As we bid farewell to 2023’s glamorous events, Chicago’s elite fashion scene is gearing up for an even more spectacular year ahead. If you missed out on the past year’s haute couture and cultural celebrations, fear not: 2024 promises an array of chic gatherings that should be marked on every fashion enthusiast’s social calendar.
Chicagoans truly displayed their fashion expertise at every event. The fashion-forward crowds pushed the boundaries of sophistication and redefined the concept of grace. The fashion scene heated up with a dazzling array of textures, colors and styles. They pushed the envelope, embodying everything fashion is supposed to be: creative, individual, chic, and classy with signature Chi-town flair. From the Black Creativity Gala to New Year’s Eve countdowns and every event in between, glimpse a few highlights of the city embracing creativity, individual style, and pure class.
1. Black Creativity Gala (February)
Kicking off the year with a burst of inventiveness, the Black Creativity Gala celebrates artistry and innovation. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in a sea of vibrant colors and cutting-edge designs that set the tone for a year of unapologetic self-expression. Chicagoans showed that black creativity knows no bounds.
2. Chicago Auto Show First Look for Charity (February)
The Auto Show First Look event is a must-attend affair for the aficionados of style and speed. Witness the marriage of automotive elegance and fashion flair as the latest models take center stage in an environment where sophistication meets horsepower. This is a red carpet gown and tuxedo-styled event.
3. Chicago Links Cotillion (April)
Deemed The debut of Society’s Crown Jewels and a headliner on Chicago’s social calendar, the Links Cotillion stands out as a celebration of empowerment and achievement. For women, it’s more than an event; it’s a crossing into womanhood; they are also instilled in a sense of service to the community, a moment where trailblazers are not only honored but where the essence of their strength and grace are embraced by all. Attendees at this extraordinary gathering witness stunning classic tuxedos and elegant gowns, embodying the diverse and dynamic qualities that define excellence.
4. Chicago Defender Women of Excellence (March) and Men of Excellence (June)
A celebration of trailblazers and leaders who inspire others through their vision, leadership and exceptional achievements. The Chicago Defender Men and Women of Excellence events are a fusion of power suits and elegant cocktail dresses. Pushing the envelope is welcomed, and color and unique designs are front and center. Experience an event that mirrors the dynamism and strength of those being honored.
5. 100 Black Men of Chicago Gala (May)
Join the celebration of community achievements and fundraisers at the 100 Black Men Gala, where fashion takes center stage alongside philanthropy. Their annual Toy Drive ignites a spirit of giving. Expect a night filled with dapper suits, glamorous dresses and an ambiance of elegance mixed with great music and overall fun for a cause.
6. Chicago Cultural Ball
Step into a world where culture and fashion converge at the Chicago Cultural Ball. Immerse yourself in diverse styles, colors and designs that reflect the richness of Chicago’s Black cultural tapestry. Youthful and vibrant vibes fill the night thanks to some of the city’s best DJs. Having a shoe you can dance in is a great choice.
7. Society of Mannequins Fashion Show (March)
For avant-garde enthusiasts, the Society of Mannequins event is a playground for creativity. Explore the edges of fashion, where experimental designs and boundary-pushing concepts redefine the very essence of style.
8. BBF Galaween Masquerade Ball (October)
Credit: Sterling Gilmore Photography
Get into the Masquerade spirit with a fashionable twist at the BBF Galaween Fundraiser. Expect elaborate ensembles and over-the-top masks that are unique and stylish, all in the name of supporting a good cause: the Building Brighter Futures Center for the Arts.
9. Calahan Foundation Gala (December)
Credit: Parrish Lewis
The Calahan Foundation Gala merges philanthropy and scholarships with high fashion. Celebrate educational achievements and contribute to a noble cause while dressed in your most sophisticated attire. The event always features a live music concert to cap off the evening. Past performers include Fantasia, Christe Michelle, Avery Sunshine, Musiq Soulchild and Eric Roberson.
10. The Chicago Urban League Golden Fellowship Gala (November)
Cap off the year with the pinnacle of elegance at the coveted Chicago Urban League Gala. Join Chicago’s elite in a night of glamor, music and fashion that defines the city’s high society. As a significant fundraising affair, the gala provides an opportunity to contribute meaningfully. Elevate your ensemble with sophisticated gloves or adorned wrist jewelry and rings, adding a touch of flair as you bid your heart out. Get ready to dance, dazzle and make a difference. At this gala, elegance meets philanthropy in the most fabulous way!
BONUS: High-End Fashion Show Events
Throughout the year, keep an eye out for high-end fashion shows that grace the runways of Chicago. Immerse yourself in the latest trends and designs from renowned local designers to international designers that began right here in the Windy City, making each showcase a testament to Chicago’s dynamic fashion landscape.
Embrace the creativity that Chicago’s elite fashion scene offers in 2024. This is a city where playing with colors, patterns, and designs is not only welcomed but also encouraged. Chicagoans know how to balance boldness with sophistication, making every event an opportunity to express individual style.
So, mark your calendars fashionistas, and get ready to revel in a year of unparalleled style and glamor in the Windy City!
Some of our favorite annual shows are Barbara Bates, Khamryn B’s VIP Fashion Experience, Madman World AIDs Day “STRUT,” Surround Sound of Fashion, AKA, and Delta Sorority annual fashion shows. Get inspired and make 2024 your most fashionable year ever. We you look good, you feel good!