19 January 2016 / By Nikia Jefferson
While everyone has been busy posting their best moments of 2015, I’ve been preparing to write this post, rounding up my best moments throughout the entirety of my blogging career. You see, after 7+ years of holding it down over here at ChiTown Fashionista, I’ve decided to take an indefinite break from blogging.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that the amount of posts hitting the blog have been few and far between for quite awhile. To be honest, I’ve been contemplating writing this post for over a year. But every time I even thought about taking a break, another opportunity or partnership would come my way, forcing me to reconsider my decision. The end of last year was a rough one. With the lost of three loved ones, I really began to focus on what’s important and the blog continued to fall lower and lower on my list of priorities. During that time, I also became involved in creating fashion-related events for Soho House and realized there are other ways for me to contribute to the local fashion community. Couple that with the way that the blogosphere is shifting (most people prefer to consume information quick and easy via platforms like Instagram and Snapchat), I feel it’s the right time to move on.
Don’t worry. Although ChiTown Fashionista is my baby, this is not a sad moment by any means. I’m looking forward to getting my hands in a few other fashion-related projects and initiatives as well as possibly freelancing for other sites and publications. And who knows, maybe I’ll end up becoming MJ’s momager (just kidding…maybe). Plus, I’m not going anywhere in terms of social media. I will continue to actively use Instagram (@chitown_fashion and @offpricepursuit) and Snapchat (chitown_fashion) to shine light on the best local designers, shops and designer deals.
Without further ado, let’s take a trip down memory lane. And after you’ve read through it all, please be sure to leave a comment mentioning how ChiTown Fashionista has enabled you. Whether it was a designer you discovered, a shopping event you attended, or a retailer you blew your entire budget on, I want to hear all about it!
2011 was the year ChiTown Fashionista really gained its footing. I had been writing for over 2 years and all of a sudden, the exposure and opportunities started rolling in. Within the first two months of that year, I was a) contacted by Refinery29 to syndicate my posts (thanks to former Refinery29 editor, Shani Silver), b) invited to my alma mater University of Illinois to talk about my blog for their inaugural College Couture Week, c) asked by the team at Choose Chicago to begin contributing to their site as a local shopping expert. I also brought on my first contributor that year and was spotlighted in Refinery29. Needless to say, 2011 was an exciting time for the blog.
With a full time job and a little one at home, I knew I wouldn’t always be able to hold down the fort on my own. I’ve had some extremely talented writers on Team ChiTown Fashionista to help me consistently push out content. Special thanks to Gabriel, Rita, Sarah, Antaash, Dana and Elise for all of your contributions! I love you all, dearly.
In 2010, I decided to use Black History Month as an opportunity to celebrate black fashion. What started as a one-time series, featuring vintage photos from my family archives and online searches, grew to be an annual occurrence that also included photo submissions from my readers. This entire series contains some of my favorite posts of all time.
In 2012, while pregnant with MJ, I had this bright idea of starting a video series that would feature the wardrobe of some of my favorite, local style stars. That’s when Closet Conversations was born. I had such a great time filming every last episode, getting to know each of my subjects a little better and sharing their fabulousness to a broader audience. There may be a few more Closet Conversations episodes in my future. Only time will tell.
From CoverGirl and Strength of Nature to Nordstrom, Macy’s and the Illinois Treasurer’s Office, I’ve had some amazing collaborations. Who knew that something that started as a hobby would allow for me to partner with so many well-respected brands and entities? I am forever grateful for the relationships I’ve built through this here blog.
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that my shopping addiction is real. As much as I enjoyed sharing shopping tips, discounts and inside scoop, nothing was more fun than the shopping trips I organized. Remember the Blogger Crawl and the girls’ trip to the Fashion Outlets? I’m starting to think that shopping trips may be my true calling.
There’s nothing more rewarding than having your hard work recognized. Every award I’ve received and every feature I’ve landed has resulted in a “pinch me” moment. Much love to Refinery29, TCW Magazine, Marie Claire and SPLASH for all of the amazing features. And special thanks to CBS Chicago (not once, but twice), Refinery29, New City, Rolling Out and The Shelf for recognizing me as one of Chicago’s top bloggers.
At the end of the day, ChiTown Fashionista would be nothing without the support of my readers. Thanks for hanging with me for all these years. I appreciate every last one of you…truly.
22 December 2015 / By Nikia Jefferson
Sometimes, the most wonderful time of the year turns out to also be the most stressful. Shopping for (and wrapping) numerous gifts, playing hostess for family and friends and/or house-hopping during the holiday season can certainly take its toll. Thankfully, the on-demand massage app, Soothe*, is here to help!
When everything starts to settle down, what could possibly sound better than getting a full-body massage in the comfort of your own home? Nothing, right?!
25 November 2015 / By Nikia Jefferson
It’s that time of year again, where we mentally prepare ourselves to either a) tackle the overzealous (and sometimes rude) crowds for discounted goods or b) post up on the computer all weekend to “add to cart” until our fingers bleed.
Navigating the sales can be a tad daunting and I’m here to help out a little bit. Below is a list of the sales you can expect to find from my favorite retailers and brands, from one end of the spectrum (mainstream) to the other (indie).
As I gain more intel throughout the weekend, I will update this post. So keep checking back in, and most importantly, Happy
29 October 2015 / By Nikia Jefferson
My first encounter with wood watches was several years ago, while shopping, er, covering a tradeshow. I was immediately intrigued and quite impressed. I even convinced my husband that we had to get one for his dad, who is an avid watch collector. On the flip side, I couldn’t see myself wearing one. They were a little too hefty and masculine for my personal taste. Fast forward to this year, when I was contacted by JORD to review one of their watches.
14 October 2015 / By Nikia Jefferson
The Shopbop Friends and Family Sale kicked off yesterday and if you’re familiar with the site, you already know it’s a big deal and the perfect time to scoop up those designer wares you have been eyeing for awhile.
The beauty of Shopbop sales is that the discount typically applies to majority of the inventory. And the Friends and Family Sale is no exception. Using the code INTHEFAM25, you will get 25% knocked off your total (with only a few exclusions).
Below is a roundup a few things currently saved to my Favorites and most of them are not excluded from the sale (where’s that handclap emoji when you need it?). Feel free to click through the items to get more detail.
The sale ends Friday, October 16 at 1:59AM CST. So, act fast and more importantly, enjoy the sale!
06 October 2015 / By Nikia Jefferson
It’s that time of the year again, when industry professionals converge inside the Bridgeport Art Center to gain access to the best beauty brands and makeup artists. That’s right, The Makeup Show Chicago is right around the corner!
From lashes and cosmetics to brushes and skincare, The Makeup Show Chicago is a chance for Midwest pros to re-up on all their essentials. And with so many vendors under one roof – selling goods at the industry price – this annual event is also an opportunity to try new brands and products that are trending in the marketplace.
07 August 2015 / By Nikia Jefferson
You have unclaimed money!
Typically, when you see those words in your inbox, you quickly hit the delete button to avoid the scammers and spambots. Needless to say, when the Illinois Treasurer’s Office contacted me about the possibility of there being money and assets with my name on it, I was a bit hesitant. Once I started researching, I discovered that not only is the I-Cash site legit, but I (and some of my family members) actually had funds waiting to be claimed!
16 July 2015 / By Nikia Jefferson
What happens when you bring together some of the city’s most fabulous philanthropists for a night of food, fun and fireworks? One of the hottest events of the summer: Shedd BLU.
Hosted by the Shedd’s Auxiliary Board, this annual fundraising soiree will be held on July 25 and is the perfect opportunity to party hard and celebrate summer (what little we’ve had of it), all in the name of charity.
04 June 2015 / By Elise Giannasi
Ladies and Gentlemen! Summer is coming and it’s time to update your look with a makeover. So how about a FREE makeover?! That’s right, free and sponsored by Sine Qua Non Salons. Their newly-launched Desperate Measures campaign is designed to help you get that much-needed cut and color, and all you need to do is enter the contest!
13 May 2015 / By Nikia Jefferson
If Iris Apfel is on your personal list of fashion icons, one of the style traits you seek to possess is the ability to effortlessly (and creatively) pile on tons of accessories. Simply put, no one does it like Iris.
Fortunately, the newly released IRIS documentary gives us a tiny glimpse into her life, including the thought process behind some of her over-accessorized looks. The film takes a close look at how her interior design background influences her style and also focuses on the beautiful relationship she has with her husband Carl.