Destination Events



By Michelle Crowe




Me, left moderating a panel discussion at Neiman Marcus Oakbrook Center planned by brand experience manager Gabriela Medina. Photo by Ian McLeod


Years before she grew her business into the billions, I met the incredible Sara Blakely on the floor at Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue. A couple of years after that, I was smitten by handbag maestro Anthony Luciano and his beautiful bags with a penny tucked inside each one.


Lamberston Truex Boxcar


Then spent an evening chatting with the charming John Truex about our spoiled dogs. And on the day of all days, spent time with Manolo Blahnik in the morning and evening. Once we’d established our mutuals and chatted about the collection, this exquisite man with the most beautiful manners in the world, offered to send me my dream shoes, hot pink alligator slingbacks. His business partner put a stop to that, but I have the memory and still use the clip in my portfolio.


Manolo Blahnik Carolyne


For all these wonderful moments and more, I thank Tina Koegel, brand experience manager for Neiman Marcus, who is being honored this week by the Chicago chapter of Fashion Group International.


Beloved by fashionistas and philanthropists alike, Tina and her team make magic every day, creating events that keep the Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo, the Women’s Board of the Joffrey Ballet, Service Club, and others on the best dressed lists while raising money for important causes.


Anthony Luciano Vintage Handle


As a fashion writer, it is always special when designers come to town. It’s also wonderful to see local talent rise to national prominence. These days fashion shows are livestreamed in real time and trend cycles move at the speed of pixels. In the days before Instagram, things moved a little slower, print was still prominent, and access was everything. Amazing people at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom add so much to the local scene, as did the late, great Marshall Field’s.


Cheers to future events and the talented people who bring them to our beautiful city!


CS, December 2003, with the most charming Manolo