Fashion + Charity Archives - Chitown Fashionista

Tag archive for "Fashion + Charity"


16 July 2015 / By Nikia Jefferson

The Hottest Fundraiser this Summer…and how you can win VIP Tickets


Shedd BLU

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.

Continue Reading

Accessories, Handbags

11 February 2014 / By Nikia Jefferson

MamAfrica Clutches by Modahnik: The Kickstarter Project You Should Really Care About


It seems like everyone has a Kickstarter project nowadays. I’ve even contemplated launching one for my personal shopping fund (only kidding…maybe).

All jokes aside, Kickstarter is one of the best ways to support a cause or back a new business venture. Why? Because you’re not simply donating money – it’s an investment whose returns vary based on the level of giving. One local designer has launched a Kickstarter project that will have accessory lovers shelling out cash without hesitation or buyer’s remorse.

Modahnik MamAfrica Congo Kickstarter

Kahindo Mateene (of Modahnik and Project Runway fame) is  on a quest to bring awareness to the living conditions in her hometown. To create sustainable employment for women in the Democratic Republic of Congo, she has partnered with MamAfrica, a nonprofit that strives to improve the lives of these women through several initiatives such as nutrition, literacy and economic opportunity.

Continue Reading


03 August 2012 / By Sarah Powers

Meet Kavalena, the Charitable Clothing Company

News of poverty around the world is nothing new to the Western consumer. And now more than ever, the fashion industry has become a leading contributor to national charities benefiting research, aid and prevention of global poverty. Many of the industry’s top professionals including Donatella Versace, Ralph Lauren, Kenneth Cole, Patrick Robinson, Michael Kors, are teaming up with non-profit organizations like PRODUCT(RED), amFAR, GlobalGiving, UNICEF, and Vital Voices to join in the fight for solutions to the world’s growing problems.

As avid fashion-industry followers and professionals, we’re quite aware of the big impact that these prestigious companies and individuals have on the state of the world. Now, I want to introduce a new company that’s breaking into the fashion world with its eyes set on helping people, charities, and ultimately the world become a better place.

Meet Kavalena: a new clothing company that is dedicated to providing aid for the biggest needs of the world by partnering with non-profit organizations who use 100% of their donations to provide clean water, healthy meals, access to education, health care, and freedom from every kind of slavery.

Kavalena’s creator, 23-year-old Chicago native, Val Nash, started her company with a dream to eventually be able to provide for people’s needs in every country around the world. Inspiration for Kavalena struck Val after a rough few years working as a front-line missionary in Mexico and China. Realizing missionary work wasn’t the best way of utilizing her skills to help, Val made the decision to return from abroad and continue her humanitarian efforts through business. In 2011, Kavalena was born, holding the same goals – to provide the needs of the world.

Kavalena clothes are 100% cruelty-free and are made by manufacturers that abide by UN Fair Labor Laws for ethical working conditions and wages. The designs are simple and fresh, including bold colors and patterns on luxury organic cottons and soft knit fabrics- perfect for a summer-fun casual look.

They were generous enough to send me a free product (The Everyday Tanktop, to be exact) so I could see first-hand the top quality of their products. First of all, before I get to the clothing, I must say I was impressed with the packaging!  The package, wrapped in tissue paper and tied with twine, was beautiful. Also included were some informational papers (and a sticker!) so I could read a little bit more into the background of the company. When I finally stopped swooning over the packaging and dove into the contents of the tissue paper, I was delighted when I first touched my new shirt and felt the pure softness of the fabric. It’s cozy and fits wonderfully- a perfect shirt for everyday wear.

Love my new shirt!

I definitely plan to do more shopping on Kavalena’s site. Below are some of my favorite picks! To see what else they have, check out their website here.


And to learn more about how your favorite designers are doing their part to help the world, check out this great article from Marie Claire: 15 Fashion Designers Who Give Back.

Clothing, Events, Fashion Events, Local Finds, Runway Shows

09 April 2012 / By Nikia Jefferson

LAUNCH: Driving Fashion Forward in Chicago’s North Shore

When you receive an invite to a charitable fashion event that includes a runway show featuring local boutiques and student designers at a Mercedes Benz dealership, curiosity alone will have you requesting to be added to the RSVP list. 
So, when I received a request for attendance to LAUNCH: Driving Fashion Forward, you know exactly what happened.  As part of my invite, I was also asked to be a judge for the student designer competition which would award the winning designer with a $5000 scholarship. Needless to say, I was most certainly looking forward to this event.
The Autohaus Edens dealership in Northbrook hosted the event. We all know Mercedes Benz vehicles practically sell themselves. But it was the warm personal welcome by the dealership’s president, Michael Rosengarden, that impressed me and had me adding Autohaus to my list of best car dealers in the Chicagoland area.
While guests shopped local vendors and mingled over cocktails and light bites, I had a chance to meet some of the Columbia College student designers.  
Chloe Flora, Jessica Atkins, Agnes Hamerlik and Samm Mackin

After finding out that Columbia College’s Melissa Gamble was their professor and mentor, I knew these students were quite talented and would present impressive designs on the runway. 
The North Shore boutiques were the first to be featured. The list of stores included Jolie Femme, Three Sisters, Shirise Shoes, Bett’s and Frances Heffernan; all of which provided the audience with some of the best trends for Spring/Summer (eg. peplum, floral, graphic prints and colorblocking).

Here are some of my favorite looks:

Jolie Femme

Three Sisters
Frances Heffernan

Then, it was time for the student designers. As predicted, the looks showcased the individual talent and creativity of each designer. It certainly made it difficult for me and my fellow judges – Adrienne Fawcett of Gazebo News, Susan Noyes of Make It Better Magazine, Meg Moore “Style Counselor” for Pioneer Press and Andrea Rosengarden – to make a decision. 

After it was all said and done, these were the top two designs:

Agnes Hamerlik
Samm Mackin
Agnes took home the $5000 prize but I commend all of the designers for their hard work! I’m excited to see what the future holds for them.
With the remarkable runway show, the funds raised for A Safe Place and the notable amount of dresses donated for the Party Dress Project, I think it’s safe to say that Launch: Driving Fashion Forward was a huge success. 
Plus, I now have some great shopping destinations to explore outside of city limits… as if I needed any more.

What do you think of the runway looks and student designs? Do you have any favorite shops in the North Shore?

Events, Fashion Events, Runway Shows

12 March 2012 / By Nikia Jefferson

[GIVEAWAY] Win Tickets to Launch: Driving Fashion Forward

When some of the North Shore’s best boutiques partner with Mercedes Benz dealership Autohaus on Edens for a fashion event, you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be a good time.

Launch: Driving Fashion Forward is a fashion event that will include a runway show as well as a Columbia College student designer competition.  Held at Autohaus on Edens, this North Shore event will also benefit the Party Dress Project, which is an organization that resells donated party dresses and then distributes all of its proceeds to local charities. For complete event details, visit

I’ve got my tickets to the event. And now I’m looking for one lucky reader, and their guest, to join me this Sunday!

To enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets ($90 value), simply fill out the entry form below.*

Best of luck to each of you!

[winner announcement]

Congratulations to Quinarra! I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

*The giveaway ends Thursday, March 15 at 11:59PM (CST). Winner will be selected at random.

Events, Local Finds, Shopping, Shopping Events

22 September 2011 / By Nikia Jefferson

Shop my Randolph Street Market "Editor’s Choice" picks for charity this weekend!

Since there have been numerous posts on this site about the Randolph Street Market (Exhibit A, Exhibit B), I’m not going to bore you with the million reasons why I love it.

This time around, I want to extend a personal invitation to all of you for this weekend’s market.

Not only is it the regular season finale (which means it’s the last time you’ll see vendors outside until May 2012), but the Randolph Street Market will also be hosting its first annual Editor’s and Designer’s Choice for Charity. And I’m happy to announce that I was selected to participate!

Here’s how it will work:

Before the market begins, the handpicked media participants will peruse the venue and select their favorite items. These items will be labeled “Editor’s Choice”. Additionally, prominent interior designers will pick their favorite booth setups, which will then be marked as “Designers Choice”. When “Editor’s Choice” items are sold, a portion of the sales will go to the editor’s charity of choice. The booths deemed as “Designers Choice”, will receive free booth rent for one show next season while the designer will score 2012 season passes for themselves and their charities of choice.

As an avid fan of the Randolph Street Market, I consider it an honor to be selected for the “Editor’s Choice”. I can’t wait to get out there and designate my top picks for charity!

Wondering which charity I selected?

Whitney Young Dolphins Making A Difference (WYDMAD): It is a mentoring program started by some of my fellow Whitney M. Young Magnet High School alumni to provide 6th, 7th and 8th graders in the West Pullman area with academic support and character development. The program has expanded and now assists with the social and academic growth of existing Whitney Young students. I am a mentor within the program and have witnessed the benefits it has bestowed upon the mentees.

So, find some time to get to the Randolph Street Market this weekend! I’ll be tweeting my “Editor’s Choice” picks so that you know exactly what to buy. *wink, wink*

I hope to see you there!

Randolph Street Market
1340 W. Washington
Saturday, September 24 – 10am to 5pm
Sunday, September 25 – 10am to 4pm

($10 at the gate / $8 in advance)

Visit for more details and to purchase advance tickets.

Events, Fashion Events, Shopping Events

01 September 2011 / By Gabriel Charles Tyler

Paul Stuart Chicago: ‘Treasures of the Night’ Fashion & Charity Event

Chicago’s fashion elite gathered at Paul Stuart Chicago on Tuesday, August 30, for an evening of fashion, charity, culture, music, cuisine and good times. The fashion soiree occurred as a part of the In-Fashion: The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival™ presented by MasterCard ®. The theme, “Treasures of the Night,” represented the the charitable spirit in which the event was held. All proceeds from the donations and the silent auction, along with 10% of all sales from the evening, will benefit the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation.

Paul Stuart’s “Townhouse” resides in one of Chicago’s premier luxury shopping destinations on East Oak Street. The retailer, founded in 1938 by Ralph Ostrove and named after his son, stands as an upscale men’s & women’s retailer known for its unique take on Anglo-American classics. Since its inception nearly 70 years ago, the store has dressed world leaders, dignitaries, celebrities, titans of business, and anyone who expects the highest quality clothing and superior service.

One of the defining elements about Paul Stuart is the retailer’s method of fitting men. Tailors at the store work to mold clothes to each man’s body, promising for a perfect fit every time. It’s no surprise that the store has helped redefine the American tailored look.

If you are looking for your own signature fit, whether it be for lounging around the house, golf trips, work or formal events, stop by one of the two Paul Stuart locations in Chicago. Make sure you tell them that ChiTown Fashionista sent you.

Until then, check out what I saw, ate and heard during the “Treasures of the Night.”


Paul Stuart

15-year-old Japanese violinist Kelly Talim

Talim is only 15 years old, but the way she carries herself and plays her violin are mature beyond her years. She began playing at the age of 8, right before her family moved from Japan to the United States. The young violinist just moved to Chicago a few years ago and she is currently embarking on her sophomore year at Stevenson High School.

Taiko Group from the Midwest Buddhist Temple

The Midwest Buddhist Temple’s Taiko Group started in 1977 with the help of Rev. Mas Kodani and the Kinnara Taiko Group. The members are a self-sustaining group of the Temple and they make most of their own equipment and costumes. Through the years, the musical group has performed across the United States, traveling from Minneapolis to Philadelphia and anywhere in between.

Ai Japanese Restaurant & Lounge

Ai Japanese Restaurant and Lounge (358 W. Ontario Ave), located in the River North area of Chicago, features signature makis from Chef Toyoji Hemmi, one of the only chefs in the Chicagoland area “certified” to prepare blowfish. Ai is the perfect location to stop by for sushi and drinks. When you visit, try their “Firecracker Spicy Tuna,” which consists of spicy tuna maki with tempura crunch, topped with wasabi mayo (pictured above). Their signature drink, a Japanese style Sangria, made with juices and calpico, a Japanese yogurt, is a must-have as well. For more information, visit

Sullivan’s Steakhouse

Sullivan’s Steakhouse (415 North Dearborn St) is an American Steakhouse featuring the finest steaks, seafood, hand-shaken martinis and live music. The restaurant, also located in Chicago’s River North area, has 20 other locations throughout the United States. So you can have your favorite steakhouse wherever you go. Make sure you order a Sullivan’s Steakhouse carved beef tenderloin sandwich, which comes on pretzel bread rolls. Order a round of the Knockout Martinis, made with pineapple juice and vodka. For more information, visit

Thalia Spice

Thalia Spice (833 W. Chicago Ave) is an Asian fusion bistro and bar where Noy Sengsurichanh is the executive chef. People have mistook the restaurant for a Thai specialty location. However, Thalia Spice offers so much more than a typical Asian cuisine restaurant. It merges tastes and styles from the entire continent into refined, tasty dishes. Try the “Karma Sutra,” a sushi dish made with ebi, kawi kama, muscles and masago. For more information, visit
To see all the photos from the event, click the following link: Paul Stuart: ‘Treasures of the Night’ Fashion & Charity Event

To check out more details about Paul Stuart and purchase from the retailer’s online boutique, click the following link:

Fashion Events

22 March 2011 / By Nikia Jefferson

"Rock the Red" Ticket Giveaway Winner!!

A big THANK YOU to those that entered the “Rock the Red” ticket giveaway!  I wish I could take all of you to the event.

Unfortunately, there can only be one winner. And that winner is…

Congratulations to THE WINDY CITY PEACH!
 (I will contact you shortly with details)

For those that didn’t win, definitely consider purchasing tickets to the event so we can rock our red pumps together!

Also, I have a few more giveaways coming up. So stay tuned because you never know when it will be your lucky day. 

Runway Shows

16 March 2011 / By Nikia Jefferson

GIVEAWAY: Tickets to the "Rock the Red" Fashion Event

ChiTown Fashionista is teaming up with The Red Pump Project again to offer a pair of general admission tickets to one lucky winner for this year’s “Rock the Red: Bold.Fashion.Awareness” event!

The event will be held on March 24, 2011, in commemoration of annual National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.  It will also be a celebration of The Red Pump Project’s 2-year anniversary.

All ladies are expected to wear their fiercest red pumps while guys are being asked to wear their boldest red tie. The runway show will feature fashion from local boutiques and designers, including 14 pairs of custom made shoes by Eidia Lush!

It will be a guaranteed fun time!

The event details are as follows:

Rock the Red: Bold.Fashion.Awareness
March 24th, 2011 – 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Where: Britten Loft, 1420 S. Michigan Ave (Chicago)
Why: As the ladies of The Red Pump Project stated, “Awareness is always in style”

Click here for more information.

To enter the giveaway:
Leave a comment explaining why you want to attend the “Rock the Red” event. Don’t forget to include your email address.

For additional entries:
1. Subscribe to ChiTown Fashionista via Email or Facebook
2. Follow The Red Pump Project on Twitter (@RedPumpProj)

Simple, right?

Good Luck to you all!

**The giveaway ends at 11:59PM (CST) on Monday, March 21st. The winner will be chosen at random.**

Shopping Events

12 October 2010 / By Nikia Jefferson

ShopSwagg Shopping Event – Ticket GIVEAWAY

It’s no secret, I’m a bona fide shopaholic who loves supporting local businesses and designers.  A little birdie must have told the lovely folks at ShopSwagg because they have offered to send me and a lucky winner to their upcoming Fashion Night Out event in Chicago!! *clapping*
ShopSwagg holds exclusive shopping events across the country that allow attendees to shop 100+ local and national vendors. Not only can one have access to so much goodness under one roof but the items are discounted up to 60% off retail prices AND a portion of the proceeds are donated to a local charity.

The Chicago event will be held at the ever popular nightclub, Excalibur, on November 13th and will benefit Chicago Cares as well as the Chicagoland area Susan G. Komen for the Cure. ‘Tis the perfect opportunity to begin some early Christmas shopping for yourself. For more details, click the flyer below.

I’m excited to attend this with one of my readers! Do you think your shopping skills will put me to shame? Do you enjoy attending shopping events and supporting local vendors? Do you just want to watch me spend my entire paycheck?
Well, what are you waiting for?! Enter so we can enjoy a fabulous evening of shopping and frolicking!


Leave a comment saying “I wanna shop!”. Don’t forget to include your email address.


*This giveaway is for a general admission ticket and only open to readers in the Chicagoland area. The entry deadline is Tuesday, October 19th at 11:59 PM (CST).

UPDATE: Check out the winner announcement >> here <<. Also, receive a 50% off discount on your ticket purchase when you enter code FRIEND at checkout.

  • twitter
  • facebook
  • pinterest
  • youtube
  • feedburner

As Seen In

Refinery Rue View More Press >>
    Click HERE to view more.

@chitown_fashion Instagrams


© 2018 Chitown Fashionista. Powered by WordPress.

Designed by Kriss of