SAIC Presents Fashion 2013 on May 3, Tickets on Sale March 20

Anke Loh, Sage Chair in Fashion Design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), announces Fashion 2013, the school’s 79th annual fashion show. Presented Friday, May 3 three times throughout the day on Millennium Park’s Chase Promenade, Fashion 2013 will culminate with THE WALK—SAIC’s annual benefit supporting the production of student work and scholarships—at 5:30 p.m. This year, THE WALK celebrates fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte with the Legend of Fashion Award, as well as constant supporter of SAIC, Melissa Sage Fadim, with the Heart of Fashion Award.

“This magnificent show is a fitting platform for the marvelous, innovative work of our students. I am inspired by the creations that they continue to produce each year,” said SAIC President Walter E. Massey. “This year, it is a special privilege to honor both Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte who, like many of these students, began their creative explorations at such a young age, as well as a true friend to SAIC and the Fashion Design department, Melissa Sage Fadim, whose passion and commitment to this institution makes events like this possible, including the annual fashion show.”

Fashion 2013 presents an electrifying runway show featuring more than 300 original garments created by undergraduate students in SAIC’s internationally renowned Fashion Design program, which boasts such distinguished alumni as Halston, Cynthia Rowley, Maria Pinto, Gary Graham, J. Morgan Puett and Lawrence Steele. Students and faculty work to create a truly professional fashion runway show—stunning design, intriguing soundscapes, exquisite garments, and cutting-edge looks—by incorporating and combining techniques from the fields of sculpture, performance, design, technology, architecture, and installation. Seniors in SAIC’s acclaimed Department of Fashion Design will showcase complete collections of five looks; juniors will show a three-look collection; and sophomores will present one avant-garde look.

“Our strong team of faculty and students inspires us to advance, take more risks and follow unusual directions in order to break through to new territory,” said Associate Professor Anke Loh, Sage Chair in Fashion Design. “We are poised and ready to continue to experiment with our individual and collective inquiries into fashion, body, and garment.”

More than 50 models from Factor Runway will showcase designs as they walk down a 90-foot runway inside a 15,000-square-foot tent on Chase Promenade, a three-block-long walkway centrally located in Millennium Park.Hairstyling is provided by ULTA; make-up services are provided by Maybelline New York. Fashion 2013 is produced and directed by SAIC faculty member Conrad Hamather, Graduate Coordinator of the Master of Design in Fashion, Body and Garment program, with talent direction by fellow SAIC faculty member Shane Gabier, an SAIC alumnus and co-founder of the clothing label Creatures of the Wind.

Tickets for Fashion 2013 ($40–$75) will be available March 20 online only at and available at the door on May 3.


Fashion 2013 culminates with THE WALK, SAIC’s annual scholarship benefit held in conjunction with Fashion 2013. Co-Chairs, SAIC Board of Governors member Stephanie Sick and SAIC Fashion Committee member Roopa P. Weber, are thrilled to honor Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte with this year’s Legend of Fashion Award, given for outstanding contributions in the fashion industry. THE WALK will also honor Melissa Sage Fadim with the Heart of Fashion Award for her 25-year commitment to SAIC’s Fashion Department. The evening begins with a 5:30 p.m. cocktail reception in the Millennium Park Chase Promenade followed by THE WALK at 6:30 p.m., which includes the runway show featuring SAIC student collections, the presentations of the Legend of Fashion and Heart of Fashion awards as well as significant student scholarships, awards and coveted fashion industry internships. Immediately following THE WALK, guests will enjoy a strolling dinner at the rooftop terrace of Millennium Park’s Harris Theater.Individual tickets for THE WALK are $500–$1,000. Tables are $5,000–$25,000. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 312.499.4190. Fashion 2013 is made possible in part by presenting sponsor Swarovski, returning for its third consecutive year of support.


Kate and Laura Mulleavy founded Rodarte in 2005 in Los Angeles, California and are now “the most celebrated American designers working today” (The New Yorker). They have won numerous awards and accolades, including the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2009 and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Fashion, and were nominated for Best Costume Design at the 16th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards for their work in Black Swan. In 2009 Rodarte was the first fashion house to be awarded a United States Artists Grant, and in 2010 Rodarte was awarded the National Arts Awards’ Bill and Maria Bell Young Artist Award. In March 2011 Rodarte’s first West Coast exhibition Rodarte: States of Matter opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In December 2011, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) debuted its exhibit, RODARTE: Fra Angelico Collection, a collection of couture gowns inspired by frescoes painted by the early Italian Renaissance artist Fra Angelico (c. 1350–1455). Rodarte’s work is featured in the permanent collections of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. International icons including Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Keira Knightley, Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Obama, Chloë Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Maggie Cheung, Scarlett Johansson, and Reese Witherspoon wear the Rodarte label.

“We are truly honored to be receiving the Legend of Fashion award from SAIC’s distinguished Fashion Design program,” said Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte. “We feel privileged to be recognized and involved with Fashion 2013.”

“It is creative, entrepreneurial leaders such as Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte who elevate the importance of artists and designers in the cultural landscape,” added Anke Loh. “To our SAIC community, Rodarte's role and work within the fashion design industry is an example of both success and sustained artistic integrity. Kate and Laura's interdisciplinary and conceptual approach—and their fearless instinct for innovation—resonates with our students and faculty and inspires them to push the boundaries of fashion.”


In 1989 Melissa Sage Fadim established the SAIC Fashion department‘s first endowed chair position and generously funded the Sage Studios located in the Louis Sullivan–designed Carson Pirie Scott Building, now known as the Sullivan Center, which also houses the Fashion Resource Center. She has been at the helm of her family's Sage Foundation for two decades and is also a producer for several films, and serves on various boards and committees throughout Chicago.


Fashion 2013 will be presented three times on Friday, May 3:
9 a.m. is a general admission dress rehearsal. Tickets are $40.
12 p.m. and 3 p.m. shows are general admission seating. Tickets are $75.
Tickets to the 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. shows go on sale March 20. Tickets will be available online only at and available at the door on May 3.

THE WALK is generously supported by Presenting Sponsors Swarovski and the MacLean-Fogg Company. Additional support is provided by: Haute-Couture Sponsors Ariel Investments, Maybelline New York, Sage Foundation, Bill and Stephanie Sick, and ULTA; Avant-Garde Sponsors Driehaus Design Initiative, Exelon, Goldman Sachs, and the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Foundation; Prêt-à-Porter Sponsors Denise B. Gardner, Macy’s, Bisi Williams and Bruce Mau, Mesirow Financial, and the Neisser Family Fund; and additional in-kind sponsors.


An Antwerp Design Collective: A Nexus of Commerce, Art, and Fashion
A conversation with Paul Boedens, Walter van Beirendonck, Inge Grognard, Ronald Stoops, and Dirk van Saene
Wednesday, April 3, 6 p.m.
SAIC Columbus Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Dr.
Free and open to the public

Moderated by Anke Loh, SAIC Sage Chair in Fashion Design, and Zoe Ryan, Chair and John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago, this panel discussion will explore the interests, motivations, and inspirations of five influential Antwerp-based fashion and design professionals. The participants will discuss their strong history of collaboration, the importance of geography and developing a “fashion empire,” and the role of fashion as a powerful axis for cultural innovation.

Swarovski Michigan Avenue Window Installation
Swarovski Boutique, 540 N. Michigan Ave.
On view beginning April 15
A presenting sponsor of THE WALK 2013, Swarovski, the leading designer of crystal fashion jewelry and accessories, will extend its partnership with SAIC past the runway for the second year. Students and faculty from SAIC’s Master of Design program in Fashion, Body and Garment, under the direction of Nick Cave, will use Swarovski’s signature jewels to create and install a window display at the flagship boutique (540 N. Michigan Ave.) in celebration of their “Passport to Sparkle” spring/summer campaign. Combining principals of sculpture, architecture, design, and fashion, students will have the incredible opportunity to expose their creations at the boutique April 15–May 5. In addition, Swarovski will pick one student from the Fashion Design program to incorporate the signature jewels in their garment which will be worn during the runway show on May 3.


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Fashion program provides a creative and intellectual context in which the nature and potential of fashion is closely examined and reimagined. Uniquely situated within a vibrant contemporary school of art and design, SAIC’s Fashion department offers undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate fashion programs that build on the connections and relationships between art and fashion that have been evolving in the past century and that reach an unprecedented level in contemporary practices today.

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

The success of SAIC’s Fashion Design program and SAIC's interdisciplinary approach to education is reflected in a list of alumni that includes such notable designers as Halston, Cynthia Rowley, Lawrence Steele, J. Morgan Puett, Eunwha Kim, Maria Pinto, Gary Graham, and Matthew Ames. SAIC graduates hold senior design positions in firms as varied as Yeohlee, Jones New York, Levis, Nike, Charles Chang Lima, and Tommy Hilfiger, and design for Anna Sui, Calvin Klein, Tiffani Kim, Betsey Johnson, Triple5Soul, and Moschino. Upon graduating, many have chosen to intern for international houses such as Viktor & Rolf, Alexander McQueen, Wendy & Jim, Castelbajac, Zac Posen, Threeasfour and William Ivey Long or to launch their own fashion lines. For more information, please visit


A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees and post-baccalaureate programs to more than 3,200 students from around the globe. SAIC also provides adults, high school students, and children with the opportunity to flourish in a variety of courses, workshops, certificate programs, and camps through its Continuing Studies program. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC's resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. For more information, please visit

Download Release (printer-friendly version): SAIC Fashion 2013.

Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte

Press/Media contact

Bree Witt
P: 312.499.4211 (office)