Alumnae Liz Patelski and Lisa Panza discuss their Chicago-based, Chicago-inspired line Remi Canarie.
Alumnae Liz Patelski and Lisa Panza discuss their Chicago-based, Chicago-inspired line Remi Canarie.
February 15

Alums Custom-tailor Fashion to Chicago’s Big Shoulders

As WBEZ contributor Britt Julious argues, restrictions can often “provide a chance to experiment with one’s work and develop without set rules or paths in line.” Case in point: Remi Canarie, a new line by SAIC graduates Liz Patelski and Lisa Panza (BFA 2011), who've capitalized on Chicago’s perceived drawbacks to establish their own model for success. “Being in Chicago, there’s not as much pressure to follow the same pursuits,” Patelski explains. “We’re taking the opportunity here to define ourselves.”  The city and its history have also proved a major source of aesthetic inspiration. “What is it about Chicago? It’s the city of big shoulders, and so we moved towards menswear, workwear, uniforms. That is Chicago.” The pair met at SAIC and both “credit the school for providing a support system that emphasizes the importance of design and gives students the freedom to pursue conceptual work.” While enrolled in the fashion program, Panza received the Gladys V. Pick Scholarship, the Nick Cave Award, The Walk Scholarship, and The Menswear Award. Patelski worked as an intern for CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist Cushnie et Ochs and received and the $25,000 Eunice W. Johnson Fellowship, which the pair used to start their label.