Collection On Display
By Lauren Strejc

Beginning on September 19, Columbia College’s Fashion Columbia Study Collection went on display in the windows of the Palmer House on Monroe Street. While approximately 9,000 pieces make up the entire collection, the Palmer House display featured pieces from Chicago-based designers Mark Heister, Tiffani Kim, Maria Pinto, Becky Bisoulis, and Alice Berry.

Mark Heister is known for his signature design elements such as draping, knotting, tying and wrapping fabric. He is also a part of the Apparel Industry Foundation’s Board of Directors and is a member of the Hope B., McCormick Costume Committee. Accomplishments include being the first living designer to be honored by the Chicago Historical Society with a retrospective, and publication in Harper’s Bazaar and Town and Country. In addition to having his designs in specialty shops across the US, his showroom and design studio is located in the Chicago Apparel Center.

Tiffani Kim has world experience as a fashion designer, having studied in locations across the globe. In 1985, she returned to the US to combine the ideas from the various countries into her line. In addition to many print publications and awards, Tiffani became the first American and the first international designer to show a fashion collection in the Great Hall of People in Beijing, China. In 1998, she launched the Tiffani Kim Institute with her husband, Bradley Griffith , and features wellness, spa and fashion services.

Maria Pinto has created her own clothing since her early ‘teens. Seeing design as form of sculpture and influenced by Geoffrey Beene, Maria started her own company after working as an office assistant to the mentioned designer. Her women’s wear can be found in Chicago at Ultimo, as well as other locations such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue in New York.

Alice Berry earned her degree in fine art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and opened her first studio in 1984. During the following fourteen years, Alice worked with designers and companies that are based around the world. Shortly after her first line of scarves was produced in 1993, they gained a popularity that allowed her to take the scarf line national. Recent accomplishments include recognition by museums around the country for her work with concept translations of Abstract Expressionist painters.

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection features men’s and women’s fashions of the past and present. It covers a range of cultures from Western to ethnic to non-Western designs. Founded in 1989, the collection preserves the pieces and enables research for those involved in the fashion industry.

If you were not able to view the collection at the Palmer House, which lasted until September 30 th, you can arrange an appointment to gain access to the year-round display on the fourth floor of the 1006 South Michigan Building . Please visit for all information.

Columbia College Chicago is an undergraduate and graduate college in downtown Chicago whose principal commitment is to provide a comprehensive educational opportunity in the arts, communications and public information, within a context of enlightened liberal education.