80 Years of Fashion Innovation

Watch the next generation of daring designers boldly define the future of fashion at SAIC Fashion 2014. For 80 years, SAIC Fashion students have surprised, amazed, and thrilled audiences by combining painting, sculpture, performance, sound, body, installation, and technology into a spectacular multimedia show presented throughout the day and culminating with THE WALK—SAIC's annual fashion show gala benefit supporting student scholarships.

In honor of 80 years of fashion innovation at SAIC, faculty member Nick Cave will reveal a layered, multimedia performance of "dismantled style, deep ritual, and street ruff"—a new hybrid appearing in suspense and truth.

Get a front-row seat to the unfolding action. Return to this site for updated event info, a look behind the scenes as students prepare their cutting-edge collections, and recent news about the Fashion department and the event.

The Art Institute’s Fledgling Designers are Poised to Make a Splash.

The New York Times

Sexy, stunning, can’t-look-away gorgeous.


Chicago’s definitive event for taste-makers and those with an eye for high style.

Trib Local Oak Brook

Forget Chicago’s reputation as a city of broad shoulders and sweat suits.

Time Out Chicago

An elegant affair benefiting SAIC scholarship programs.

Modern Luxury

...[the] collection looks as if it’s made for Manhattan.

Chicago Tribune


“The Art Institute’s fledgling designers are poised to make a splash,” says the New York Times. Whether you attend the dress rehearsal, the day shows, or THE WALK, your attendance at SAIC Fashion 2014 helps support young designers waiting to explode onto the scene.


5:30 p.m.

  • $25,000 Runway

    16 tickets to cocktail reception and dinner, reserved seating at the fashion show

  • $10,000 Couture

    12 tickets to cocktail reception and dinner, reserved seating at the fashion show

  • $5,000 Bespoke

    6 tickets to cocktail reception and dinner, reserved seating at the fashion show

  • $2,500 Made to Measure

    4 tickets to cocktail reception and dinner, reserved seating at the fashion show

  • $500 Ready to Wear

    1 ticket to cocktail reception and dinner, open seating at the fashion show


Dress Rehearsal

9:00 a.m.

Day Shows

12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.


Friday, May 2, 2014
Millennium Park

Chase Promenade North
201 E. Randolph St.




the walk 2014

Support the Next Generation
 of Fashion Designers

Celebrate 80 years of innovation at Fashion 2014’s grand finale, THE WALK, SAIC’s annual fashion show gala supporting student scholarships.

To honor the anniversary, performance artist, fashion influencer, and SAIC educator Nick Cave will receive the Legend of Fashion Award for his excellence and expertise within the SAIC community and in the fashion world at large. Cave’s cutting-edge work combining art, dance, performance, fashion, sound, and color has graced the pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Time, and the New York Times and has been cited as inspiration for collections by Dries van Noten, Thom Browne, Akris, Suno, and The Row. This year, SAIC also welcomes Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Curator Naomi Beckwith as emcee.

In addition to a cocktail reception and an electrifying runway show that incorporates techniques from the fields of sculpture, performance, design, technology, architecture, and installation to create one-of-a-kind looks, SAIC faculty member Nick Cave will reveal a layered, multimedia performance of "dismantled style, deep ritual, and street ruff"—a new hybrid appearing in suspense and truth.

Notable guests at THE WALK have included award-winning designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy, designer Jason Wu, J.Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons, Paper magazine editorial director Mickey Boardman, clothier Ikram Goldman, Johnson Publishing Company Chairman Linda Johnson Rice and CEO Desirée Rogers, designers and SAIC alumni Cynthia Rowley and Maria Pinto, artist and SAIC faculty member Nick Cave, New York magazine critic Jerry Saltz, Ebony editor-in-chief Amy Dubois Barnett, and many others.

Buy Tickets

2013 Trailer

None of this would be possible without...

Presenting Sponsors

Haute Couture Sponsors

Avant-Garde Sponsors

Prêt à Porter Sponsors

Media Sponsors

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, view our sponsorship PDF or contact:

Cheryl Russell
Executive Director, Corporate, Foundation, Government, and Civic Relations


Press Contacts

Brittany Banion, Skoog Productions

Bree Witt, SAIC

Images, B-roll, and interviews available on request

Press Passes

Since ticket sales directly benefit student scholarships, the number of seats that can be allotted to media contacts is limited. Interested parties may contact Brittany Banion to request consideration for a press pass to one presentation of the runway show on Friday, May 2. Proof of editorial assignment by a news outlet may be required. Access to SAIC Fashion 2014 runway presentations can only be guaranteed by purchasing a ticket. The press list will not be finalized prior to April 30.

Photo Policy

Contacts with SAIC-issued press passes for Fashion 2014 shows and events are invited to take video and still photography in the tent on Friday, May 2 in adherence to these guidelines:

Flash photography is permitted.

Tripods and light stands are not permitted outside the press photo area.

Access to electricity is not available. All lighting and other equipment must be battery operated.

Access to the public address system and audio feeds are not available.

Access to the back of house staging area is not available without prior arrangements.

Images recorded at Fashion 2014 may be distributed for editorial use only. Commercial use of images recorded at Fashion 2014 is prohibited.

2013 Highlights

About SAIC’s Fashion Department

SAIC's Fashion program provides a creative and intellectual context in which the nature and potential of fashion is closely examined and reimagined. Since 1934, SAIC has been educating new generations of fashion designers who have gone on to produce some of the most inspired and respected collections around the globe. Students have fiercely responded to international influences and set groundbreaking trends for the past 80 years.

SAIC’s first Fashion classes gained inspiration from early Hollywood’s glamour in the midst of the Great Depression. Students created sustainable and functional garments despite fabric rations during World War II; and they produced innovative garments using foreign patterns and materials with the growing popularity of international travel in the years to follow.

Uniquely situated within a vibrant contemporary school of art and design, SAIC's Fashion department continues to offer undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate fashion programs that build on the connections and relationships between art and fashion that have been evolving in the past century and that reach an unprecedented level in contemporary practices today.

SAIC's Fashion program is housed within the Sage Studios for Fashion Design located in the historic Carson Pirie Scott building. The 25,000-square-foot studio space includes the Fashion Resource Center a hands-on collection of late-20th- and 21st-century designer garments and accessories representing extreme innovation, which allows SAIC students the opportunity to explore the most progressive achievements in the world of dress and fashion. For more information, please visit saic.edu/fashion.

SAIC President

Walter E. Massey

2014 Fashion Committee

Melissa Moore, Chair, Fashion Committee
Margaret MacLean, Co-Chair, THE WALK 2014
Debbie Jagel, Co-Chair, THE WALK 2014

*Honorary Committee Member

Board of Governors

Cary D. McMillan, Chairman

SAIC Fashion Faculty

Katrin Schnabl, Sage Chair of Fashion Design

Caitlyn Keenan, Administrative Assistant
Michelle Maynard, Administrative Director

Board of Trustees

Thomas J. Pritzker, Chairman

Life Trustees