designers develop new ideas and brands during this downtime and can’t wait to see their launches in 2022,” says fashion designer, entrepreneur and educator Anna Hovet Dias, curious to see the formats in which artists decide to present their work. “I’m focused on nurturing the new guard of fashion designers in Chicago through my work at the Chicago Fashion Incubator,” says Dias, shining the spotlight on six very talented designers-in-residence, as she describes them. Dias balances her education and mentorship efforts with her business Høvet Fashion Studio. “There, I work with fashion enthusiasts and apparel entrepreneurs, which allows me to see a wide range of creativity and design through our clients’ work,” she says. “It’s a constant reminder of the talent in Chicago and I hope to continue to help bring these ideas to life.”
Creating collections that focus on exploring bold colors, voluminous silhouettes and intricate hand embroidery to express effortless femininity, Chicago-based fashion designer Azeeza balances elegance and quality – all garments are handmade with in-house dyed silk fabrics, traditional embellishment techniques and expert craftsmanship. Having dressed some of the most iconic women of our time – think Barbra Streisand, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker and Hailey Baldwin, Azeeza is constantly coming up with original and creative ways to create ready-to-wear clothing that stands out. .
Hailing from the South End of Chicago, Kristopher Kites has created sculpture-like artwork, jewelry, clothing and apparel, a nod to cartoons, nostalgia and his childhood. Her work includes superheroes and Jesus figurines made of transparent or brightly colored plastic and which can be worn as jewelry, chains in the form of necklaces or bracelets, and 3D sculpted objects of all shapes and sizes. Most often they are unique. When his first line fell, Kites did an underwater shoot. It was all uphill from there. His work has been spotted on J Balvin, Post Malone, Jonathan “Foodgod” Cheban, Don C, Ben Baller and LeBron James. Creating literal wearable sculptures and “faux-garment making,” as he calls it, allowed Kites to become the first designer-in-residence at Don C and Virgil Abloh’s boutique, RSVP Gallery. And his latest news includes a collaboration with Mattel.
Hall of Fame: Fashion
*= new this year
fashion chair, SAIC
* Maria Pinto
Fashion designer and founder, M2057
Fashion Designer/Design Director, Chicago Fashion Incubator
Founder and Creative Director, The silver room
Of Greek origin, Vasia Rigou is a seasoned journalist, writer and producer of multimedia content mainly on the subjects of visual art, culture, architecture and design. She is currently the editor of Newcity, Chicago’s leading cultural publication, an editor and editor at the headquarters of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and a regular contributor to international architecture and design magazines OnOffice and ICON. She has experience creating content for brands and writing influential conference speeches and TEDx talks. Simply put: she is fascinated by uncovering the big stories behind the people, places and things around us, and sharing those stories with the world. When she’s not writing about art or watching art—wine in hand—she’s making lists for just about everything, drinking huge amounts of coffee, and taking trips across the country. whenever she gets the chance.