Windy City swagger

Chicagoans representing at Latino Fashion Week

November 02, 2011|By Erin Vogel, RedEye

When Cesar Rolon Jr. founded Latino Fashion Week five years ago, he had zero experience in the field, but he wanted to showcase designs from the community.

"What really means a lot to me is supporting local artists," said Rolon, who works in community affairs, marketing, promotions, planning and development.

"I don't think there's enough of that in Chicago. Even though I did this for my community, I really can't say enough about how much amazing talent there is in this city. We're not recognized enough for what we do here."

The theme of this year's event, which kicked off Tuesday, is "Art in Fashion." Here are five Chicagoans to keep an eye on. ERIN VOGEL IS A REDEYE INTERN.

Jacqueline Amezcua

Amezcua was born and raised in Chicago. Amezcua earned her degree in fashion design at Columbia College Chicago. Her clothes are inspired by 1980s love stories like "Pretty in Pink" and "Sixteen Candles."

Nicole Suarez

Suarez was a finalist of the "Nuestra Belleza Latina" reality show and is a student at DePaul University.

Borris Powell

Powell moved to Chicago in 1997 to start his design career. Winner of the Oscars Designer Challenge in 2011, his dress was worn by Brazilian model Izabela Garcia at this year's Oscars.

Elhadi "Haj" Gueye

Born in Senegal, Gueye moved to New York in 1989 and worked as a designer for Macy's private label. He then moved to Chicago and founded Haj Designs, Inc. Gueye has provided clothing for "The Bernie Mac Show" and "Head of State."

Ritu Boorgu

Originally from Mumbai, India, Boorgu launched Westmont-based Charisma Studio in 2009. Her boutique is known for its collections from popular designers from Pakistan and India.

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