Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Press!

march 24, 2009
chicago | a kate bloomer.
every girl's got that one piece of clothing she just had to buy in spite of an imperfect size issue. the result? an awesome item that looks fantastic in your closet, but never gets any air time due to its funky fit. you'll find your answer at newly opened kate boggiano where fit is king, and you get to be a princess.

designer kate coxworth (who's NY-trained and a chi-town native) got her start at polo ralph lauren, and debuted her own line at macy's in 2006. now, with a store to call her own, kate can feature all of her high-quality, custom designs in one spot. her clothes range from loungewear to business casual, in the form of blouses, leggings, tank tops and more. items have names as feminine as the styles they embody, like the "gathered caroline," the "maddy" and the "sleeveless isadora." and this hometown maven understands the plight of the everywoman. we can't all have gisele's measurements, after all. this means the main draw to kate's creations are the custom processes she employs. the "tailor it!" allows shoppers to check out clothing on models, then fill out their own dimensions for the right fit. more recently, the "create your own" option lets control freaks design, down to the last detail, a perfect-fitting bespoke blouse. their 10-business-day turnaround time can be attributed to the american manufacturing, which means this shop's a swell way to stimulate the economy.

if the shirt fits, work it. kate boggiano. 2150 canalport avenue. between morgan and peoria. 866.388.3501. now open.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thank you for coming for Shop Chicago!

Thanks to all who made it INSIDE to Shop Chicago. It was a beautiful day in Chicago and thanks to those who braved the indoors even though it was sunny for once! It was great to see everybody and see what you had to say about our new merchandise.

Kate with Angie
Kate is wearing the sleeveless Isadora in white $139.95. Click here to purchase!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Baby business brain

So I'm not a mom per say but I have a lot of friends who are. They oftentimes talk about how their brains have turned to mush and they do silly things like send the wrong emails to the wrong people, forget things places, feel like they can't have a normal conversation etc. Since I have yet to be in their shoes, I can't exactly relate to their sleepless nights or lack of brain function, however, I would like to introduce a new concept-NEW BUSINESS BRAIN.

Equally as discombobulating, sleep depriving, and exhausting; new businesses can make you want to tear your hair out, scream, and pitch your computer out the window and then 5 minutes later jump up and down for pure joy for a new account you've just landed or some other remarkable feat you have successfully completed. I know it's not the same thing exactly, but I love my baby business.

However, Geoff, if you're reading this, I apologize for leaving waffles in the oven last weekend and then turning on the oven to make muffins last night, leaving because I forgot something at the office, and then coming back 45 minutes later to an odd smell. I'm chalking this one up to 14 days straight on the job for 10-15 hours per day-business brain-i'll tell ya!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Final day to save 10% off Sitewide!

Shop today and save 10% on everything at Enter code SPRNG09 at checkout to redeem this offer.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Three weeks of newness! EXCITING!

So, officially, I have graduated from CFI as of Feb 20th. CFI is a great program that the city of Chicago has put together to sponsor up and coming apparel designers in hopes that giving us a break will launch our businesses and careers. For 1 year, Kate Boggiano resided at Macy’s State Street store in downtown Chicago. It was a great experience, cheap rent, and unbelievable press and I’ll be forever grateful to the board members of CFI as well as the City of Chicago in believing in me and Kate Boggiano. Here are a few pictures of both the opening of CFI on March 10th 2008 with Mayor Daley and the closing ceremony on Feb 10th 2009. CFI, we’ll miss you!

**CFI designers in Chicago Magazine

**Me with Lindsay Boland owner of Habit Boutique, Chicago

Where did we move to you ask? The lovely neighborhood of Pilsen. Conveniently situated on the south side of downtown Chicago, Pilsen is an up and coming neighborhood filled with artists and small businesses trying to make it. The energy is great and I am in LOVE with our new space. The new home of Kate Boggiano is officially 2150 S. Canalport Ave. Suite #3A3, Chicago, IL 60608. The building is a brick and timber building that was constructed in 1900 and originally belonged to Vivano Macaroni company. We have beautiful exposed beams, interior brick walls, and views of downtown.

**View out my office window

**The holding pattern while we were waiting for some paint to dry-always fun and exciting!

**The new space

**A mess waiting to be organized!

**Marilyn setting up shop

Obviously, we still have some work to do, but I’m so excited for the final outcome-it’s going to be great. Invitations to our space warming party coming soon and check out Time Out’s coverage of Pilsen here to learn more about our new diggs:

As if moving a business isn’t enough chaos for the time being, Geoff, my lovey dovey (haha), has left EGI (Equity Group International-Sam Zell’s private equity group-the one that bought the Chicago Tribune and the Cubs) and has come over to the dark side-now he really gets to see what us crazy entrepreneurs face everyday instead of advising us on things he’s never done-I’m pretty excited for him!

Geoff is the new Director of Finance for Argo Tea. Argo Tea is a fantastic Chicago chain (12 stores in the Chicagoland region and growing rapidly!) that sells specialty coffee and tea beverages. Similar to Starbucks, Argo Tea far exceeds the quality, service, and overall deliciousness of its main competitor. Need proof that something could possibly be better than Starbucks? Starbucks is very worried about Argo Tea…did you see the new national tea drinks they just rolled out? Talk about being high on Starbucks radar as the largest chain of successful tea companies-go ARGO TEA!

Arsen, the CEO of Argo Tea, requires that all his employees (even corporate execs like Geoff) go through barista training. Here’s my hot hubby this morning dressed up in his AWESOME Argo Tea barista uniform!

**Geoff in Argo Tea barista outfit**

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Come see the new Spring Collection this weekend at Shop CHICago

What: Gen Art's Shop CHICago
Where: The Great Hall at Union Station, Chicago, IL. Click here for a map
When: Saturday, March 21, 2008
1:00 – 2:00pm VIP Pre-shopping Reception
2:00 – 6:00pm Main doors open to all ticket holders

Gen Art and Degree Fine Fragrance Collection invite you to the shopping event of the season! Taking place in Union Station's magnificent Great Hall, Shop Chicago will showcase designers' spring collections at discounted prices of up to 70% off retail in womenswear, menswear, and accessories, as well as designer collections from Gen Art Chicago's Fresh Faces in Fashion runway show. Attendees can purchase the latest trends and enjoy pampering in the Shop Chicago Beauty Lounge.

VIP ticket-holders receive exclusive access to the VIP Lounge with complimentary cocktails, wine and snacks from Chipotle. VIP tickets also include a private preview hour for access to the hottest designs at the deepest discounts.

VIP ticket-holders also take home the exclusive SHOP Chicago fashion and beauty gift bags worth over $200. There are a limited number of VIP tickets available, so reserve yours before they sell out!

Don't miss this opportunity to find great deals, meet fellow fashion enthusiasts, and enjoy pampering and cocktails - just in time for spring!
Check out the Gen Art website to purchase VIP tickets.


I HEART Saturn!

Before last week, the official Kate Boggiano car was a 2000 VW Passat. I oftentimes haul racks of clothing to events, meetings with wholesale accounts (specialty boutiques), and to customers. I got really good at packing that old Passat but unfortunately, after 10 years, the repairs were more than then the car was worth and Geoff finally convinced me that it was time to buy a new car.

Since we do so much hauling and road tripping with rolling racks, samples, and boxes filled with god knows what, Geoff wanted to look into a crossover or small SUV. As a steward of the environment, I didn’t know how I felt about this choice.

We wanted a 1-2 year old car with low milage and great reliability-and one that looked cool wouldn’t hurt! We test drove and test drove and test drove. Initially our top 3 choices were the Nissan Murano, Toyota Highlander (hybrid I’ll add!), and the Saturn VUE. I hated the drive of the Nissan-it felt like driving a minivan-YUCK, the Toyota was HUGE, and the Saturn was just right. All I can say, is I HEART SATURN! Talk about a great car, driving it, I would never know it’s a crossover, it drives just like the Passat used to 6 years ago (but it does brake a little slower-oops!) AND it gets fantastic gas milage (although not a hybrid but I do think a Hybrd model is available although out of our budget).

All I can suggest is, BUY AMERICAN and test drive a Saturn for sure! It’s amazing how great the VUE handles. I can’t wait for American car maintenance as well, VW maintenance killed our budget! YEAH American cars-great job! You have my vote from now on and I vow to never drive another foreign car as long as you keep producing such a great product like the Saturn VUE. Oh yeah, one final note….our VUE is bad ASS looking-not only will I be able to fit all the Kate Boggiano shirts in the back, I’ll also feel proud rolling up in it to any event that Kate Boggiano is attending.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy 55th Birthday Dad!

My Dad and my brother Ted on a ski trip

The Mikelsons Wedding

Happy birthday to a man that gave me the courage to believe in myself and who forever will be my partner in crime! The world is a better place having you in it and you will forever be my best friend, mentor, and hero. Happy 55th birthday Dad!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Finishing spring and wearing some shades!

We are counting down the hours until spring is revealed. Appropriate then that today is the first day in what seems like a week that it's sunny! YESSS! No more rain por favor!

In other news...if you live in Chicago and stay up for the 10pm news, check out Leah Hope on Channel 7 tonight at 10pm. She's sporting the Isadora blouse in her special segment. GO LEAH! In case you want to grab one of the last of our inventory, they are still available on our website and on super sale (originally $189.95, now $70.00) Get them while you still can.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

50 degrees in the forecast today? You know what I’m thinking…Spring is just around the corner!

And so are the new Kate Boggiano arrivals. We’ve been hauling our new shirts up to our new space, folding, tagging, and getting ready for the BIG Spring launch set for Monday, March 9th. Can you believe it? Here are a few teasers to help you out!

Outtakes from Kate Boggiano Spring 2009 photoshoot

**Me with model and French Classic (Ships with cufflinks for the Spring!)

**Gathered Caroline (very funny Alex! I think Sarah looks like 1 of Charlie's Angels though now that you mention it!)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My favorite CFI designer (other than me, that is!)

I am sure someone out there was wondering how CFI went with 6 designers all in the same space. I’m not going to lie, there was definitely some tension between certain people (one Russian in particular rubbed EVERYONE the wrong way-but I won’t name names ). My most favorite person I met at the Incubator was the lovely and talented Kristin Hassan. She is the greatest person and has become a very dear friend. She is in the middle of getting her brand, organiK Revolution, up online and available for e-commerce. She is such a doll and I would like to introduce her to you!

Interview with Kristin Hassan from organiK Revolution

How/when did you get into fashion?

I graduated from the Illinois institute of art - Chicago with a BFA in fashion design in 2006. I got into fashion at an early age as my mother and grandmother were very crafty and taught me everything from sewing to making jewelry.

Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I was raised in Midlothian Illinois, about 30 south of the city. I currently live in Orland Park.

Who/what inspires you the most when you're working?
I'm inspired by everything really. Music, art, billboards, toilet seats covered with stickers (found in the dressing room backstage at the metro). I love to travel and can draw on that always - I'm very fortunate to have been able to see places like Italy and Barbados and that always gets my creative wheels turning.

Do you think that Chicago is a good city to live in for your work, or would you rather be somewhere like New York?

I love Chicago and I would never chose to relocate. Ok maybe to Paris! (I studied French for 7 years and fell in love with the city on my honeymoon)
Chicago has an amazing underground spirit. I love that we aren't looked at a fashion capital yet. We bring such a unique vibe to the table and the talent here is really underestimated. It's definitely a small design community but I find that to be more comforting than being in the midst of a huge city like NYC.

Do you work from home, or do you have a separate studio?
For the last year I proudly had my office at the Chicago Fashion Incubator (CFI) at Macys on state street. CFI is a city initiative to keep emerging designers in Chicago and provide great resources when starting a business. It was a great space with office space, workspace, and a showroom but My term as part of the first class of designers in residence officially ended today, Feb 20th. For the mean time I've moved back into my studio at home. But with my husbands recording studio also in the basement (he's a musician) it's become pretty packed. So organiK revolution is in the process of researching a great studio space in the city.

What is your process of designing a new piece for organiK Revolution?
I'm involved in everything from sketching the idea out to sourcing the fabric, I make the first draft pattern, sew the sample, do the fittings, adjust patterns, sew another sample, do another fitting, cut production, hand it off to my factory for production sewing, get it back to tag it and hang it and sell it. Of course I have help with most of these steps but I'm involved in every aspect.

How would you describe your personal style (is it similar to your designs)?
My design philosophy is to always design what I want to wear. My style is a wonderful mix of girly dresses mixed with menswear pieces like vests and suspenders, a big touch of rock and roll and some cowboy boots for good measure. I love experimenting with layers (big fan of dresses over jeans) and find delight in crossing over styles which all results in a weird preppy girly rocker hippy kinda vibe.

What makes your clothes eco-friendly? Does this particular line of yours have a specific name?
organiK Revolution is an earth positive company because of a number of initiatives. Not only do we use sustainable fabrics like soy jersey (soybean and spandex) and organic cotton (cotton grown without pesticides) but we seek out better processes like screen printing organic cotton t-shirts with water based non chemical inks. We produce most of our apparel locally in Chicago which cuts down on carbon emissions release during travel. We're even working on replacing the lighting at our factory with energy efficient bulbs. I outsource t-shirts from a factory that is run entirely on solar and wind power. And of course we do the obvious things like using recycled paper and soy inks for all printing, etc.

How old are you (sorry, have to ask this one), and do you ever get flack for being so young and successful?
I'm 23. I always get asked if being young bothers me/sets me back... And the answer is always no. I think part of it is that I don't notice my age... I've always done what I wanted, good and bad, regardless of the age limitations. I think being young is an advantage... I'm not too scared and I've got a lot of energy right now. Besides if I screw this up, I'm tough enough to reinvent myself and no one would notice!

What do you think of shows like Project Runway?
I think that it's a great opportunity to showcase oneself on a national level.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Final Markdowns on Kate!

Yes, Spring is in the air which not only means we are closer to the famed Chicago summer, running on the lakefront, laying out on the beach, my summer volleyball sand league Clash of the Cavemen (defending champs of Coed 4’s Wed night league-wahoo!), but it also means RIDICULOUS sales on the old stuff!

Check it out this week at Hurry, we are hopping that there is nothing left very soon.