Providing six emerging chicago-based designers in residence with the resources, business acumen, and mentoring to launch their careers in fashion.


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Anna Brown Studio was formed in 2012 to create small editions of inventively tailored clothing. The collection draws on the clean geometries of mid-century art and design and focuses on structured, architectural pieces that can form the pivot points of a modern woman's wardrobe.

Designer Anna Brown studied modern art and literature at Duke University, comparative literature at The University of Texas at Austin, and pattern making and clothing design at Columbia College Chicago.



For more than a decade, boutique owner and designer Victoria Sdoukos has worked closely with brides to create a customized wedding day look. Victoria launched her West Loop storefront, Boutique Victoria, in 2005 and signature label, Victoria Sdoukos Couture, in 2009.

In 2011, Victoria rebranded and expanded into jewelry, accessories and evening wear as Victoria Sdoukos Couture and continues to bring vast experience and superior customer service to brides looking for a sophisticated and glamorous style for her wedding day.

During her residency, Victoria will continue to develop new collections as well as explore new business channels.




Kate VanAsten, designer for Wulfka, went to school at FIT in New York before moving back to the Midwest.  Her deceptively simple, clean silhouettes stem from a strong love of geometry, and all fabric is chosen primarily by touch so that each piece feels great to wear. Wulfka was launched in 2013, inspired by the take-charge creatives and visionaries that are the lifeblood of Chicago.  

With a passion for quality, careful details, and all things made locally, all Wuflka garments are proudly made in Kate's Logan Square studio...and in the CFI Sample Room during her residency!




Lauren Markt has been working and consulting in the fashion industry for many years with other fashion designers and is now placing a focus on developing her own designs through her new brand, Syl Markt. During her residency, Lauren will develop her first Womens Contemporary collection for Fall/Winter 2018 set to launch next February. 

Lauren is a graduate of Parsons and is a recent transplant to Chicago from LA.


LIZ         BAHL

In 2012, Liz moved from her hometown of Lincoln, NE to study fashion design at The Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago (AI) and won the Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence and the Saks Fifth Avenue Design Achievement Award for her senior collection.

Liz is in the second year of her residency at the CFI and will launch her new brand, Molly Browning Knitwear, a collection of contemporary knitwear accessories for women, in 2017.



Adilah Muhammad earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Design at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro in May 2014.

While in college, Adilah developed an interest in fashion entrepreneurship through participation in Teen Vogue Fashion University, a trip to Paris, and an internship for a CFI alum. Adilah designs one-of-a-kind looks for clients throughout the US.

During her residency at the CFI, Adilah will develop and launch her business and first full collection, ADILAH M, a women’s contemporary line with an emphasis on modesty.