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SPECIAL ISSUE

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

WHERE RUNWAY MEETS REALITY STYLE MEETS SUBSTANCE + HAUTE MEETS HEART™

OCTOBER 2010

ME-INFOCUS.COM

BLAST OFF WITH ALLISON MASLAN + FASHION FOCUS CHICAGO


RAC VISUAL IMAGING International Award Winning Production 312 404 4470 | racvisual.com


INSIDE STYLE ME. ENTERTAIN ME. INFORM ME. INDULGE ME. INSPIRE ME. EMPOWER ME.™

OVERCOMING THE ODDS 14

FACTUALLY PINK 32

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CONTRIBUTORS A Few of the People Who Make Our Magazine Fantastic

FASHION FOCUS CHICAGO 2010 Kiran Advani Speaks About Chicago Fashion Industry Initiatives

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EDITOR’S LETTER Bee Li Shares Her Thoughts

LOCAL LOOKBOOK A Peek at Chicago Designers

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THE BEAUTY EQUATION Nigel Barker, Beloved ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Judge and Author of Nigel Barker’s Beauty Equation

HOT SPOTS Let Your Soul Unwind

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THE SCENE Chicago Style

10 SUE OLSEN A True Sport

FACTUALLY PINK A Photo Essay CALENDAR Pink Parties + Other Events

46 OLIVIA’S STORY Installment III by Valencia Davis

12 PINK POWER Breast Cancer Products

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LOCAL LOOKBOOK 28

OVERCOMING THE ODDS Gilda’s Club Chicago + Bright Pink

20 BLAST OFF! With Allison Maslan, Author of Blast Off! The Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dream Into Reality

22 THE WOMEN’S BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER Highlights from the 24th Annual Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference

FASHION FOCUS 2010 24

CORRECTION

BLAST OFF! ALLISON MASLAN 20

In the September issue, we referenced Kelly Aaron as Vice President of Everlights as part of our Movers + Shakers feature. She is the President of the company. We regret this error.

OCTOBER ME: IN FOCUS 3


FOUNDER + EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Bee Li DESIGN DIRECTOR Diana Dittmer CONTRIBUTING FASHION + BEAUTY DIRECTOR Alex Albrecht

EDITORIAL EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Iya Bakare CONTRIBUTING HEALTH + WELLNESS WRITER Kerry Sayers RESIDENT ART + CULTURE CRITIC Valencia Davis

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EDITORIAL INTERN Becky Lerner

FASHION FOCUS CHICAGO

ART The city comes together to celebrate the best in established and aspiring designers with week-long shows, shopping events and parties. This look by Miriam Cecilia was definitely a ‘wow’ moment of the show, according to Amy Creyer of Chicago StreetStyle Scene.

CONTRIBUTING PHOTO EDITOR Ricardo Ford

ADMINISTRATIVE EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Ashley Brodarick

chicagofashionresource.com chicagostreetstyle.com

CONTACTS

PHOTO AMY CREYER

ADVERTISING adsales@meinfocusmag.com CONTENT editor@meinfocusmag.com SUBSCRIPTIONS subscribe@meinfocusmag.com SUBMISSIONS submissions@meinfocusmag.com GENERAL INQUIRIES info@meinfocusmag.com

4256 N. Ravenswood Ave., Suite 203 Chicago, IL 60613 p) 773 935 9888 / f) 773 304 2889

20 ON THE COVER Katie Sniadach Nineteen year Katie is our fresh face for the month as she graces our special beauty spread in recognition of breast cancer awareness. agencygalatea.com PHOTO ROD ROBERTS STYLING/MAKEUP + HAIR KRISTA GOBELI

BLAST OFF! FROM PASSION TO PROFESSION Serial entrepreneur and life coach Allison Maslan takes you step by step through her comprehensive coaching program designed to help you discover what your true calling is, whether in life, love or work. myblastoff.com

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Copyright© 2010 ME: IN FOCUS/The LB Group LLC. All Rights Reserved. All text, images, graphics and other materials in this publication and the website are subject to the copyright and other intellectual property rights of ME: IN FOCUS/The LB Group LLC and other respective contributors, affiliates and/or submitters. These materials may not be reproduced, distributed, modified or reposted to other publications or websites without the express written permission of ME: IN FOCUS/The LB Group LLC or other respective copyright holders. The photos on the following pages of this issue, unless otherwise credited, are copyrighted property of The LB Group LLC and express written permission must be granted for any usage. Any photos not noted above, and not specifically credited, are obtained from publicly shared/open license sources and/or databases. The marks appearing in this publication and/or the website including, but not limited to: (i) The LB Group LLC; and (ii) ME: IN FOCUS and its respective logos, images, emblems, phrases, slogans, designs, and mottos; are trademarks of The LB Group LLC, its brands and affiliates. The information contained herein is designed to be as contextual and factual as possible, per our best efforts and the information and/or resources available and/or provided to us at the time. We reserve the right, however, to make changes at any time, without notice, in the editing of the publication therein for clarity, brevity, content, and purpose. Some links and/or contact information provided in this publication may lead to websites and/or establishments/businesses by independent third party owners. The information presented therein is the sole responsibility of those independent third party owners. The LB Group LLC and ME: IN FOCUS have no control or responsibility for the content of independent sites and/or nature of third party establishments/businesses and we provide these links and/or contact information to our readers solely for their convenience.

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BLAST OFF PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLISON MASLAN / FASHiON FOCUS CHICAGO

OFFICE + CREATIVE STUDIOS


CONTRIBUTORS KIRAN ADVANI

With over a decade of media relations, promotional marketing and special events experience, including working closely with local designers and independent retailers, Kiran Advani heads the communications efforts for the Mayor’s fashion initiatives including Fashion Focus Chicago, the Chicago Fashion Incubator and ChicagoFashionResource.com for the Chicago Office of Tourism. Kiran has garnered national acclaim and local accolades from fashion accessory brands Lana Jewelry and K. Amato, in addition to handling media relations for the launch of the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center’s fashion program STITCHES and local boutique le Dress, to name a few. Her clients have been seen in the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, In Style, Lucky, New York Times Style Magazine, T, and People, plus segments on the Today Show and Good Morning America. Kiran ran her own independent practice before joining the City of Chicago. She started her career at renowned communications firm Margie Korshak, Inc. and has also served as vice president and lifestyle/group director at the boutique agency Zapwater Communications and managed public relations and special events at the Terra Museum of American Art. Beyond her professional career, Kiran has volunteered her time on boards for the Chicago Fashion Foundation and the Chicago chapter and national board of Step Up Women’s Network. Born in India, Kiran has been a Chicagoland resident since the age of three and currently resides in Bucktown with her husband Nate Anderson and their daughter, Sela Eden.

LINDSAY AVNER

Lindsay Avner’s passion for breast and ovarian cancer awareness stems from personal experience. Her mother fought both diseases when Lindsay was only 12 and she lost both her grandmother and great-grandmother to breast cancer before she was born. In June 2005, right after graduating from the University of Michigan, Lindsay tested positive for a mutation on the BRCA1 gene, indicating she had a lifetime risk of up to 87 percent of developing breast cancer and 54 percent of developing ovarian cancer. Vowing not to let the disease strike her, as it had three generations of women before her, she opted to have a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. At the time, Lindsay was the youngest patient nationally to opt for the procedure. It was during her experience that Lindsay realized the lack of resources for women in her specific situation—young women at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. After honing her marketing skills while working in brand management at Unilever, Lindsay founded Bright Pink in January 2007 to share her experience and resources with other young women across the country. Lindsay was named ‘A Woman to Watch’ by the Chicago Sun Times (2008), an ‘Action Hero’ by Women’s Health magazine (2008) and is the youngest recipient of the AntiDefamation League’s ‘Rising Star’ award (2009). Lindsay serves as co-chair of the Young Women’s National Advisory Council for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Lindsay’s story and work has been profiled in such media outlets as the Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, Shape, Glamour, Chicago Magazine, New York Times, New York Post, The Today Show and CNN.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CONTRIBUTORS

ALLISON MASLAN

Allison Jill Maslan, HHP, CCH is president of Blast Off! Life and Business Coaching, an international motivational speaker and best-selling author. She is an avid entrepreneur, building nine of her own businesses in many different industries. Allison has coached thousands of clients in developing and achieving their own successful life and business ventures. She has been an expert guest on several FOX, NBC and ABC news shows across the country. In her new No. 1 book, Blast Off! The Surefire Success Plan To Launch Your Dreams Into Reality, Allison gives tips for tapping into your passions and finding a fulfilling career or hobby. Blast Off! (Morgan James Publishing, January 2010) is her first book. For more information, visit MyBlastOff.com. Allison lives in Cardiff, Calif. with her husband, Mike, and their three dogs. Her daughter, whom she raised primarily as a single mom after her own life changes, is currently attending college. OCTOBER ME: IN FOCUS 5


PHOTO ROD ROBERTS

YOU ARE NEVER TOO YOUNG TO DEVELOP BREAST CANCER BREAST SELF EXAM SHOULD BEGIN BY THE AGE OF 20

EDITOR’S LETTER BEE LI SHARES HER THOUGHTS Dear Readers, Welcome to the October issue. By sharing the personal struggles and triumphs of the brave women in this special breast cancer issue, we hope to put a human face on one of the most important health topics for women today—a disease that will affect one in eight women in her lifetime. While we tend to think of February as the month for love, I personally think that October best reflects its true meaning. It’s because of love for the women in our lives that we come together as a nation to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research and screening, while supporting them every step of the way. It’s because of love that we support our LGBT friends, family and colleagues during October’s observance of LGBT History Month. With several cases of bullying making the headlines in recent weeks, it has never been more pressing for us 6 ME: IN FOCUS OCTOBER

to come together in the name of tolerance, inclusiveness and diversity. And it’s because of love for ourselves that we take charge of our own health, find our inner strength, accept our imperfections and, as Nigel Barker told me, embrace beauty as “being authentically individual.” Be Good.


+ THE BEAUTY EQUATION = NIGEL BARKER DEFINES THE TERM

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Photographer, humanitarian and America’s Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker explains how he sees beauty through his eyes and lens as a photographer. In his new book, Nigel Barker’s Beauty Equation, Nigel outlines the importance of self-confidence and how it relates to the essence of beauty. beautyequation.com INTERVIEWED BY BEE LI

NIGEL: My favorite photographs are taken in the most unusual circumstances, such as the natural disaster in Haiti. These are moments that move people, which motivated me to write my book. With my life as a husband and father and my career, I still felt there was a hole in my life. As a philanthropist, I found what was missing. My four-year-old son told me he was going to wear his ‘Save the Seals’ t-shirt today, and I think that’s what counts.

BEE: Tell us how your work as a humanitarian shaped you into the person you are today.

BEE: You were a model before you were a photographer. How do you perceive people from a different set of ‘eyes’?

NIGEL: As a photographer, you have to find the essence and natural element of the person you’re photographing to take a fantastic picture. The model should be able to talk with his or her eyes. Some of the best photographers I’ve worked with are able to squeeze your heart and caress it. BEE: What’s your biggest piece of advice for young women? NIGEL: Buy my book (he says with a smile).

PHOTO ROGIE CRUZ

BEE: How do you define beauty? NIGEL: Being beautiful means being an individual, being unique and being you. This is true authenticity. All too often young women see models retouched on magazine covers and aspire to be like them. Our imperfections are some of the very things that make us perfect because they tell a story. As a person, you want to be more than a fad. Be iconic. None of us want to be last season.

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ME: IN FOCUS CELEBRATES WOMEN WHO MOVE CHICAGO

THIS PAGE/ PHOTOS BY DUANE KUAN/SPECTACULIGHTS SPECTACULIGHTS.COM

ME: IN FOCUS Magazine, in collaboration with the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation, gathered for our fall fashion and entrepreneur party on Tuesday, October 5, in the upstairs lounge at Rockit Bar & Grill to celebrate the magazine’s September 2010 issue. Black tablecloths draped over high pub tables were accented with pink ribbons and candle votives, contrasting the wood-clad décor in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. September’s cover girl and media personality Brittney Payton spoke about the importance of breast cancer awareness and taking responsibility for one’s health. She took a moment to honor strong women in society and those who are fighting breast cancer. A veritable list of fashionistas, readers, contributors and spotlighted entrepreneurs attended the event. ME: IN FOCUS editor-in-chief Bee Li spoke briefly to acknowledge the featured female entrepreneurs highlighted in the magazine’s September issue. Appetizers, champagne cocktails, as well as tunes from the resident DJ, kept the night flowing seamlessly as guests perused magazines, mingled and networked. The event benefited Walter & Connie Payton Foundation. Many thanks to our sponsors: Rockit Bar & Grill and Eli’s Cheescake.


THIS PAGE/ AKIRA PHOTOS MARCIN TOMASZCZYK NIGEL BARKER PHOTOS ROGIE CRUZ

THE SCENE CHICAGO STYLE Out, About + On the Town.

NIGEL BARKER VISITS MACY’S ON STATE STREET IN CHICAGO Aspiring models, photographers and other fans of America’s Next Top Model photographer and judge Nigel Barker gathered at Macy’s on State Street in Chicago. The celebrity photographer autographed copies of his new book, Nigel Barker’s Beauty Equation. Prior to his book signing, Nigel met with various media outlets for one-on-one interviews where he discussed his book, his work as a photographer and his definition of true beauty.

AKIRA’S 7TH ANNUAL GARDEN OF EDEN FASHION SHOW Chicago took an exotic trip to the Garden of Eden at AKIRA’s 7th Annual Garden of Eden Fashion Show Benefit, Folklorique, on Sunday, September 26 at the courtyards of Galleria Marchetti. The pre-fashion show entertainment of music and dance performances were provided by the Chicago Cultural Alliance. Dina Blair, WGN news anchor and cancer survivor, along with B96’s Julian, emceed the event. AKIRA presented its fall fashion trends from various designers. They included Hudson denim, Dorsia, Wolverine, Sam Edelman, Dumond, Michael Antonio and PF-Flyers Footwear. The show benefits Imerman Angels.


SUE OLSEN A TRUE SPORT Sue Olsen, mother of Chicago Bear tight end Greg Olsen (#82), tells us how she tackled breast cancer and how, through her own story and her son’s organization Receptions for Research, she champions breast cancer research and other breast cancer survivors. receptionsforresearch.org INTERVIEWED BY BEE LI + IYA BAKARE

GREG OLSEN WITH HIS MOM SUE

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IYA: You were diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2001. As a wife, mother of three children and with a career as a teacher, how did you get through this time in your life? SUE: We were always a close family, but at a time such as this one, we really bonded more as a family. I give a lot of credit to my husband, my kids, my sisters, the rest of my family and friends. I am also thankful to my oncologist, who is also my next door neighbor. He saved my life. BEE: Is it true you never missed one of your sons’ games as you underwent both radiation and chemotherapy? SUE: I never missed the boys playing football. I started chemo that summer and I remember telling my sister I have to go to the games. Women ask me all the time how I did it and I tell them you don’t have a choice. You have to get through it and you do it because you know at the end of each treatment, there’s an end in sight that’s going to get you well.

SUE: Are you kidding me? Of course I was extremely concerned about the physical aspect of it. I had no hair or any eyebrows, but I tell women they can overcome it. We as women can’t be so vain to ignore treatment because we will be okay in a year. With my own children and the high school children I teach, I used it as a teaching tool about the disease. BEE: What is your advice to anyone who has a loved one with breast cancer? SUE: Be there for them on the good days and the bad ones. We’re so lucky today that there are ways to treat this disease. It’s also important to remember there are survivors out there. IYA: What would you say to young women about this disease? SUE: All the stories out there about breast cancer should alert young women to take care of themselves. It keeps them more informed because you can never be too cautious when it comes to your health.

FOR MORE on the Olsen Family Story Check out our May issue where we featured Greg’s special photoshoot in honor of his mother. issuu.com/meinfocusmag

PHOTOS BOTH PAGES/ COURTESY OF DAPHNE ORTIZ OF PRALLIANCE

BEE: As a woman, how concerned were you about the physical effects of your treatments?

FAR LEFT + RIGHT/ ANDREA GORDON + DAVID SACK OF THE LYNN SAGE CENTER RESEARCH FOUNDATION; CENTER/ SUE + GREG OLSEN

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PINK POWER BREAST CANCER PRODUCTS From pink podiums to cell phone covers, companies all over the world team up with organizations to introduce breast cancer awareness initiatives. Here are a few companies who have developed products to support the pink movement. OtterBox Commuter Series Cases BY IYA BAKARE

OtterBox teamed up with Avon Breast Cancer Crusade to raise funds for breast cancer awareness and developed a line of cell phone cases. Their “Pink is Strength� line is designed for Blackberry smartphones. The custom-made pink and white cases provide multilayer protection against bumps, drops, dirt and dust. Ten percent of the sales are donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade to support the cause. Since May, OtterBox donated more than $88,000 and the campaign will continue until May 2011. $34.95 OtterBox otterbox.com/strength

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PHOTOS OBTAINED FROM COMPANY WEBSITES

Limited Edition Pink Bra

Zebra Pen

Pink Podium

Anita Care, a division of Anita International, partnered with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to design and develop a limited edition Pink Bra for post mastectomy patients. Anita International is a family-owned body wear and medical product company for care after breast surgery based out of Germany and is represented in 19 countries worldwide. Anita Care Manager Andrea Barbera says proceeds for this global initiative go to women in Africa who can’t afford or aren’t exposed to mammograms. On Oct. 16, Anita Care presented a $35,000 check at the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for funds raised from Pink Bra purchases.

The Zebra Pen Corporation created a clip-on pink ribbon retractable pen in efforts to support breast cancer awareness and will donate a percentage of the sales to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The easily refillable pen is made from 70 percent post-consumer waste materials. With both black and pink ink, the pen clips on and can serve as a pin when placed in your shirt pocket. Visit the Zebra Pen Corporation’s website or find a pen at major office supply retailers.

Amplivox Sound Systems is using its product to ‘speak up’ about breast cancer awareness. The Chicago-area company manufactures and sells portable sound systems, lecterns and podiums. Amplivox developed a campaign specifically for this cause. The company’s ‘Pink Podium Promise’ includes a donated pink podium by request for those who speak out about breast cancer education.

$45 Anita International anita.com

$5.50 Zebra Pen Corporation zebrapen.com komen.org nationalbreastcancer.org

Free donations for all breast cancer events! Contact: Nancy Gernstein Creative Marketing Associates 847 401 0384 nancy@creativemarketingassociatesinc.com Podium manufactured by: Amplivox Sound Systems ampli.com

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COURTNEY KELLOGG WOJCIK + FRIEND

OVERCOMING THE ODDS GILDA’S CLUB CHICAGO + BRIGHT PINK Four courageous young women share their first-hand experiences of how breast cancer affected their lives. gildasclubchicago.org bebrightpink.org

INTERVIEWED BY IYA BAKARE + BECKY LERNER

COURTNEY KELLOGG WOJCIK GILDA’S CLUB CHICAGO Gyrotonic Instructor Age 32 MY STORY

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cally exhausting, well I’d be lying. My husband, family and friends have been unbelievably solid from the beginning. I became a member of Gilda’s Club after reading that their organization promotes attendance from not only the person diagnosed, but anyone affected by the diagnosis. I find comfort in knowing that my family and friends have a place to go when they too are feeling overwhelmed. I also found Stephanie Davies of SD Rehab through a friend and she has been an amazing resource and friend to me. I originally contacted Stephanie after my first surgery for rehabilitation purposes and still use SD Rehab as a facility for healing.

I would say to really listen and actually abide by the phrase you so often hear when leaving many doctors’ offices, ‘Take care of yourself.’ As women, I believe, we naturally nurture those around us and somehow find ourselves at the back of the line. My husband, family and friends have been the forces that propel me to the front of the line. Making sure to ask for help when I need it, and most importantly, taking charge of my healthcare by becoming proactive have been crucial in my fight. Of course there are lonely times, but know that there is absolutely no reason to take this on alone. Reach out. Stay informed. Take charge.

PHOTO COURTESY OF COURTNEY KELLOGG WOJCIK

I was diagnosed three months before my 30th birthday and three months after I became engaged, so there were quite a few ups and downs over a short period of time. When I found the lump, the breast cancer was quite advanced and aggressive, so you can imagine the immediate shock I was feeling. Everything was happening so incredibly fast. A mastectomy was in order, as well as the usual suspects—chemo, radiation and in my case, hormone treatment. I was tested for the genetic mutation shortly after my surgery and the outcome was positive for BRCA1. I’ve been fighting breast cancer now for two and a half years and if I said it hasn’t been emotionally and physi-


BE PROACTIVE “Find friends who share similar experiences. Be proactive about your own breast health. Know your own risk for breast cancer.”

YASEMIN ZEYTINOGLU BRIGHT PINK National Account Coordinator and Yoga Instructor Age 26

PHOTO COURTESY OF YASEMIN ZEYTINOGLU

MY STORY

I was 14 years old when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I distinctly remember taking the day off school (I was a sophomore in high school at the time) and going to the doctor with my mom and dad. I really didn’t understand the severity and was confused when both the doctor and my parents came out to the waiting room to tell me that my mother had breast cancer. It wasn’t until several years later that I realized my mother had an aggressive form of breast cancer in a late stage. Coping is an ongoing process. The loss of my mother has never gotten easier. I think about her every single day. As years pass,

I find myself becoming more and more a reflection of my mother. My older sister will often comment that I am just like my mother. Those sentiments definitely ease the pain knowing that I am her continuation. My mother delighted in entertaining and hosting dinner parties for her friends and family. It has also become one of my favorite things to do. Making friends who share similar stories has also helped me cope. Realizing that my story is anything but unique has helped me accept the loss of my mother. A very dear friend who is high risk introduced me to an organization called Bright Pink several years ago. Bright Pink’s sole mission is to provide strength and support to young women at high risk for breast and ovarian cancers. Being part of Bright Pink was the first time I met so many young women who shared similar experiences. Bright Pink has been an incredible resource

for me to monitor my own health. The organization has helped me remain proactive about my own breast and ovarian health and helped me realize the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle. Find friends who share similar experiences. Only someone who has gone through a similar experience can truly understand you. Remember your loved ones. Share your stories, share the laughter and share the tears, especially as the number of years your loved one has been gone continues to grow, so remember them often. Be proactive about your own breast health. Know your own risk for breast cancer.

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PHOTO CREDIT

PHOTOGRAPHY ROD ROBERTS rodrobertsphotos.com HAIR + MAKEUP KRISTA GOBELI

LORRAINE GIBSON BRIGHT PINK Research Project Coordinator Age 28 MY STORY

When my mother, Linda King, was originally diagnosed with breast cancer, I was about 10 years old and she was about 41 years old. Even though I was very young, there are a few things that I remember from that experience. I remember finding out that one of her breasts had been removed. I later learned that procedure was called a mastectomy. From that day on, she wore padding in her bra when she went out in public. I also remember her going through chemotherapy and I remember that lead to her losing her hair. But even in the midst of all that, I remember her strength. I still remember her going to work every day and 16 ME: IN FOCUS OCTOBER

always keeping a smile on her face so that her girls (her three daughters and granddaughter) wouldn’t be worried, even though I’m sure she felt some pain and probably had some fears about her diagnosis. After her treatment, she went into remission. The doctors told her that there was still a chance that the cancer would return and if so, it would most likely be more aggressive and the chances of beating the breast cancer, should it return, would be slim to none. Four years later, the cancer came back and it was indeed very aggressive. Once again, she went through chemotherapy and it lead to hair loss. But this time, it was different and she was really sick. Eventually, things that were once easy for her became increasingly difficult. Sometimes she would be really tired and experience shortness of breath. She would lose her balance at times and get dizzy. Her condition wors-

ened, and over the course of a year, she had a hospice nurse come to our apartment and give her treatment. The cancer was taking a hold of her body. It eventually led to her being on permanent bed rest. The hospital recommended she have a hospital bed set up at home. Every morning, before I went to school, I would see my mother lying in her hospital bed in our living room and it was such a difficult experience for me. It was as though I could feel her slowly moving on and it hurt me so much because I felt as though the woman who meant so much to me was leaving me and there was nothing I could do to stop it. She fought for as long as she could, and I vividly remember the moment she passed away. I remember thinking that my world came to an end and I was shattered. I didn’t want to get out of bed the next morning. I didn’t want to face anyone. I just didn’t want to deal with my mother’s


death because I didn’t want it to be real. The memory and pain of my mother’s death is still with me today. It has been very difficult to accept that the woman who was indeed my hero is no longer here with me. I saw her go to work everyday, I saw her go to school, she came home, she cooked dinner and she made time for her children. She was my superwoman and to witness her take her last breath was devastating. I can say that I have dealt with the loss of my mother in different phases, and coping with her loss has been a process. When I was in high school, I was really depressed and angry. I didn’t want to go to school and I didn’t want to put forth any effort to maintain any friendships. Even though I have two older sisters who were also dealing with the loss of our mother, I felt alone. I felt like I was the only person in the world dealing with the loss of a mother. I felt like it was so unfair that so many other people my age had a mother and I no longer had my mom here with me. I couldn’t talk to her and get advice when I needed guidance. She couldn’t comfort me when I was upset or hurt. As crazy as it may sound, I felt like I missed out on the conflict and arguments that teenagers normally have with their parents…I just felt like all of that was snatched away from me. As I shifted into my senior year in high school, I was slowly starting to come out of my shell and I opened up a little, but I struggled with feelings of denial and avoidance about my mother’s death. I didn’t want to think about it and I didn’t want to talk about it. I tried my hardest not to really acknowledge her death in the hopes that all of my fears and my pain would go away. I was terrified of breast cancer, and I felt that

if I thought about it, it was only a matter of time before I would be diagnosed with breast cancer myself. I was consumed with fear and hurt for most of my adolescent years and well into young adulthood. I hated that I was considered ‘high risk’ for breast cancer, but in the back of mind it was always there. I knew that my mother died and there was nothing that I could do to change it. I will say that my turning point was at the age of 25. I was tired of being afraid and I felt like I needed to do something to help me conquer my fears. It was around that time that I found out about Bright Pink, an organization for young women who are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. In this organization, I found young women who lost a loved one to breast cancer and even some women who were diagnosed with breast cancer. But there was another component to Bright Pink that I personally connected with. These women are health care advocates, and they were educating other women on how to lower their risk for breast cancer. I began to feel inspired and empowered to confront my own status as high risk. I began to share my story with other young women who were going through the same pain and loss that I felt when my mother died. I began to speak to groups of women with limited access to health care and educated them on various ways to lower their risks. I began to have conversations with my doctor about my family history with breast cancer and I began to take important steps to help lower my risk of the disease. Most importantly, I had a network of women and friends who were right there with me. These women give me support and advice, and they also listen to me. I am

ON COPING “...when sharing your personal experience, your words can help someone else cope with their pain. ”

still coping with the loss of my mother. I still miss her dearly and it is a day by day process. I find a sense of comfort knowing that the work I do with Bright Pink has not only enabled me to help other women, but it has also connected me with women who understand how I feel because they have been there before themselves. I know from personal experience that life is hard when dealing with a loved one who has breast cancer. I know what it feels like to want to close up, not talk about the issue and completely avoid it. My advice is to find someone to talk to. It’s not easy to share your feelings, and it’s very painful but there are people out there who understand what you are going through. Find an organization and/or support group such as Bright Pink with individuals who have similar experiences. Know that even though you may feel alone, you are not alone. The worst thing to do is to try and deal with the loss of loved one alone. Once I began to open up to the women of Bright Pink and I became a volunteer, I realized that my personal story helped other people as well. Sharing the pain of the past with a close friend or a support network can be cathartic; it can slowly help you chip away at the pain and relieve some of the stress. At the same time, when sharing your personal experience, your words can help someone else cope with their pain. One of the most important things that I have realized is that this experience is global. Unfortunately, so many women deal with the loss of a mother, a sister or a friend to breast cancer. There is always someone who may be dealing with a silent pain and fear, who feels like they are alone. But as more of us speak up and reach out, people won’t feel like they have to fight this battle by themselves. It’s so important to have these conversations with family members about breast cancer, particularly for those women who are at high risk. These conversations can be difficult at first, but it is so important to discuss with your family different methods to lower your risk. It’s so important to acknowledge the risk and to speak with your doctor about family history of breast cancer so you and your doctor can work on a strategy to help you lower your risk.

OCTOBER ME: IN FOCUS 17


ANDREA MAZZA BRIGHT PINK Clinical Psychologist Age 31 MY STORY

I can clearly remember the afternoon when I got the dreaded call from the doctor. I was in the lobby of my boyfriend’s (now husband) building, with my mother who was in from out of town. We were on our way upstairs to make dinner. “Andrea, it’s not good,” the doctor said. “Tell your mother to cancel her flight back to Montreal and stay in Chicago.” Not good? Not good? You’re telling me I have breast cancer?! Not only was I in shock, but I was also devastated and petrified. I remember dropping to the floor and sobbing. I was overwhelmed with worry about what this all meant. I had so many questions and concerns. Was the cancer in fact at the early

PHOTOGRAPHY ROD ROBERTS rodrobertsphotos.com HAIR + MAKEUP KRISTA GOBELI

18 ME: IN FOCUS OCTOBER

stage that they believed it to be? Could it be spreading right now? Will I need chemo? Will I be okay? Then there were the more superficial concerns like whether or not Mike would want stay with me (after all, this was a lot of baggage for a 30-yearold man in a relationship of 10 months!). Would he be attracted to me following my double-mastectomy (which I knew would be the first course of action given that I have the BRCA1 mutation)? Would I ever feel sexy again? Surprisingly, in spite of my fear and devastation, there was some relief—I had a diagnosis, which meant I could develop a treatment plan. The anxious energy was pretty quickly channeled into problem-solving. Coping was something I just did and not something I thought about at the time. In some ways, it’s hard to actually put it into words—it was, after all, quite the whirlwind, but definitely not all bad. And I can

say, the cliché rings true because I did find an inner strength that I never knew I had. Information gathering and treatment planning were central to the initial phase of coping. The recommended treatment for me was a double mastectomy with reconstruction, during which time they would test the lymph-nodes to confirm that indeed, the cancer was caught early and that no additional treatments were indicated. The weeks immediately following my diagnosis were spent finding a breast surgical oncologist and plastic surgeon I felt comfortable with. Doctor appointments were emotional—little things would trigger the tears. For example, having to check the breast cancer box when filling out medical history forms, or hearing about the various reconstruction options (sigh, I was really going to be removing my breasts?! This was really happening?!), or that day that my Dad broke down and expressed how dif-


ficult it was to be at an oncologist with his ‘little girl’. After several appointments and weighing the options, I decided on a medical team that engendered trust and confidence and scheduled the surgery. Finalizing a surgery date helped me feel anchored, and then it was a waiting game… At the time of diagnosis I was just one month shy of completing my clinical residency program in psychology, and after six years of graduate school, I was committed not to let this derail the completion of my doctorate. I struggled a little bit with being told I was ‘sick’, yet felt just fine (okay, maybe a little exhausted, but otherwise fine). I knew that I could not go to work and see patients (after all, the tears could be triggered without forewarning!), but I didn’t want to sit around and wallow in my worry. Instead, I worked on my dissertation. I was more productive than I had ever been before and managed to finish the document in the weeks leading up to my surgery (sometimes I wonder how I did it?!). For me, coping with breast cancer was about finding a balance between processing the diagnosis and implications, and not letting it completely consume me. Maintaining some sense of normalcy was really important to keeping my spirits high. I still indulged in my sushi dinners with the girls, walked around the lakefront with Mike and made my usual phone calls to friends. I joked that I would keep my friends and family ‘abreast’ of the situation and that I would ‘perk up’ soon—the typical ‘Andrea puns’, which showed me and others that I was still myself! In the days leading up to my double mastectomy, I became reflective about my boobs and remembered how distraught I was in sixth grade when a classmate teased me by calling me Dolly Parton because I ‘developed’ early and how badly I wished at the time my boobs would disappear, and now…I thought about how my boobs were the part of my body that made me feel sexy, even when I had a few pounds to lose and now… I guess this was me grieving the impending loss of my breasts. Another part of the coping, I suppose. The coping continued following surgery with the news that the surgery went smoothly and that the cancer had not spread. I had a rejuvenated appreciation for life and felt unstoppable. I caught the cancer early! In the months that followed, I had a few follow-up cosmetic surgeries and coping was less about managing the fear and uncertainty and more about adjusting to my new body and slowly feeling sexy again. Life was pretty quickly getting back to normal (a new normal) and within a few weeks of my mastectomy, I successfully defended my dissertation and earned my Ph.D., moved in with Mike and got engaged! Through all the phases and facets of coping, the love and support from friends, family and the Bright Pink community were invaluable.

At the time of diagnosis, I reached out to Bright Pink. I met founder Lindsay Avner for coffee just days after my diagnosis and her positive energy, optimism and candidness about her own experience (being at high-risk and opting for a preventative mastectomy) were therapeutic. The highlight, however, from that coffee date was when Lindsay offered to show me her reconstructed breasts in the bathroom in an effort to assuage some of my surgery fears. This gesture, for me, reflects the unique and intimate connection forged, pretty quickly I might add, between Bright Pink girls—something I continue to appreciate to this day. I attended my first Bright Pink outreach meeting soon after that coffee date. Bright Pink Outreach events are monthly gatherings for young women at high-risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Outreach meetings strike a balance between an uplifting activity (e.g. yoga, jewelry making, dinner,

My passion and involvement in Bright Pink have continued to grow steadily. In September 2009, I took on the role of coordinating the outreach meetings and serving as the point of contact for new high-risk women interested in attending these meetings. I also facilitate the discussions. Bright Pink outreach events are about offering and obtaining support, and although I am further away from my more difficult days (and from the outreach meeting where I could barely introduce myself without crying!), these discussions continue to help me clarify my own emotions over time. As I look ahead to the next decade and continue to manage my risk for ovarian cancer, I am comforted knowing that I won’t be doing it alone. I know that there are many other organizations and resources that are out there for women diagnosed with breast cancer, but for me, I found my home with Bright Pink. Knowledge is power. I was aware of my

LIFE AFTER BREAST CANCER “...and rest assured, you can still feel sexy after breast cancer!”

etc.) and a discussion about a topic impacting young women at high-risk for breast and ovarian cancer. One of the most remarkable aspects of the outreach meetings is just how naturally and honestly the discussion flows, even about the most intimate of topics. Although every girl who attends has her own unique story, and makes her own choices of how to manage her risk for breast cancer, it is the shared connection that makes it a safe and supportive environment to talk about it all. The warmth and compassion of the Bright Pink girls were evident to me immediately. After my first outreach event, I not only had my anxiety normalized and a vote of encouragement that I would manage my mastectomy gracefully, but I also acquired some helpful tips, like what post-surgery clothes to wear, a much-appreciated forewarning about JUST what a nuisance the drains are following surgery and realistic expectations about recuperating. Right from the beginning, it was clear to me that these women got it!

family history and genetic risk for breast and ovarian cancer, and this is what enabled me to catch the cancer early. So, I guess the advice I would give to young women is to know your family history. Talk to your doctors about your family history and be proactive with your breast health. If it weren’t for my grandmother’s ovarian cancer diagnosis in 1993 and subsequent testing for the BRCA1 genetic mutation, I would never have tested for this mutation. I would not have known I was at high-risk for breast and ovarian cancer and would need a mammogram at the age of 29. I shudder at the thought of what my story would have been had I gone for my first mammogram at age 40. For young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, I hope you are as fortunate as I was to have caught the cancer at an early stage…and rest assured, you can still feel sexy after breast cancer!

OCTOBER ME: IN FOCUS 19


BLAST OFF WITH ALLISON MASLAN Author, entrepreneur, mother, wife and life coach Allison Maslan takes some time out of her hectic schedule to speak to us about her book and life. Released in January, Blast Off! The Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dream Into Reality hit Amazon’s #1 spot in three categories. myblastoff.com

INTERVIEWED BY BECKY LERNER

BECKY: Your book is designed to motivate individuals to reassess their lives so they can pursue their passion(s) and find fulfillment. What is the overall message you have for our readers? ALLISON: I talk to women all the time who feel it’s never the right time or they don’t deserve to embrace their most passionate and creative life because of their responsibilities. Take it from me, a single mom for a long, long time. Everyone has the power to create a life that she feels completely fulfilled with and excited about. One that is in line with her dreams and passions with what she would love to do for her life. We are the ones who really stop ourselves, and when we open up the doors to the possibilities, it’s a magical world out there. We just have to give ourselves permission to step into it. BECKY: Nine businesses! With such an ambitious career, how did you balance a family life and your work life? ALLISON: It’s been a journey. I don’t run nine businesses right now, but I currently run three or four. I started out in college. 20 ME: IN FOCUS OCTOBER

I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time. It was a tough time when my daughter was little and it was really stressful. When I started my advertising and PR business, I really ran myself into the ground. That was the turning point where I really stopped and said, ‘What am I doing with my life?’ I decided at that point I was only going to involve myself in things I’m really passionate about. When you’re passionate about things, it fills you up. It shouldn’t drain you. I would involve my daughter in those things that I got involved in. She’s grown up to see a strong woman who creates life and takes on that perspective. BECKY: How did you include your husband? ALLISON: We are actually celebrating our anniversary this weekend! About five years ago, I realized I’m manifesting and creating these things in my career, and I should be able to manifest things in my romantic life. So I did, and I met my soul mate. He also runs businesses. I realized from my first relationship that my partner needed to be entrepreneurial-minded like me or it wouldn’t work.

BECKY: Did you find much overlap? How did you find a way to leave work at work? ALLISON: Funny as it seems, overlapping wasn’t an issue because I really enjoyed it, it was part of my personal life. I did learn after that first relationship that sometimes you have to put it down and close the door. I do trapeze flying and I did modern dance for years. I know creatively, physically and emotionally how important it is to fill ourselves up with people, activities and passions that we love. BECKY: I know a good portion of your professional life has been dedicated to homeopathy and living healthy. How would you describe homeopathy as it pertains to you? Do you eat only organic food? How do you handle that in public at restaurants, bars, etc.? ALLISON: I discovered homeopathy during a really stressful time. Part of it was my own personal growth. It helps me keep my mind clear and help keep me balanced. I tell people who are thinking about living a restricted life or dieting to pay attention to what it is that you’re giving you body. I


eat organic foods, mostly chicken and fish, very little meat and not a lot of dairy. But you know, I also love chocolate too. Everything’s in moderation. I actually really love wine and wine tasting. I appreciate the art of wine-making, and having a glass here and there. My husband and I love going out dancing and we love going out to try new restaurants. There are always things on the menu you can eat. I live life to the fullest and I try to eat healthy. Homeopathy helps keep my body healthy.

BECKY: You need a new pair of jeans, shoes and a cute top. Give me your top three retailers. ALLISON: Bebe. I’m wearing a Bebe dress on the cover of my book. BCBG. In fact, I’m wearing a BCBG top right now. I love it. Otherwise, designers I love include YSL, Chanel and Betsey Johnson. Being in your own business, you have the ability to wear what you want to wear, so I like to have a little flair. BECKY: Name the five most essential items in your closet—the ones you could not live without. ALLISON: Again, from BCBG: I have a black sweater from that also can be worn as a wrap, my flip flops, some great jeans that are so comfortable that I love and a white sequin dress with a very plunging neckline. Also, my Rock Revival jeans. I actually got them from one of my clients’ online businesses that I helped her start called heav-

enspennies.com. BECKY: What is something you’ve wanted to do your entire life and have yet to do? ALLISON: I want to go on a safari in Africa and I want to go to Machu Picchu. My husband and I take a couple of big trips a year, so it’s on the list. We went to Tahiti and we just went to Puerto Vallarta. My book came out in January and the book tour followed, so I’ve been traveling around the country for the last seven months and meeting wonderful people. So, that’s where my focus has been lately. BECKY: What’s on the horizon for you? ALLISON: I’m excited because I just launched a new program called The Pinnacle (thepinnacleprogram.com). It is a yearlong mastermind to help people become the champion in their own lives. Next year, I’m launching an online store that I’m very excited about. It’s going to be called Journey Collections, which will feature unique and beautiful collections from travels around the world. There will be accessories that every woman will want. I love creating new things.

BOOK IMAGE FROM MYBLASTOFF.COM

BECKY: What do you do to stay calm and centered when life gets hectic? ALLISON: I’ve worked out with the same fitness trainer for the last 13 years. He’s an ex-Marine and he pushes me. If I’m stressed out when I walk into that gym, when I walk out I don’t even remember what I was stressed about when I walked in. I realize in those moments that I’m way stronger than I give myself credit for. I have some challenges but it’s all a matter of changing your perspective. Another thing I do is take a lot of bubble baths and meditate. I go through in my mind (from the morning until the evening) all of the people I’ve spoken with,

the projects I’ve been working on and the feelings that I’ve experienced so that I can fully embrace those moments before they turn into memories.

OCTOBER ME: IN FOCUS 21


trepreneurial Woman’s Conference and Women’s Business & Buyer’s Mart on Wednesday, September 22 at McCormick Place-West in Chicago. At the Women’s Forum Breakfast, best-selling author and Chicago Sun Times financial columnist Terry Savage moderated a panel discussion on both the successes and challenges of owning a business. Featured panelists included Janice M. Christiansen, president and CEO of J.C. Schultz Enterprises, Inc./ The Flagsource; Sheila C. Johnson, CEO of Salamander Hospitality and vice chairman/owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment; and Brenda Loube, principal and founder of Corporate Fitness Works. The Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon recognized various women business owners and advocates for their work to support the development of other women entrepreneurs. Moderator Terry Savage also interviewed financial expert and Chicago native Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments and financial contributor on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’. In her interview, Melody offered her tips on how to achieve business and financial success.

MELLODY HOBSON, LISA MADIGAN + MARION BROOKS

22 ME: IN FOCUS OCTOBER

WBDC’S 24TH ANNUAL ENTREPRENEURIAL WOMEN’S CONFERENCE wbdc.org

“Don’t look up at the storm. Keep your eyes on your feet so you don’t lose your footing, or you’ll fall.” –Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments and keynote speaker

At the Women’s Business & Buyer’s Mart, more than 200 buyers gathered to show their support of products and services from women-owned businesses. Proceeds from the event benefit WBDC’s programs and services that support women entrepreneurship and business development.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF JENNIFER GIRARD PHOTOGRAPHY AND DOT WARD PHOTOGRAPHY

THE WOMEN’S BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (WBDC) held its 24th Annual En-


HEDY M. RATNER, ANNE PRAMAGGIORE, CHRISTINA V. ROTHER, S. CAROL DOUGAL & DEBRA JENNINGS-JOHNSON

TERRY SAVAGE, BRENDA LOUBE, SHEILA C. JOHNSON, JANICE M. CHRISTIANSEN, S. CAROL DOUGAL & HEDY M. RATNER

OCTOBER ME: IN FOCUS 23


SPOTLIGHT ON FASHION FOCUS CHICAGO 2010 KIRAN ADVANI SPEAKS ABOUT ASPIRING DESIGNERS Kiran Advani, spokesperson for the Mayor’s Fashion Initiative of the Chicago Office of Tourism, sheds some light on this year’s Fashion Focus and offers resources for aspiring designers in the Chicago fashion industry. chicagofashionresource.com

INTERVIEWED BY IYA BAKARE


PHOTOS FROM FASHION FOCUS CHICAGO 2009. FOR PHOTOS FROM THIS YEAR’S SHOWS, PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE.

FROM LOCAL DESIGNER JESS AUDEY (PARTICIPATED IN MACY’S SHOW LAST YEAR AND WILL BE IN THE CHICAGO FASHION INCUBATOR SHOW THIS YEAR)

IYA: With Melissa Gamble’s departure as Director of Fashion for the city of Chicago, how will it affect this year’s Fashion Focus? KIRAN: This year, the Chicago Office of Tourism, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, is partnering with the industry to help market and produce the runway shows taking place in Millennium Park. Fashion Focus Chicago 2010 is a collaboration with the headlining show producers that include the Chicago Fashion Incubator, Macy’s, Mario Tricoci, StyleChicago. com, along with the city’s four fashion design schools: Columbia College Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Art–Chicago, the International Academy of Design & Tech-

nology Chicago and the School of the Art Institute Chicago. In its sixth year and running from October 18-24, Fashion Focus Chicago showcases some of the city’s top designers. It also features runway shows in Millennium Park and at various locations around the city with shopping events and industry seminars. IYA: What are the next steps to promote fashion in Chicago? KIRAN: The responsibilities of the former Director of Fashion, Arts & Events have been divided among a couple of employees within the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and the Chicago Office of Tourism (COT). Julie Burros is the Director of

Cultural Planning with DCA and the acting liaison with the Mayor’s Fashion Council (MFC) working with MFC on industry needs and education opportunities in Chicago fashion. I work with COT and handle all programming, events, as well as media relations and am the spokesperson for all the fashion initiatives. IYA: Other than the Chicago Fashion Incubator (CFI), what are some other initiatives the city of Chicago has for aspiring fashion designers in the fashion industry? KIRAN: Launched in 2007, ChicagoFashionResource.com is a free website that connects designers, boutiques and neighborhoods to consumers, in addition to providing resources and opportunities for the OCTOBER ME: IN FOCUS 25


THE WINNER OF MARIO MAKE ME A MODEL CONTEST (THIS CONTEST WAS A PART OF THE MACYS’ SHOW THIS YEAR AND IS A SEPARATE SHOW THIS YEAR)

local fashion industry. In addition to Fashion Focus Chicago, there are two shopping events that take place in the summer and winter for designers to sell their merchandise to consumers. The Chicago Sidewalk Sale takes place annually in July at Daley Plaza and Glitter, a holiday shopping event, takes place in early December at the Chicago Cultural Center. The Mayor’s Fashion Council also hosts quarterly educational and networking events for the Chicago fashion community. IYA: What should we look for at this year’s Fashion Focus? KIRAN: Fashion Focus Chicago 2010 is a week-long celebration filled with spring

2011 fashions from some of the most talented designers in the city. The kickoff show is presented by Macy’s and features 14 designers from the Chicago Fashion Incubator (both past and present). The following night, Mario Tricoci is hosting his own show and will be featuring looks from five local fashion designers, and will announce the winner of their 3rd annual ‘Mario Make Me a Model’ contest. ‘Dress Code’ is a great show to get a sneak peek into who is next in Chicago fashion. Presented by the four fashion design schools, the runway show is the debut of up and coming local fashion talent. The shows at Millennium Park conclude with StyleChicago.com’s ‘Art of Fashion’ runway presenta-


FROM LOCAL DESIGNER LARA MILLER (PARTICIPATED IN MACY’S SHOW LAST YEAR AND WILL NOW BE PARTICIPATING IN ART OF FASHION BY STYLECHICAGO.COM THIS YEAR)

tion that showcases looks from established designers Elda de la Rosa, Lauren Lein, Lara Miller, Paul Sisti and others. The week is also filled with independent designer showcases from Horacio Nieto and Borris Powell, along with large scale shopping events like Modern Vintage and more intimate trunk shows with designers Elise Bergman and Alice Berry. It all culminates with a full day of free education seminars hosted by the Mayor’s Fashion Council and featuring local fashion organizations such as the Apparel Industry Board Inc., Chicago Fashion Foundation, Chicago Fashion Incubator and Fashion Group International-Chicago. The seminars also include Chicago businesses who

discuss topics such as intellectual property, local and international sourcing and mastering social media. IYA: What do you see as some great features about the Chicago fashion industry? KIRAN: Chicago is an industry of entrepreneurial businesses and people continue to move here from New York City, Los Angeles and other cities to start their fashion businesses. Fashion in Chicago is a lively community and exciting because designers are not bound by the trends and commercial nature of the industry. Designers in Chicago push the limits of design. This city is different, entrepreneurial-friendly and a supportive community, which are reasons why

people choose to start their businesses here. IYA: What do you think are some challenges within the industry in this city? KIRAN: The challenges for fashion designers in Chicago are the same as they are for any designer working in today’s world. The economy is the biggest obstacle for them all. A great trend that’s homegrown is local retailers want to carry more Chicago designers. Hopefully, this will result in helping to stimulate our economy and build Chicago fashion businesses. In the meantime, there are organizations, schools, businesses and the City of Chicago here to help foster and grow the Chicago fashion scene.

OCTOBER ME: IN FOCUS 27


LOCAL LOOKBOOK THINK GLOBAL + SHOP LOCAL Check out where to find some of the latest trends of the season and support local designers. locallookbook.com

BY IYA BAKARE

28 ME: IN FOCUS OCTOBER


into the city’s fashion scene. Boutique owner Halli Mulei and publicist Daphne Ortiz teamed up to form Local Lookbook, a store that includes a showroom that features the designs of new, emerging and established Chicago designers. Located in Lincoln Park, this one-of-a-kind boutique gives customers the opportunities to meet the local designers of the specific pieces displayed in the space. Three of the designers include Jenn Barron of Lily & Migs, Elyse Marie of E by Elyse Marie Vieni and Ashley Zygmunt of ZAMRIE. CHICAGO RECENTLY ADDED A NEW BOUTIQUE

LILY & MIGS

Designer Jenn Barron was an intern for Betsey Johnson with partner Lauren Kacyvenski. The two decided to start their own company and formed Lily and Migs in 2009. Their collections feature hand sewn pieces that are custom-designed and tailored for each woman’s style. E BY ELYSE MARIE VIENI

Elyse Marie Vieni is a jewelry designer based out of Chicago. Inspired by her love of couture, Elyse says her collection pushes boundaries. She makes statements with her individually, handmade pieces made of beads, stones and other vintage findings.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAPHNE ORTIZ OF PRALLIANCE

ZAMRIE

Chicagoland native Ashley Zygmunt started her own line, ZAMRIE, while she was a design student at the Chicago Fashion Incubator. ZAMRIE features a couture look of tailored blouses customized to fit all women of all ages.


PHOTOS THIS PAGE COURTESY OF BAR DEVILLE

ANDY’S JAZZ CLUB This classic jazz club is not new to the scene, but it’s the real deal. Get down with what Chicago does best and chill while listening to some live jazz music. The club offers a casual dinner menu. Located in River North, Andy’s is legendary and remains a great low-key spot for a night on the town. 11 E. Hubbard St., Chicago 312 642 6805 andysjazzclub.com

BAR DEVILLE Translated to ‘bar of the city’, this laid-back location is everything a good bar should be. Located in the Ukranian Village, this tavern offers everything from awesome European décor to free pool. Look forward to good vibes and talented bartenders at this neighborhood hangout. 701 N. Damen Ave., Chicago 312 929 2349 bardeville.com


INDULGE ME CRIMSON LOUNGE

CUMIN

XOCO

The Crimson Lounge is located at Hotel Sax, formerly the House of Blues Hotel. This lounge is the definition of swanky, with interior décor that blends rich dark hues with ornate Victorian themes. During the day, it’s an ideal spot for professional gab, and at night, it transforms into a club complete with a DJ. Come for socializing, a drink, or at the very least, some atmospheric therapy.

Wicker Park no longer suffers from a lack of Indian food. New to the neighborhood restaurant scene is Cumin, an upscale and affordable Indian-Nepalese joint. Already sporting outstanding reviews from critics and locals alike, this restaurant is classy, quaint and authentic. Stop by for the lunch buffet or dinner a la carte.

XOCO is a gem in the rough. One of Rick Bayless’s three restaurants in the city, XOCO is a quick café with a menu inspired by authentic Mexican street cuisine. This is not your typical chips and salsa fare. Famous for their mind-blowing hot chocolate (made from fresh cacao-beans ground at the restaurant), it’s the perfect place to go during the transition from summer to fall. Be prepared for a rich flavor that only Mexico could inspire.

1414 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago 773 342 1414 cumin-chicago.com

449 N. Clark St., Chicago 312 334 3688 rickbayless.com

PHOTOS THIS PAGE COURTESY OF CRIMSON LOUNGE

333 N. Dearborn St., Chicago 312 923 2473 crimsonchicago.com

HOT SPOTS LET YOUR SOUL UNWIND From low-key taverns to swanky rooms with sultry sounds, soothe your soul at some of Chicago’s hottest hangouts.

BY EMILY LUFT


FACTUALLY PINK A PHOTO ESSAY

PHOTOGRAPHY ROD ROBERTS rodrobertsphotos.com


MODEL KATIE SNIADACH Agency Galatea STYLING/HAIR + MAKEUP KRISTA GOBELI ALL STATISTICS SOURCED FROM ABOUT.COM (WOMEN’S HEALTH) + CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC)

1 IN 8 WOMEN (OR 12.6% OF ALL WOMEN) WILL GET BREAST CANCER IN HER LIFETIME


MODEL KHRYSTYNA BODNARCHUK STYLING/HAIR + MAKEUP KRISTA GOBELI

EVERY 13 MINUTES A WOMAN DIES OF BREAST CANCER


77% OF ALL WOMEN WITH BREAST CANCER ARE OVER 50


MODEL CHARDE MOORE STYLING/HAIR + MAKEUP KRISTA GOBELI

MORE THAN 1.7 MILLION WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD BREAST CANCER ARE STILL ALIVE IN THE U.S.


THE FIRST SIGN OF BREAST CANCER USUALLY SHOWS UP ON A WOMAN’S MAMMOGRAM BEFORE IT CAN BE FELT OR OTHER SYMPTOMS ARE PRESENT


YOU ARE NEVER TOO YOUNG TO DEVELOP BREAST CANCER BREAST SELF EXAM SHOULD BEGIN BY THE AGE OF 20


PINK PARTIES BREAST CANCER AWARENESS EVENTS Fill in your social calendar with these October events.

COMPILED BY BECKY LERNER

OCTOBER 1-31 ALL OVER THE CITY Restaurants all over Chicago will be donating proceeds or profits to local Breast Cancer Support and Awareness Organizations. From October 1-31, the following restaurants will be offering drink specials to support breast cancer awareness: prettycity.com 312 435 9391

PHIL STEFANI RESTAURANTS PINK YOUR DRINK

QUARTINO RISTORANTE SPARKLING ROSE FOR THE CURE

LUXBAR BREWS FOR BREAST CANCER

For every PINK drink purchase, Stefani will donate $1 to Bright Pink.

Quartino will be offering Carpene Malvolti Sparkling Rose for $5 per glass (regularly priced $8). All profits from the sales of this pink bubbly will benefit the Lynn Sage Foundation.

Luxbar has teamed up with 312 Goose Island Brewery and arranged that all proceeds of Goose Island’s 312 Urban Wheat Beer (originally $5 but being sold for $3.12) will benefit the Lynn Sage Foundation.

626 N. State St., Chicago 312 698 5000 quartinochicago.com

18 E. Bellevue Place, Chicago 312 642 3400 luxbar.com

TAVERN ON RUSH IN GOOD TASTE

HUGO’S FROG BAR COSMOS FOR THE CURE

Tavern is teaming up with the Lynn Sage Foundation and asking patrons to donate $1 or more as they dine and drink throughout October.

Hugo’s Frog Bar is thinking pink this October by donating half proceeds on its Classic Pink Cosmopolitan ($11.50) to the Lynn Sage Foundation.

1031 N. Rush St., Chicago 312 644 9600 tavernonrush.com

1024 N. Rush St, Chicago 312 640 0999 hugosfrogbar.com

THE PORTAGE COCKTAIL FOR A CURE

TAPAS VALENCIA

This locale has actually created a signature drink called The Pink Ribbon for $7.50. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Tapas Valencia will be donating a portion of all its dessert sales to Bright Pink throughout the month.

PHIL STEFANI’S 437 RUSH CHICAGO STEAKHOUSE 437 Rush St., Chicago 312 222 0101 philstefanis437rush.com

RIVA CRAB HOUSE Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago 312 644 7482 rivanavypier.com

TUSCANY ON TAYLOR 1014 W. Taylor St., Chicago 312 829 1990 tuscanychicago.com

3938 N. Central Ave., Chicago 773 853 0779 theportagechicago.com

1530 S. State St, Chicago 312 842 4444 For more information, visit chicagonow.com


OTHER EVENTS LOCAL HAPPENINGS

SPECIFIC DATES

RANGE OF DATES

BRIGHT PINK

CHICAGO’S 5TH ANNUAL LATINO MUSIC FESTIVAL

BOOK NOW! Nearly 60 local spas and salons honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the “Pretty in Pink” Fundraiser, which include $31 massages, manicures, facials, waxes and other beauty treatments. Participants include: Flirty Girl Fitness, Chicago Hair Care, Elizabeth Adam Salon and Day Spa, CiCi Nails, Blueberry Moon, Body & Soul Spa, Channing’s Day Spa + Eucalyptus Spa.

OCTOBER 5-31, 2010 Enjoy an array of classical melodies at different venues all over the Chicago land area. The Sao Paolo City String Quartet, Ondas Ensemble, CUBE Ensemble and the Harper City Orchestra will all be performing Latininspired pieces as well as a few features on experimental music and Spanish guitar. latinoculturalcenter.org.

bebrightpink.org

THE LYNN SAGE CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION OCTOBER 22, 2010 11am The Lynn sage 25th Anniversary ‘City of Pink Promise’ Fall Benefit consists of a brief reception followed by a luncheon. The keynote speaker for this event is Rob Lowe. Tickets begin at $250. If you can not attend the event, donations can still be made online at the address below. For more information, call Northwestern Memorial Foundation at 312 926 7133.

LA FRONTERA OCTOBER 8-DECEMBER 22, 2010 La Frontera: The Cultural Impact of Mexican Migration will continue its photography exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. 600 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

Hilton Towers 720 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago lynnsage.org

FASHION FOCUS EVENTS IMERMAN ANGELS

OCTOBER 18-24, 2010

OCTOBER 24, 2010 1-4pm

Fashion Focus Chicago is one of the city’s biggest fashion events of the year. From Monday, October 18 through Sunday, October 24 major retailers and local talent will be showcasing their collections in runway shows, exhibits, shopping events, and industry seminars. Names like Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Studio 808, Borris Powell, and Modern Vintage Chicago grace its roster. Most events are free but may require an RSVP. The events take place at different locations throughout the city so check out the websites for more information.

The Outreach Volunteer Opportunity: Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Town Hall Meeting is where you can have your questions answered by the experts, visit exhibits of breast cancer advocacy organizations and products and learn about local and national support services. The meeting will be moderated by William Gradishar, MD Director of Breast Medical Oncology. Thorne Auditorium on the downtown Northwestern Campus 735 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago imermanangels.org

Different City Locations

explorechicago.org chicagofashionresource.com


OLIVIA’S STORY INSTALLMENT III Valencia Davis, our resident art and culture critic shares another prose piece. violettarantula.blogspot.com

BY VALENCIA DAVIS

THE COLD CARESS OF FALL sent a chill across me, leaving a tiny army of goose bumps behind, marching up the length of my body at the speed of light. The leaves had already begun to die, whisking around my head, dancing in familiar circular motions around my feet and the boots that it was finally time to pull out of my closet. My mind was racing and the comfort of cold clay on my palms was tugging deep, but there is a time and place for everything. Fate was taking my mindset for a ride as my very last semester of grad school was looming in my favor, just as opportunity was knocking loud and clear, louder than every before. Just a couple weeks earlier, I had met this incredible force in the body of a woman with black eyes and a presence that was striking in a sense that felt almost physical. A networking event that I’d attended with Stephanie aligned the woman’s path to mine. Stephanie, my opposite, was a presence in my life that presented itself while we were still in undergrad. Superficially, Stephanie and I had little in common, but our ideals, beliefs, mutual understanding and interpretation of life made us stick like glue. I felt it refreshing to learn things from her that I normally wouldn’t be attracted to or care about. I felt lucky to have a relationship in my life that gave me another way to grow. I was on my way to meet her for coffee and was dying to tell her of this woman and the possible changes that could take place. There was definitely a crossroad laying in front of me, and logic outside of my own that I could trust always put things a bit more into perspective. Finally, I had reached the coffee house and swung open the door on its rusty hinges. The smell of coffee was pleasantly invasive to my nostrils and seemed to somewhat sweep over me alongside the general feel of the old coffee house. I didn’t come to Rochambo often, but whenever I did there was always the question of why I didn’t frequent the place. Its interior was earthy with hard-

46 ME: IN FOCUS OCTOBER

wood paneling throughout, and shades of browns, deep greens and oranges that were the perfect setting for an early fall day. After routinely admiring all there was to see inside, my eyes shifted towards Stephanie who was sitting in a corner with a book in front of her face. The sun shone from outside the window she was sitting directly below, at a small weathered lime green table. The rays of light poured down on her tresses of gold, making there appear to be rivers of shimmering satin pouring down the sides of her face, and along her sweater that was a citrus pink and looked soft to the touch. I walked towards her and finally her eyes rose from the text in her book and caught sight of me. Her eyes sparkled a bit as she gave me a smirking smile. “You know you could learn a thing or two from this shit,” she said to me and held up the book’s cover in my direction that read Actions Speak Louder: The Modern Woman’s Guide to Regal Behavior. “Oh my GOD,” I responded, dragging out the last with an exaggeratedly sarcastic tone, “says the woman who swears at me upon greeting me.” She giggled. I reached into my messenger bag, palmed a book entitled The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and slapped it down on the table top in front of her. “How ya like these apples?” I asked in a sassy tone cocking my head just a bit to the side. “Ah yes, I am so compelled to over analyze my every action to the point that my life makes so much sense... it makes no sense at all!” she replied sharply. I smiled and rolled my eyes. “Whatever, when I walked in here I wasn’t sure if it was a wad of cotton candy or a person sitting at this table.” Her giggle transformed into an open-mouth laugh. “Nice boots, Tank Girl,” she quickly said in response between laughs, and I laughed with her. “Thanks Lila Fowlers. I think you missed your exit to Sweet Valley.” I said shaking my thumb towards the exit. I leaned forward and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Your hair looks

great,” I said. “Thanks, so does yours,” she replied. I thanked her, giving my bangs a shake across my forehead, combing my fingers through them. Finally I plopped down in the chair opposite her. “So what’d you wanna talk to me about?” she asked as her face quickly changed and became concerned. “Well, that thing we went to a couple weeks ago, the networking event, I met a lady there who wants to work with me. This South African lady that had these black eyes like coals.” “South Africa! Very nice. This could be really good for you. How exactly does she want to collaborate?” I was hesitant to answer her, as I hated even saying the reality of the situation out loud. “Well, she wants to include some of my pieces in a gallery show that she’s having in a couple of months back in South Africa. I gave her my card and she loved what she saw on my website. She’s even considering giving me my own show, and asked if I’d be willing to give some of the proceeds to needier parts like Sub Saharan Africa.” “Ooo!” Stephanie squealed. “That’s such an incredible opportunity for you.” “Yeah, the only thing is, I’d have to be there for it, and I’m in my last semester of grad school, and I don’t know if I can leave. This is the most incredible interference I’ve ever experienced in my life.” Her eyes never left my face as she sipped her tea in an incredibly still silence. “What experience do you think will benefit you more in your life at this point, Olivia?” She asked me in a mother-like tone that she gets when there is serious talk involved. I paused. I didn’t respond. The answered seemed obvious, but is the obvious always the right path to take? I felt my eyes gloss over as they slid towards the window. A life-altering decision needed to be made sooner than I was ready to make it.


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ME: IN FOCUS October 2010