Marketing & Communications: SAIC Explores Equality in Fashion Runway Show and Exhibition

CHICAGO–Fashion Design students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), a global leader in art and design education, will make a bold statement when their designs hit the runway at the School’s annual fashion show and exhibition on May 5. This year’s showcase takes on the theme of equality, exploring identity and social movements, and providing commentary on some of the most pressing issues today.

With work that questions gender roles, explores the disintegration of the “American Dream” and evokes a sense of nostalgia, many of the students will use their avant-garde designs as a canvas for social action and discussion. Ultimately, however, the exhibition seeks to celebrate differences.

“Fashion has always served as a vehicle to express internal and external conflict, as well as hope, unity and community,” said Anke Loh, Sage Foundation Chair of SAIC’s Fashion Design department. “Through their work on SAIC’s fashion show and exhibition, our students seek to foster a greater understanding of cultures, histories, values and perspectives–which is a central role of art and design–while gaining valuable hands-on experience, working with professional models, photographers and hair and make-up artists.”

For more than 80 years, SAIC’s Fashion Design department has publicly showcased its students’ collections each spring. Evolving from concept to creation in just two semesters, 163 innovative looks pushing the traditional boundaries of style will be on display, created by 64 sophomores, juniors and seniors. SAIC’s Fashion Design program boasts distinguished alumni, including Halston, Cynthia Rowley, Maria Pinto, Gary Graham and Creatures of the Wind.

SAIC’s Fashion exhibition will take place at VenueSix10 at the Spertus Institute, 610 South Michigan Avenue. As part of the exhibition, SAIC is hosting a professionally produced runway show for invited guests to see work from senior students. For more information, visit

About SAIC’s Fashion Design Department

SAIC’s Fashion Design program provides a creative and intellectual context that closely examines and reimagines the nature and potential of fashion. Since 1934, SAIC has been educating new generations of fashion designers who have gone on to produce some of the most inspired and respected collections around the globe. Students set groundbreaking trends as they are encouraged to fiercely respond to international influences, discovering and exploring new concepts and materials. Uniquely situated within a vibrant contemporary school of art and design, SAIC’s Fashion Design department offers undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate programs that build on the relationships between art and fashion that have been evolving over the past century to reach an unprecedented level of connection in contemporary practice today.

SAIC’s Fashion program is housed within the Sage Studios for Fashion Design located in the historic Sullivan Center building. The 25,000-square-foot studio space includes the Fashion Resource Center, a hands-on collection of late-20th- and 21st-century designer garments and accessories representing extreme innovation, which enables SAIC students to explore the most progressive achievements in the world of dress and fashion.

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

For 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top three graduate fine arts programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through such notable alumni and faculty as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Nick Cave and LeRoy Neiman. For more information, please visit

Design by senior student Natalie Castro. Photo: Grave DuVal and Julian Spring; hair: Agnes Doyle; makeup: Nicole Rizzo and Rebecca Oxley

Press/Media contact

Bree Witt
P: 312.499.4211 (office)