FGI Chicago Board of Directors

2021 Board Officers

2021 Board of Directors Bios

Alex Duffy, Regional Director

Fashion Blogger - @iamalexduffy

IAMLEXDUFFY.COM

Alex Duffy has been an FGI Member for almost 10 years and has been apart of two different FGI regions. Her experience is digital: she's a fashion blogger, astrologer, fundraiser, media personality, and talk show host for the Duffy Women. Alex is ready to usher in the new age of FGI Chicago, blending together valuable traditions of the past with ways forward into the future of fashion, retail, and interior design. 

Allison Leahy, Treasurer

Assistant Professor of Instruction- Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago

Allison is currently a Practitioner in Residence at Columbia College Chicago teaching courses in Fashion Business. She has worked in the field of Strategic Sourcing for over 15 years involved primarily in the Apparel industry with some experience in hard goods.  Her most recent position was as Director of Strategic Sourcing at Cintas Corporation, a uniform supplier, in Chicago for over 11 years.  She led the Product Development and Sourcing efforts for Cintas' Direct Sales division with over $90M in spend. Her team sourced products globally and supported major Fortune 1000 customers like Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Marriott, Panda Express, Sprint, and AT&T.  She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Missouri in Textile & Apparel Management. She has an MBA from Northwestern University and an MS in Global Textiles from Philadelphia University/Reutlingen University in Germany. Allison and her family live outside Chicago.   

Maureen Davis, Secretary

Account Manager - Rise Interactive

Maureen is a digital marketing strategist managing the accounts of her global DTC clients at Rise Interactive. Before the ad agency world, Maureen spent 9 years in the wedding industry at Bella Bridesmaids, a national bridesmaid dress franchise headquartered in Chicago. She helped Bella expand their brand strategy and digital footprint while gaining extensive experience in retail management and customer service. She is a firm believer in fancy flats, chocolate-based dessert, and thinking outside the box.

Bhavana Jain, Membership Chair

CEO and Lead Designer - BHAV

www.shopbhav.com

Bhavana Jain is a Clinical Pharmacist and CEO and lead designer for BHAV which is a women's contemporary clothing brand based in Chicago, IL. BHAV is inspired by the rich diversity of South Asian heritage fabrics and features sophisticated and flattering ready-to-wear pieces tailored to fit the daily lives of real, modern women.  The pieces are versatile enough to be worn wherever your day takes you, and we aim to re-imagine what fusion-wear can be. 

André Wilson, Programming Chair 

Founder and Stylist - Black Garment Bag

www.blackgarmentbag.com

André founded Black Garment Bag - A Men’s Style Consultancy in 2016 to empower men through style. André cultivated his unique point of view on Men’s style over the years and after a successful career in Human Resources launched Black Garment Bag.  Black Garment Bag is a men’s style consultancy specializing in creating wardrobe solutions that build confidence and promote a positive self-image.

Delphine Pontvieux, PR & Sponsorship Chair

Designer - NYET Jewelry

www.nyetjewelry.com

Delphine Pontvieux was born and raised in France.  An avid traveler, she studied and lived in Australia, the USA, Spain, and the Netherlands until she moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1998, where she lives today.

She is the founder and designer of NYET Jewelry, a company she created in 2012 which produces leather jewelry and accessories for discerning women and men. Every piece of jewelry is designed and handmade to order in her Chicago workshop with love, patience, and the individual attention they deserve, with carefully selected hides (which she dyes with eco-friendly tints) and hardware that are made to last.

A genuine renaissance woman, She has 10 years of international sales and promotion experience in the music and entertainment industry. She is the published author of a thriller titled “ETA-Estimated Time of Arrest,” which won two literary awards, along with various short stories and magazine articles. It is in the city of big shoulders that she also caught the acting bug. She’s appeared in several movies such as LOL-Laughing out Loud, Sinister 2, and various TV series. She also is a scuba instructor, cave and technical diver, and ocean conservation advocate. 

Nina Françios, Social Media Chair

Handbag Designer - @ninafranciosofficial

Nina Francois studied fashion design at Columbia College Chicago. While struggling with garment design, she started exploring handbag design and realized it was her niche. Upon graduating from Columbia, Nina then studied leather design at the Chicago School of Shoemaking. Her first line of handbags and accessories will soon be launched. Outside of the fashion world, Nina has worked for over 10 years as a clinical microbiologist. A tale of two identities.

Shirl Lynn Jackson, Membership Committee

Designer @sldesigns2

Shirl Lynn Jackson is a multidisciplinary designer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Originally learning the art of sewing in high school, Shirl Lynn sharpened her skill set by taking various sewing, tailoring & art classes. These courses enabled Shirl Lynn to specialize in alterations. Upon moving to Chicago, Shirl Lynn has worked with a considerable amount of clients ranging from entertainment to high schools. 

Shirl Lynn has designed for weddings, proms, choirs, special events, and any other medium you could imagine since the 1980s. With a wealth of experience to build upon, Shirl Lynn's main focus now is to provide Custom Wear For Women.  Shirl Lynn lives her life by the mantra, “I will design with you in mind!”

In addition to creating designs, you can find Shirl Lynn active in her church, caring for her daughter, and exploring Chicago to enjoy all of the creative & fashion energy the city has to offer. Shirl Lynn can be contacted via phone at 708-606-6184, or by emailing PittSLynn10@gmail.com.

Nasreen Hussian, PR & Sponsorship and Programming Committees

Stylist - Humans Of High Fashion

www.humansofhighfashion.com

Nasreen Hussain is a Fashion Consultant and Creative Director of her business - Humans of High Fashion. HOHF launched in 2020 and the concept behind her styling business aims to have a fashion-forward approach to styling in the Post Pandemic Era. She is certified at the School of Style based in New York and graduated from Benedictine University with a Masters in Organizational Behavior and Management. In her spare time, Nasreen focuses on her Food Blog consisting of Indian/Asian Recipes @Lazybawarchi - featured in voyage Chicago.

Edwards Buice, Programming and Communications Committees 

Menswear Designer 

www.davidedwardsclothier.com

I am the Founder and Creative Director of David Edwards Clothier, an online menswear boutique.  I travel the world looking for fashion houses that specialize in using luxury textiles to create collections that are sophisticated, bold, and very importantly, limited edition.

I am passionate about travel, fashion, technology, and conversations learning about an individuals' life journey.  Everyone has a story to tell and I want to hear it and learn from them.  Contact me so I can hear about your life journey. 

Dana Pietrusiak, Communications Committee

Fashion Student

I am a first-year fashion student who is also completing an economics degree with a minor in anthropology, where I will graduate in 2022. I currently research opportunities for global partnerships as well as a cost-effective way to employ data and trend analytics tools for smaller companies in the fashion industry. Please feel free to contact me. I welcome your thoughts and discussion.

Nominating Chair: Monique Lyle

Marketing Director at Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc.

Regional Advisor: Tammy Apostol

Owner, Designer - TA Couture

2020 Board of Directors


Masha Titievitsky DeHaan, Co-Regional Director

Sarah Hamilton, Co-Regional Director

Allison Leahy, Treasurer

Maureen Davis, Secretary

Alex Duffy, Membership Chair

Avonda Commodore, Programming Committee

Shirl Lynn Jackson, Membership Committee

Darcy Rogers, Membership Committee

Jessica Marx, Programming Chair

Andre Wilson, Programming Committee

Lindsay Siwiec, Pr & Sponsorship Committee

Elena Bobysheva, Communications Committee

Pam Iannotta, Regional Advisor