The Eleventh Annual Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence took place on Apr 27, 2012. Themed Driven by Design, the runway competition was held in a transformed garage space and allowed Chicago’s student fashion designers to showcase their collections to a panel of industry judges.
The mission of the Driehaus Design Initiative is to promote and encourage design education and to foster public appreciation and understanding of all aspects of fashion design and history. And for the 11th year in the row it had stayed true to that mission.
Each year approximately 25 students from Chicago’s five fashion schools are selected to compete for the Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence. Students have a chance to present their collections of up to 4 looks at a professionally produced runway show in front of a panel of industry judges and over 500 guests.
Held at 700 S. Des Plaines, the Driehaus Design Initiative had transformed the garage into an elegant fashion space. A pre-show silent auction and reception with passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails were held in the two of the three sections of the enormous venue. The classic vintage cars were on display throughout, along with 3 models wearing designs by 8th, 9th and 10th years’ winners.
Before the start of the fashion show, master of the ceremonies ABC7’s Linda Yu, wearing a design by one of last year’s winner Jessica Fitzgerald, welcomed the guests with opening remarks. Richard H. Driehaus, Chicago businessman and philanthropist, and founder of The Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence, also took the stage.
This year’s judges included Wendy Krimins, Vice-President and General Manager, Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue; Susanna Negovan, Editor-in-Chief, Michigan Avenue Magazine; and Diego Rocha, Designer, Diego Rocha Handbags.
The Driehaus Design Initiatives is providing student fashion designers with opportunities to further their careers in Chicago. The selected designers will be receiving cash awards with the amounts determined by their winning place, which they can use to start establishing their design businesses. The three winners indicated they plan on staying in Chicago in the foreseeable future.
Extending thank you to Deleay Lashay for the custom made necklace worn for the video. Deleay Lashay is a line of one of a kind jewelry with each piece made by hand.