Chicago-Based Designers Dress Delegates For Olympic Bid

September 29, 2009 • Magazine


Maria Pinto's design for the Olympic bid delegates

The clock is ticking down to October 2nd, the official date when Chicago and the other contenders for the 2016 Olympics will find out who gets the Olympic bid. Teams of delegates from each city fly to Copenhagen today for the final round of presentations to the judging panel. And though many of us back home will be wondering what they have up their sleeves to possibly seal the deal, others will be wondering who made their sleeves. And now we know! Last week the Chicago Office of Tourism announced that three Chicago-based designers will be creating the presentation apparel worn by the Olympic bid delegates. “On October 2, Chicago will be on an international stage, and our city’s fashion designers will share in the spotlight,” said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. “Our bid plan celebrates Chicago and we are proud to showcase the talents of the art and design community that thrives here. We appreciate the support of Chicago’s business community and our world-renowned fashion designers.”  

The designers include Maria Pinto, who became a household name after First Lady Michelle Obama's affection for her designs during the presidential campaign last year and the Presidential Inauguration. Pinto, an alum of the Art Institute and Parson,has been slated to design suits for the female delegates of the team. Chicago-based necktie designer Lee Allison has been producing his signature silk, hand cut for the  team since the bid's beginning. Allison's line of ties, dress shirts, and accessories have been manufactured in Chicago since the line began in 1995. He will continue to supply the male delegates with neckwear through the presentations in Copenhagen.

And a Chicago brand since the last century, Hart Schaffner Marx, will be creating outfits and suits for the male delegates. An iconically American brand, Hart Schaffner Marx suits are produced in the suburbs of Chicago and became more of a Chicago brand after President Obama chose one to wear to his one Presidential Inauguration at the beginning of this year. In dressing the delegates in Copenhagen, all three designers are doing their part to represent Chicago as a global city, as well as an ever emerging haven for cutting edge fashion, design, and retail opportunities.

Photo Source: WWD
-Alia Rajput

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