Clustered on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago centers around an iconic downtown district that is dominated by steely skyscrapers. It’s home to outstanding museums and legendary sporting culture, as well as a growing culinary scene in its eclectic neighborhoods.
Chicago might not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of hosting a fashion show, but with its buzzing creative scene and artistic community, it’s a sound choice. You’ll have an extensive network of beauty professionals, photographers, and event management companies at your fingertips, ensuring you can deliver an event that your guests won’t forget.
Fashion Show Options in Chicago
Once you’ve found your fashion show venue in Chicago, you can start looking for vendors, beauty professionals, and equipment rentals to help make the event happen.
Whether you need front-of-house catering or food and drinks behind-the-scenes, Chicago catering companies can deliver platters, boxed meals, or canapes in the style of cuisine you’re after.
A few floral features or potted plants can make all the difference to your space, whether they’re on the runway itself or just framing it. Chicago florists can deliver bouquets and botanicals featuring the varieties and colors you desire.
No fashion show is complete without a photographer capturing high-quality shots of your models as they make their way down the runway. The images can later be used to promote your designs online and market your brand to a wider audience.
- Furniture rentals
Need chairs for your fashion show? One of the city’s equipment rental companies can be of assistance, providing everything from tables and chairs to sound and audio gear.
- Beauty professionals
Experienced hairdressers, makeup artists, and nail technicians - you can find them all within the community of Chicago beauty professionals. Look for individuals who have experience at fashion shows and are good at working under pressure.
Event Companies in Chicago
Need help planning your fashion show? Chicago event management companies have the knowledge and know-how to make it happen. Whether you need assistance brainstorming a theme, designing the decor, or securing vendors, they’ll do all the hard work for you.
- Liven It Up Events
Liven It Up is a highly-experienced event planning company that can take care of things behind-the-scenes at your fashion show. Whether you need to find vendors, equipment rentals, or book entertainment, they have the knowledge and connections to make it happen.
- Bliss Events
Bliss is a full-service event planning company that features in-house design, styling, and floral experts to handle all aspects of your fashion show. With multiple awards under their belt, you can book them with peace of mind that they’ll deliver an unforgettable event with attention to detail.
- Absolute Production Services
From small events to large fashion shows, Absolute Production Services can create moments that will exceed your expectations. They are experts at sourcing talented vendors and professionals who will deliver an event that you and your guests will remember long after it’s finished.
Pros and Cons of Fashion Shows in Chicago
- Diverse choice of fashion show venues
From beautiful old churches to purpose-built modern event venues, Chicago boasts plenty of spaces where you can host your next fashion show. Some come as a blank canvas for you to add your personal touch to, while others are beautifully decorated and ready to go.
- Affordable rental prices
Compared to some other major cities in the United States, real estate is still relatively affordable in Chicago, which means you’ll probably pay less for your venue rental than you might elsewhere.
- Professional vendors
Chicago boasts an extensive network of professional vendors who can make your fashion show happen, from photographers to designers and beauty professionals in hair and makeup.
- Easy transportation options
If you’re hoping to attract out-of-state or international guests to your fashion show, Chicago is a great choice, thanks to its two international airports and convenient rail connections.
Aside from its logistical advantages as a destination for fashion shows, Chicago offers plenty to see and do outside of your event. From art galleries to entertainment districts and landmark skyscrapers, there’s something that will appeal to everyone.
Chicago’s nickname - the “Windy City” - says it all. In addition to strong winds, the city experiences hot and humid summers followed by often bitterly cold winters. That being said, both spring and fall can be pleasant times to visit the city.
- Bad traffic
Traffic in the city center can be notorious, and you’ll need to plan ahead if you book a fashion show venue in Chicago’s Loop district. Try to avoid scheduling your show around rush hour when the streets can come to an absolute gridlock.
- Parking is difficult
In addition to its bad traffic, finding a place to park in Chicago’s city center can be a nightmare. To overcome the issue, it’s best to use taxis or shared-ride services to get around.
Some of Chicago’s neighborhoods aren’t the safest, with the city having a relatively high crime rate. It’s best that you and your fashion show guests avoid walking around at night to prevent any issues.
- High taxes
In Chicago, tax is added onto groceries, which is something to keep in mind when budgeting for your event and booking catering.
Famous Locations in Chicago
- Navy Pier
In the Streeterville neighborhood, Navy Pier is a popular entertainment destination that’s clustered with restaurants, exhibition spaces, and shops. You can ride the carousel and the remote control boats or experience the sensory maze of the Funhouse, then step inside the striking glass atrium of the Crystal Gardens.
- Art Institute of Chicago
Set within a Beaux-Arts-style building designed for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, this renowned art museum is home to hundreds of thousands of works. Its collection spans around 5,000 years of human creativity, ranging from Byzantine pieces to European decorative arts and contemporary photography.
- Willis Tower
For some of the best views in Chicago, ride the elevator that leads to the top of the 108-story Willis Tower, which was once the tallest office block in the world. There are 360-degree panoramas on offer from the 103rd-floor SkyDeck, as well as a glass-floored box known as The Ledge that allows you to peer down on the city below.