Chicago Dresses Up for Olympics

by Rachel Yeomans | September 29th, 2009   

Maria Pinto, Hart Schaffner Marx, and tie maker Lee Allison are all set to outfit members of Chicago’s Olympic delegation for outfits debuting at this Friday’s International Olympic Committee vote on the 2016 Summer Games. What exact look will Chicago showcase will be unveiled on Friday; however according to Allison as reported in the Associated Press, the clothing is an integrated, sporty but professional look for the men, with a more feminine silhouette for the women.

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“The whole goal was to project an air of confidence and competence,” Allison told the AP. “In a sense the ties, they’re very discreet. They say we’re a professional team and we’re here to get the job done.” He hints that there’s a hidden message in his ties, one that we will just have to wait to see in order to decode.

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Officials continue to say the goal of the attire is not to receive rave reviews from a catwalk, but rather “to signify teamwork and cohesion.” This professional team, it should be mentioned, is entirely from Chicago. “It’s like a coming-out party for the town in all aspects, including its fashion industry,” Allison said. “They can outfit this team and they don’t have to leave the hometown.”

Chicago fashion experts give their opinion on what will grace the meeting stage; and the consensus leans towards a classic, tailored look, possibly with a mix of red, white and blue.

“The clothes are going to be on the conservative side, which lends itself to some of the philosophy of Chicago,” Chicago fashion commentator and image consultant Barbara Glass said. “We’re not a flashy city.”

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Kristen Amato, president of the Chicago Fashion Foundation, said the selection demonstrates a certain caliber of work within the city’s small-but-strong style community.

“This gives a lot of credibility to Chicago,” said Amato, who designs her own jewelry line, K. Amato.

Amato said she expects Pinto to design for many different female body types.

“They’ve got to be able to speak to masses of people,” Amato said. “They’ll see a very polished, classic American style. I don’t think we’re in for any huge fashion surprises or shocks.”

We also all remember that Mrs. Obama has worn Maria Pinto designs to important events in her husband’s political career, including the day he announced his candidacy in Springfield and the night she spoke at the Democratic National Convention. President Obama has also been known to wear the suits made by Hart Schaffner Marx.

Chicago 2016 said in a news release that the designers donated their time and will provide the clothing to the delegation at cost.

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“On October 2, Chicago will be on an international stage, and our city’s fashion designers will share in the spotlight,” Chicago 2016 chairman Patrick Ryan said. “Our bid plan celebrates Chicago and we are proud to showcase the talents of the art and design community that thrives here.”

Chicago may termed the “Second City” - however this is one of those occasions when its proud inhabitants are making it clear that they don’t second anyone. They don’t try to mirror New York. They don’t try to make a loud statement. They tout their skills of taking every situation brought forth and making it work, and almost every time exceeding even the most hopeful expectations. Congratulations to Chicago for working your way to this moment.

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