Interview with Chicago Designer Orlando Espinoza

July 16, 2006 • Magazine

Interview with Chicago Designer Orlando Espinoza

Interview with Chicago Designer Orlando Espinoza

Fri, 2006-07-14 09:00

Lauren Dimet

A native of Los Angeles, Orlando Espinoza, has been designing his women’s ready-to- wear line in Chicago for the past five years. His style is distinct. Both day and evening looks are understatedly sexy and highlighted by subtledetailing and fluid fabrics like silk and rayon matte jersey. His style brings to mind the subtleties of Giorgio Armani and the clean lines of Narciso Rodriguez. One can tell by by the way a dress fits that Mr. Espinoza understands the complexities of a woman’s figure.

Recently, Second City Style had the opportunity to sit down with Orlando Espinoza at his sleek showroom in the Riverfront Art Center Showroom just west of Chinatown.

SCS: What can you tell us about your designs?

OE: My style is not influenced by seasonal trends and I enjoy the freedom of designing outside of the box. The look is always sleek, clean and accentuated with subtle details such as ruching or contoured seams.

This fall collection is a reflection of the modern woman who is now accepting new shapes with some volume in luxe fabrics. Whether it be a fitted silk charmeuse dress with volume on top or the bottom… it is all about experimenting.

SCS: What is your inspiration?

OE: The women who wear my pieces and understand my concept and style have always been an inspiring and motivational factor in what I do. If I can impact their mood and character they reciprocate the feeling.

SCS: Why did you choose Chicago when you could have been in NYC or LA?

OE: Born and raised in L.A, been to New York but fell in love with Chicago. Chicago has been very conducive to my creativity and quite frankly outside of Paris it is one the most beautiful cities that allows me to daydream. Chicago is very “European” in many ways.
The serene gardens, meditative fountains, and a winding river surrounded by amazing architecture. Visual beauty is everything a fashion designer needs.

SCS: What is the one article of clothing a woman must have for Fall 06?

OE: A sleek, body-conscious dress that she you can wear for day or evening by simply changing accessories, makeup and shoes.

SCS: Who are your mentors?

OE: Giorgio Armani is an excellent mentor and the greatest example of success in the fashion industry. I’m intrigued by the way he runs his business and his interesting perspective on life outside of the industry makes him a well balanced human being. You’d
never know his position in life based on his humbleness.

SCS: What do you feel is the best thing about fashion in Chicago?

OE: Chicago has four seasons which allows women to be much more creative with their style. The winter season for instance allows them to layer, without compromising their sensuality.

SCS: What do you as the worst thing about fashion in Chicago?

OE: The fact that fashion in Chicago is overlooked by many on both coasts and internationally. They have no idea until they visit and explore the city what we have to offer to even most discreet fashionista.

SCS: If you were not a fashion designer, what would you be doing?

OE: I’d be designing innovative and streamlined furniture. Modern furniture design is all about balance, symmetry and using fine materials. It involves placing seams in the right place just as it would involve the creation of a sensuous dress.

SCS: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

OE: I see myself continuing to affect fashion culture by designing innovative and bold styles that transcend and stimulate women’s desire for dressing up.

Orlando Espinoza’s Fall ’06 Collection will be available at the
following stores in Chicagoland:

Malabar Chicago
Jake (Gold Coast)
Jake (Southport)
Ami Ami (Deerfield)

For other store locations visit: or email:

Online shopping: coming this fall

See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40

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