80 Years of Fashion Innovation

On May 2, the next generation of daring designers boldly defined 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 and national award-winning designer Nick Cave revealed a layered, multimedia performance of "dismantled style, deep ritual, and street ruff"—a new hybrid appearing in suspense and truth.

Get a look behind the scenes as students prepared their cutting-edge collections, and check out recent news about the Fashion department along with documentation of the event.

The Walk, [SAIC's] annual fashion show and inventive night where students flaunt fabulous fringy creations on a catwalk erected in Millennium Park.

Chicago Sun-Times

With a performance by Nick Cave culminating the show, the local fashion community will be out in force.

Chicago magazine

About 250 student-designed looks showcasing a combination of painting, sculpture, performance, sound, body, installation and technology will be unveiled.


Couture fashion, performance, sculpture, and raw expression combine to inspiring effect.​


...there's going to be a whole lot of student fashion to ogle.


They've been doing this for 80 years—celebrating fashion innovation at one of the greatest schools in the country if not the world when it comes to art.

Windy City Live




the walk 2014

The Next Generation
 of Fashion Designers

Student designers and members of the fashion world celebrated 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 received 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 welcomed Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Curator Naomi Beckwith as emcee.

In addition to a cocktail reception and an electrifying runway show that incorporated techniques from the fields of sculpture, performance, design, technology, architecture, and installation to create one-of-a-kind looks, SAIC faculty member Nick Cave revealed 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.

None of this would be possible without...

Presenting Sponsors

Haute Couture Sponsors

Avant-Garde Sponsors

Prêt à Porter Sponsors

In-Kind Sponsors

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

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


Press Contact

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.

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

  • Jean Berghoff
  • Anita Blanchard Nesbitt
  • Amy Bluhm
  • Lynne Bredfeldt
  • Marlene Breslow-Blitstein
  • Liza Cruzat Brooks
  • Greg Cameron
  • Nick Cave
  • Lester N. Coney
  • Jennifer Conklin
  • Amy Dubois Barnett
  • Bob Faust
  • Marilyn Fields
  • Audrey Fosse
  • Christy Frank
  • Denise B. Gardner
  • Sam George
  • Ikram Goldman
  • Gloria Groom
  • Debbie Jagel
  • Linda Johnson Rice
  • John C. Jones
  • Melissa Serpico Kamhout
  • Tony Karman
  • Esther Kashkin
  • Amy Tara Koch
  • Carrie Lannon
  • Donna LaPietra
  • William Ivey Long*
  • Margaret MacLean
  • Mary Ann MacLean
  • Shirley Massey
  • Monique Meloche
  • Nicole Miller*
  • Melissa Moore
  • Stephen Naparstek
  • Phyllis Neiman
  • Kate Neisser
  • Maria Pinto
  • Dana Rice
  • Cynthia Rowley*
  • Zoe Ryan
  • Ellen Sandor
  • Stephanie Sick
  • Kristina Sparks
  • Kathy Taslitz
  • Teri Tkachuk Benedetti
  • Lisa Warshauer
  • Roopa Weber
  • Bisi Williams Mau
  • John Winzeler, Jr.

*Honorary Committee Member

Board of Governors

Cary D. McMillan, Chairman

  • Daniel S. Berger
  • Robert H. Bergman
  • Laurence O. Booth
  • Charles M. Brennan, III
  • Todd C. Brown
  • Daniel R. Bryant
  • Linda Buonanno
  • Dong Hoon Chang
  • Lester N. Coney
  • A. Steven Crown
  • John DiCiurcio
  • Robert G. Donnelley
  • Karen Frank
  • Jason Fried
  • Denise B. Gardner
  • Matthew R. Gibson
  • Regis W. Haid
  • Gail Hodges
  • Holly Hunt
  • Betsy Karp
  • Jay Krehbiel
  • Jordan Krimstein
  • Margaret MacLean
  • Charles L. Michod, Jr.
  • Melissa Moore
  • Marian Pawlick
  • Charles T. Price
  • Quintin E. Primo, III
  • Ellen Sandor
  • Richard L. Sandor
  • Stephanie Sick
  • Anita Sinha
  • Adrian D. Smith
  • Howard S. Stone
  • John Thomson
  • Charlotte Tieken
  • Kay Torshen
  • Joseph R. Trpik, Jr.
  • David J. Vitale
  • Keven C. Wilder

SAIC Fashion Faculty

Katrin Schnabl, Sage Chair of Fashion Design

  • Sandra Adams
  • Matthew Ames
  • Caroline Bellios
  • Bambi Breakstone
  • Gillion Carrara
  • Nick Cave
  • Yoshi Fredisdorf
  • Shane Gabier
  • Abigail Glaum-Lathbury
  • Dijana Granov
  • Conrad Hamather
  • Kristina Januskaite-Sparks
  • Anke Loh
  • Kristin Mariani
  • Aubrie Meyer
  • Steve Miller
  • Annie Novotny
  • Liz Ann Patelski
  • Rick Paul
  • Jurgi Persoons
  • Cheryl Pope
  • Eia Milica Radosavljevic
  • Andrea Reynders
  • Sharon Shoji
  • Liat Smestad
  • James Sommerfeldt
  • Tommy Walton
  • Don Yoshida

Caitlyn Keenan, Administrative Assistant
Michelle Maynard, Administrative Director

Board of Trustees

Thomas J. Pritzker, Chairman

  • Anne Searle Bent
  • Linda Buonanno
  • Lester N. Coney
  • A. Steven Crown
  • William M. Daley
  • Shawn M. Donnelley
  • Janet Duchossois
  • John A. Edwardson
  • Fred Eychaner
  • Denise B. Gardner
  • Sarah Garvey
  • Matthew Gibson
  • James A. Gordon
  • Kenneth C. Griffin
  • Joseph P. Gromacki
  • Ann Grube
  • Caryn Harris
  • John W. Jordan II
  • Pamela Joyner
  • Rita Knox
  • Jay Krehbiel
  • Eric P. Lefkofsky
  • Lawrence F. Levy
  • Robert M. Levy
  • Tim Maloney
  • John Manley
  • Joseph Mansueto
  • Nancy Lauter McDougal
  • Eric T. McKissack
  • Cary D. McMillan
  • Samuel M. Mencoff
  • Sylvia M. Neil
  • Cynthia Perucca
  • Dustin O’Regan
  • Anne Pramaggiore
  • Mark Pu
  • J. Christopher Reyes
  • Linda Johnson Rice
  • Andrew M. Rosenfield
  • Michael Sacks
  • Stephanie Sick
  • Dr. Prabhakant Sinha
  • Edward Byron Smith, Jr.
  • Rebecca Ford Terry
  • Marilynn Thoma
  • Byron Trott
  • David J. Vitale
  • Frederick H. Waddell

Life Trustees

  • Karen B. Alexander
  • Marilynn B. Alsdorf
  • E. M. Bakwin
  • Neil G. Bluhm
  • Barbara Bluhm-Kaul
  • John H. Bryan
  • Gilda Buchbinder
  • Kay Bucksbaum
  • John Chapman
  • Francie Comer
  • Wesley M. Dixon, Jr.
  • Aaron Fleischman
  • Mike Fox
  • Karen Frank
  • Barbara Franke
  • Stanley M. Freehling
  • Maurice Fulton
  • Jean Goldman
  • Richard Gray
  • Mary Winton Green
  • David C. Hilliard
  • Mary Jaharis
  • Judy Keller
  • Barbara Levy Kipper
  • Frederick Krehbiel
  • Anstiss Hammond Krueck
  • Leonard Lavin
  • Julius Lewis
  • Barry L. MacLean
  • Lewis Manilow
  • H. George Mann
  • Beatrice Cummings Mayer
  • Howard M. McCue III
  • Stuart D. Mishlove
  • Isobel Neal
  • Judith Neisser
  • Alexandra C. Nichols
  • Marian Pawlick
  • Harvey Plotnick
  • John W. Rowe
  • Shirley Welsh Ryan
  • Ellen Sandor
  • Gordon Segal
  • Brenda Shapiro
  • Manfred Steinfeld
  • Irving Stenn, Jr.
  • Howard S. Stone
  • Melinda Martin Sullivan
  • Louis B. Susman
  • Roger Weston