Keynote Speakers

Shelby Steiner
Contemporary womenswear designer Shelby Steiner grew up in rural Iowa with limited access to fashion. Her upbringing was influenced by four diverse parents each with a variety of knowledge in fields from graphic design to agriculture. She credits each influential figure to her design aesthetic, personality, and love for all things in life.
Steiner completed her studies in Interdisciplinary Arts at Columbia College in May 2012. Her Spring/Summer 2013 collection debuted during Chicago’s Fashion Focus in the headlining runway show sponsored by Mario Tricoci Salons & vitaminwater.

She is one of the six designers in residence at the Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy’s on State Street for the 2013-2014 mentorship. Her designs have been featured in a variety of publications including Michigan Avenue Magazine, NBC, TimeOut Chicago, Racked, Choose Chicago, Chicago Monthly Magazine, Refinery29, and more.

Elizabeth ‘Buddy’ Rivara
Elizabeth ‘Buddy’ Rivara is a muralist, poet, painter, collaborator, and part-time teacher from Chicago. She has exhibited, coordinated and taught workshops, and collaborated in New York, Maryland, Wisconsin, Indiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Ireland as well as locally. She frequently works with The Five Eyes Project, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing greater accessibility, education, and training for persons interested in the enrichment and collaboration of the visual and performing arts and American Sign Language within the Chicago land community.

She created Iridescence, a design and mural business that continues to grow steadily. Her love for narratives, folklore, languages, philosophy, and anything related to the sea is encompassed in her work as a shared medium that she enforces to break barriers and create bridges between strangers. The fact that she happens to be deaf doesn’t stop her from building ties between languages and cultural hindrances. Perhaps, it’s only fitting that the sea seems to be a constant theme in her work, if not for the symbolism of it as a place where the earth meets the sky just as language and people meet.

Buddy holds a BFA with an Emphasis in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

3 thoughts on “Keynote Speakers

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