CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Ikram Goldman, Nena Ivon, Desirée Rogers, Linda Johnson Rice, Nick Cave and Brenda Shapiro.
After opening her namesake boutique on Rush Street in 2001, Ikram Goldman opened her 16,500-square-foot “red box” in River North in 2011. The celebrated stylist curates a unique selection of designers, including Comme des Garçons, Nina Ricci, and Chanel. An eye for style: “You can find Alaïa anywhere, you can find Givenchy or Céline anywhere, but you come to me because I have a way that I want it to look.”
The longest-tenured employee in the history of Saks Fifth Avenue, Nena Ivon retired as fashion special events director in 2009, after 53 years with the company. Today, she is the president of the Costume Council at the Chicago History Museum and teaches fashion studies at Columbia College Chicago. Dressing the part: “I don’t wear jeans when I teach. A lot of my colleagues will say, ‘Why do you dress up?’ I say, ‘I’m teaching fashion here, people.’”
Currently the CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, Desirée Rogers made history as the first African-American to serve as White House social secretary. Rogers was previously the president of social networking at Allstate Financial and president of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. Today’s style: “Women today can take any era, mix it up, and make it our own. We’re not afraid.”
LINDA JOHNSON RICE
Linda Johnson Rice is the chairman of Johnson Publishing Company, which publishes Ebony and Jet. Founded by her parents, John H. and Eunice W. Johnson, in 1942, Johnson Publishing Company also produces Fashion Fair Cosmetics and the legendary Ebony Fashion Fair. Fashionably early: “I lay my clothes out at night—I change my purses, I pull out my shoes and accessories—so in the morning, I’m ready to go.”
Nick Cave is a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s fashion design department. The award-winning artist works in a variety of mediums, including performance, sculpture, and video, and is renowned for his highly innovative Soundsuits. Setting the trend: “As a visual artist, I have a responsibility not only with what I produce in my studio to create art, but also the image I want to portray.”
A former fashion and beauty writer at Mademoiselle and editor at Chicago magazine, Brenda Shapiro is actively involved in the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Words to live by: “In every generation, you need people who dress for the sheer, exhilarating pleasure of it. You don’t dress for anyone else.”