Anna Hovet Dias is a fashion designer, entrepreneur, and educator with 16 years of experience in corporate and small business fashion. Anna had her own athleisure fashion line, HØVET Apparel, for 10 years before she transitioned the business to Hovet Fashion Studio, at which she helps new brands launch their fashion lines. As Executive Director at the Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy's on State Street, Hovet continues to be a leader in Chicago fashion, bringing the Chicago Fashion community together. She is passionate about female entrepreneurship and strives to be a mentor for women in business.
What do you make? Why do you make? What is your passion? Why do you do what you do?
Everyone wears clothing, therefore everyone is expressing something about themselves every day. I love being able to create garments that people use to define themselves. My apparel design specialty is athleisure. I love to create clothes that are physically comfortable because I think everyone feels and works better when they are comfortable. I also get to work with many other brands and help their visions come to life. There's nothing better than seeing a stranger wear one of your designs!
How does your practice inform your instruction?
My favorite part of fashion has always been fashion illustration. I had a great instructor, Steve Miller (still an instructor at SAIC) who taught me how to use gesture, pose, and fabric rendering to get the ideas out of my head and onto paper. I can create anything on paper!
What do you feel are the strengths of the Adult Continuing Education program in Continuing Studies at SAIC?
ACE has a very diverse student body. I love teaching people of all ages and often, very different professions - lawyers, marketing execs, undergrad students, artists, etc. They are excited about the skills they are learning and ask great questions about the fashion industry.
What do you feel are the strengths of CS at SAIC overall?
SAIC has a culture of acceptance and creativity unlike any other institution I've experienced. Concept and critique are both held to the highest standard, which gives students a competitive edge in creative professions. The CS program allows people to learn specific skills without committing to a full college degree.
What brought you to CS and/or keeps you coming back year after year?
As a SAIC alumnae, I wanted to get back into the classroom to hold on to my original passion for creating. When you make a business out of your passion, you can sometimes lose sight of your vision, getting distracted by all the other responsibilities of entrepreneurship. Teaching gives me a fresh perspective of what's possible without the parameters of an existing brand.