Fashion Focus Future? Chicago “fashion czar” Melissa Gamble is gone

Fashion Focus Chicago, News and Dish Add comments

Crain’s reported today that Chicago’s Director of Fashion Arts & Events, Melissa Gamble, has resigned. Gamble, the only person ever to hold this post, oversaw the City’s fall fashion week, known as “Fashion Focus Chicago.” Coming on the heels of the demise of Gen Art, who produced Fashion Focus’ marquee show, Fresh Faces in Fashion, Gamble’s departure has to be seen as a serious setback for the city’s fashion endeavors.

When I called the City to check the status of Fashion Focus, I was sent an ominously ambiguous statement, reprinted below. However, Chicago Office of Tourism spokesperson Karen Vaughn confirmed in a follow-up email that Fashion Focus will be going forward, with dates and details to be announced in its customary mid-summer press conference. (Brian Hieggelke)

Here’s the statement:

May 21, 2010

Statement from Chicago Office of Tourism Director Dorothy Coyle:

Melissa Gamble has had an impressive impact on Chicago’s fashion industry and will be a great asset to Columbia College. Her five years of devotion to increasing the visibility and resources for local fashion talent has been instrumental in Mayor Richard M. Daley’s mission to elevate and educate emerging designers and independent retailers in Chicago. We’ve learned a lot over the past five years and we are currently looking at the next steps to address the growth of the fashion industry.

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