Thursday, June 14, 2012

Whither the city's fashion initiative?

Posted By on 06.14.12 at 06:23 AM

On Tuesday the news broke that Kiran Advani, the director of fashion programming for the city, as well as some of her colleagues at the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, are out of a job. Starting July 1, all fashion events will be the responsibility of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. It's the latest of many recent changes at the Cultural Center.

Advani reports that the Mayor's Fashion Council is still intact (for now) and that popular events like Fashion Focus Chicago and the annual downtown sidewalk sale will continue. However, letting her go is a clear sign that nurturing local designers and boutiques is not one of Mayor Emanuel's top priorities.

There's no doubt there is room for improvement with regard to the city's approach to supporting and promoting local fashion, but to pull back after years of cost and effort is disheartening for many participants in the industry—especially independent boutiques and designers, who can no doubt use all the help they can get right now.

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