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Meet 21 Creative Women of Chicago

From stylists & designers to photographers, filmakers and DJs, these amazing women are shaping Chicago’s ever expanding creative scene

In the past Chicago has not been known for it’s cross cultural cooperation. But in the last five years or so, the city has seen an unprecedented merger and collaboration from some of its most talented, driven young people. In celebration and continued cultivation of this trend, Chicago brand Eugene Taylor owner, Letesha Renee brought together 21 of Chicago’s most creatively talented young women to highlight the love and passion they put forth in there creative work.

Sponsored by: Eugene Taylor Brand
Conversation by: Bianca Betancourt
Photos by: Clyde Munroe @clyde.munroe
Assistant: Charlotte Foley

Chelsey Carter

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Chelsey Carter wearing the Eugene Taylor sharkskin grey jogger set | Photo by Clyde Munroe

There are a handful of fashion designers breaking through a somewhat monotonous style scene in Chicago and Chelsey Carter of Alex Carter, is one of those few. The slim and lanky creative—known for her trademark statement glasses and ever-changing hair styles—could be mistaken just as equally as an off duty model whilst in her day to day style wear. Inspired by the people, art and music that surrounds her daily, her style along with her annual collections reflect what is currently consuming her creative side of her mind most at that given moment.

Who are you?
I am the CEO/head designer for Alex Carter brand. I am an artist.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by everything! What is here and what is left unseen. Music, vibes, summer time, politics, obstacles, victories, defeats, women, men, books, literally everything. “Who” inspires me would fall under each one of these categories, far too many to list.

Why do you create?
I choose to create because to me my work is a language, my brand represents a dialogue. I’ve started a conversation on subject matter that only I possess the content. I feel it’s my duty, at times.

Why Chicago?
Chicago was actually my second choice after New York when applying to college. 10 years ago Chicago won, as it is closer to my hometown, Saint Louis, MO.

What’s next?
More collections, more work, more designs. I’ve been so blessed to be given a gift that people wear and enjoy. My plans for the future are to be happy, stay humble and to never stop learning. To wake up everyday and create.

Follow Chelsey @alexandreacarte
shopalexcarter.com

Imani Moon

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Imani Moon wearing the Eugene Taylor cobalt jogger set | Photo by Clyde Munroe

Aside from excelling with her work in design and photography, Imani Amos is at her most simple, a muse. Her personal style is fluid, honest and sensual which is why she’s been the star for dozens of cameras over the years. The streamlined silhouettes of Eugene Taylor along with Amos fashion-chameleon presence, the two put together are a perfect sartorial match.

What do you do? 
What don’t I do? Lol. I kinda just do what I want to do buuuuut if I had to make a small list it would look something like this: West African dance teacher & choreographer, student, graphic designer, fake model, and self proclaimed Snapchat queen. I also invented the phenomenon of posting in threes on Instagram, ask about me!

Who or what inspires you? 
My mom is my latest, my greatest inspiratiooon *in my Teddy Pendergrass voice.* If you didn’t sing while reading that then we might not be able to be friends in real life lol! But seriously, my mom inspires me the most. Also, the students I’ve been working with are huge in regards to my inspiration. I want to be the best version of me for them! I also, of course, am inspired by my environment. What I hear, see, taste, smell, and feel all manifest itself into what it is that I create. However, my greatest love of all (Whitney Houston reference this time) is Africa and the people of the African diaspora, straight up.

Why do you choose to create?
I meeean, there are people that do other things out here? Sounds maaaad boring lol. To be a creator is a gift from the creator. I don’t take that gift lightly and I let that light shine as much as possible. Why question what is meant to be, eh? Would you ask me why I choose to breathe?

Why Chicago?
I was born and raised here. Why not? Represent yo clique, right? Plus, no U.S. city has tacos like Chicago.

What’s next?
Well, first and foremost to be happy is the goal, always. As for what’s next for the Imani Amos/ImaniMoon brand, we’d be here all day if I answered that question lol. In whatever endeavors I choose to peruse the goal is to be organic and genuine. The rest will follow. No forcing it over here! Check my snap @imani_moon or my Instagram @Imanimoon and I’ll keep you posted because your guess is as good as mine as to what’s up these sleeves lol.

Follow Imani Moon on IG @imanimoon

Glenda Lisette

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Glenda is wearing the Eugene Taylor metallic jumpsuit. | Photo by Clyde Munroe

Glenda Lisette is a multidisciplinary creative storyteller working within the realms of photography, filmmaking and illustration—as well as being a simultaneous activist for indigenous and Latin rights—all while still attending university. Her style is conscientious, with the colors, fabrics and patterns she chooses to wear daily echoing the shades and remnants of her Guatemalan lineage. Her artwork is simultaneously socially conscious—for what her pieces show in vibrancy and color is equally representative of the struggle indigenous and Latin citizens and immigrants experience daily in the states and at home. Lisette recently started a Youtube channel where she brings to life her illustrations and photographic eye to create sensational visuals that detail her identity—inward and out.

What do you do?
I’m a storyteller and I primarily use photography, filmmaking, and illustration. My work is often self-portraiture and explores indigenous identity. I also just started a youtube account, so I’m exploring that, too.

Who or what inspires you?
Nature is my endless source of inspiration. I’m always finding reflections of myself in everything, in the trees, the moss, the sounds, the bugs. I try to listen and watch the world and it helps me resolve and make new connections. I’m inspired by strong women, the protectors of our planet, the pan-indigenous movement, Guatemala, and too many other things to list.

Why do you choose to create?
I HAVE to create, and I choose to listen to that urge. I think for many artists, we create art because we have to. If I deny my impulses and ignore my creative ideas, I feel incredibly unfulfilled. When I’m creating, my anxiety and stress levels improve. It’s not always positive to feel this urge to create. Sometimes it’s like I’m possessed, and it can be very distracting when I’m trying to do other things, like school, but I always feel more whole when I respond to those urges.

Why Chicago?
I was born here and popped in and out of the area throughout my life. I’m here to get my education but I’m meeting so many amazing and different types of creative people along the way.

What’s next?
I just want to focus on producing a lot of great work and begin to try and get my work into galleries and museums. Right now, indigenous people across the continent are building a strong community and teaming up to fight common evils. My work is a part of that movement of resistance and I want to continue engaging in that dialogue.

Follow Glenda on IG @glendalissette
Watch Glenda Lisette on Youtube

Troi Warren

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Troi is wearing the Eugene Taylor Alined Bellbottoms | Photo by Clyde Munroe

Troi Warren is more than a triple threat. The multidisciplinary creative who works with photography, design, painting, video and more—all while proving female artists in Chicago are a force to be reckoned with. Inspired by “effortlessness”, Warren’s work and personal style are obviously visually linked. It’s why she makes wearing her namesake style pieces—like Union Jack boxer shorts, mesh tops and of course, a piece from Eugene Taylor brand—look so easy.

What do you do?
I am a multi-medium visual artist who occasionally dabbles in clothing design.

Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by effortlessness. Things that are forced give me second hand embarrassment and I can’t explain why lol. I love when people/things exist the way that they do, and others gravitate toward them for that sole reason. I guess I’m inspired by people who can’t help it.

Why do you choose to create?
I don’t choose to create, we’re all innately creative beings. If I could stick to one medium, I would, but it’s hard for me. My favorite thing about creating is it possibly helping someone put a name to their aesthetic. Like how people associate “woke” black women with shea butter.

Why Chicago?
Why not Chicago?? I like how all the stuff that happens here is underrated to the rest of the world. Of course stuff gets old to us, but when it makes it out of Chicago, outsiders love it and can’t let it go. Hopefully down the line, that’ll help us to stop taking our creatives for granted. I still love it here, though.

What’s next?
I never know.

Follow Troi Warren on IG @troiwarren
Follow Troi Warren on Twitter @troiwarren
troiwarren.com

Shahrnaz Javid

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Shahrnaz is wearing the Eugene Taylor v-neck color block dress | Photo by Clyde Munroe

Shahrnaz Javid is a writer and photographer who “lives vicariously through [her] subjects.” Javid’s photography and personal style are intricately linked—both being bright and glamorous but with an edge that keeps onlookers intrigued. Both her writing and photography are influenced by the current climate of music, culture and her own personal creative circle. The diverse creative energy she surrounds herself by is clearly showcased in not just her work, but her everyday style as well.

What do you do?
I’m straddling the lines between photojournalism and my creative pursuits. I write, shoot, observe, and help bring people’s visions to life, as well as mine. I’m constantly searching for ways to turn the places in my dreams into my reality.

Who or what inspires you?
Honestly everything. As a photographer attention to detail is of the utmost importance. Maybe I won’t brush my hair one day but the way someone else’s lays on their back is a photo/story itself. I find inspiration in the smallest of things.

Why do you choose to create?
Because it’s the only way I can truly express [myself]. I’m not fond of being too loud myself, a lot of times I can be shy or reserved and I find I’m most expressive when I live vicariously through my subjects. I tend to write about or shoot things that I have a deeper connection with. It’s a way to share aspects of my life without talking about myself.

Why Chicago?
I moved here for school initially. I left for a bit to China and came back. I’m not sure how to answer this because Chicago is not my last stop, I plan on moving beginning of 2017. But as of right now Chicago is home.

What’s next?
My next project? Or next move? I’m working on a think piece at the moment focusing on early 2000s reality TV. Next move either New York or the Netherlands, putting my dual citizenship to use.

Follow Shahrnaz Javid on Twitter @soltanshahr
Follow Shahrnaz Javid on IG @soltanshahr
soltanii.com

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