Weather Updates

Decades co-founder Christos Garkinos reflects on his favorite Chicago trendsetters

Christos Garkinos

Christos Garkinos

storyidforme: 46136678
tmspicid: 17102034
fileheaderid: 7699499

Updated: March 15, 2013 8:00AM

Growing up in Detroit, traveling to Chicago was always a special treat. It was a major city where stylish people walked — actually, no, where they strutted, peacock-style — down Michigan Avenue. I would go home to my little suburb, Grosse Pointe, and wish I could do the same there. Not so much.

Chicago has had an immense influence on fashion. Here are some of my favorite Windy City fashionistas:

1. Jody Watley: Diva. Icon. First singer (yes, before Madonna) to wear Gaultier onstage and in fashion spreads. To this day, she turns it out. (And she’s become a good friend.)

2. Brian Atwood: It is a quirk of nature that someone so handsome can design such sexy shoes. Brian, I think it’s time that you made some for men!

3. Desiree Rogers: CEO of Johnson Publishing Co. Perfection. I really think that she is a trendsetter and has an amazing, innate sense of style.

4. Jane Byrne: I know, a surprise. But growing up, I was transfixed by her — a pretty, put-together woman who could also lead Chicago.

5. Oprah: I would love her even in a Snuggie.

6. Kanye West: I love that he takes risks, wearing skirts and such. I can’t wait to see his daddy-wear or diaper bag!

7. Raquel Welch: Have you ever seen this Chicago native up close? It really isn’t fair. I love her in a roller skating outfit (“Kansas City Bomber”) or a fur bikini (“One Million Years B.C.”).

8. Eliot Ness: I think the Prohibition agent was the impetus for all of the “Mad Men” infatuation. Untouchable, as they say.

9. Nate Berkus: Nate has been a friend for years. I love that he has stayed consistent with his style. All he has to do is dress up his eyes, and go out!

10. People on Michigan Avenue: To this day, I love to people-watch on Michigan Avenue. The strutters remain. And they remind me how much I love this city.

Christos Garkinos will host the 5th annual Decades trunk show from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. March 16 and from noon - 6 p.m. March 17 at Space 519. 900 N. Michigan Shops, (312) 751-1419;

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.