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Shelby Steiner on The Chic Appeal of "Doing Less," "Not Trying"

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 Shelby Steiner photos: Bryan Whitely; Dovetail photo: via Dovetail
Shelby Steiner photos: Bryan Whitely; Dovetail photo: via Dovetail

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Local designer Shelby Steiner will showcase her spring/summer line at a Dovetail trunk show tonight. The young designer is part of Macy's Fashion Incubator program and shows regularly at Dose. And beyond that? She has a wise, compassionate outlook, and incredible talent.

Listen in on our chat with the inspiring Steiner below, and meet her in person tonight. If you're into bourbon and pool, you may even be able to share a post-trunk-show drink with her at Five Star.

Tell me about your partnership with Dovetail! What makes the shop 'work' for your line, and vice versa?
Dovetail is a good fit for my ethics and aesthetic. Julie Ghatan, the owner, carries only local designers and is incredibly passionate about supporting domestic manufacturing. We're on the same wave length— and so are our customers.

What's your favorite Dovetail purchase?
Last year at the S/S13 launch party [for my collection at Dovetail], my mom purchased an amazing vintage candle holder. It sits on her fireplace now.

Which Dovetail accessories pair particularly well with your pieces?
Dovetail carries a few of my leather accessories, including a locally made bracelet designed with hardware that's typically found on men's loafers.

Speaking of accessorizing, what's your best styling advice for the S/S 14 collection?
Do less. Keep it clean and simple. Ankle boots and top buttons are encouraged. Most importantly: confidence.

Can you share a behind-the-scenes secret about the line—something we may not know just from looking at the pieces?
[It was inspired by] gender roles, primarily. Seeking equality for all. Plus, I think women are much more attractive when they are laid back and not trying. I tried to emulate that concept with oversize silhouettes and casual fabrics for every day.

Forgive the cheesiness of this question, but I'm truly curious: where do you see your career in five to ten years?
That's a great question, truly. I am fairly uncertain, but excited about wherever life takes me. That's vague I know, but the unknown is so intriguing!

Last question: what's your favorite restaurant in West Town? People may want to get a drink or bite after your trunk show tonight!
Five Star. Catch us there afterward.
· Dovetail [Official Site]
· Shelby Steiner [Official Site]


1452 West Chicago Avenue, , IL 60642 (312) 508-3398 Visit Website


1542 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL