Close-Up | Benjamin Cottrell

Fashion-Close-Up, Chicago, Benjamin Cottrell Designs, Benjamin Cottrell Runway, Bows and Beau-ties

Fashion-Close-Up, Chicago, Benjamin Cottrell Designs, Benjamin Cottrell Runway, Bows and Beau-ties
Photos from Saturday 1 June
Most shows were moved to Sunday,
but it was still an awesome day of shopping.
*interview 2 June 2013
Hey Fashionable Guys&Girls!

In case you missed all my tweets and instagrams this weekend, I was in Chicago for Fashion in the Street (FITS). Green Curtain Events' second annual fashion festival featured gorgeous collections by designers like J. Toor, Caroline Borucki, and Ramsey Jay Prince on the 100-foot runway and great DJs and bands like Hey Champ and Ghosthouse.

Of course the weekend couldn't have been incredibly fabulous without Chicago's hottest fashion show producer, Benjamin Cottrell. It was so fantastic to meet and interview him (Bows&Beau-ties' first ever!).

How did you get started in runway fashion?

Fashion-Close-Up, Chicago, Benjamin Cottrell Designs, Benjamin Cottrell Runway, Bows and Beau-tiesI started actually in special events and worked for a high end special design firm for about four years working up to management there and then went into my own production company and really just focused on fashion, so I produce events but I'm always working on fashion. I don't really do anything but that. I don't do weddings or different parties like that.

When did you start your own design company?

I actually started my own company when I was in college and then always kept it on the side when I moved to Chicago. And then four years ago started doing it full time again.

What do you do as a fashion runway producer? Do you choose the venues and the designers?

I'm there from start to finish. I select the venues. I have my whole team that comes with me to each show. And I choose the designers based on the venue and the look that I want, work with lighting and staging, set-up, pretty much anything that goes into an event.

Do you get inspiration from other designer's shows?

I don't. I actually don't look at other designers' shows; I really like it to come from my heart. And I like to walk into a space and be inspired by the space.

What is Chicago's fashion industry like? Like in comparison to New York or L.A.

Very supportive, a lot of great people.

On your page it said something about Benjamin Cottrell Runway; is that different from your design company?

Yes, Benjamin Cottrell Runway is a boutique agency. It's a sister agency of Benjamin Cottrell Designs. I hire around 25 to 30 models each season and all of those models walk for my shows. You have to be a Benjamin Cottrell runway model to walk for my productions. It just keeps everything a little bit simpler for me and also just builds a family, builds relationships with people. It's great to have the same girls and guys always with me. Everybody kind of knows each other, all one big happy family.

What's your next project?

Next project is my last show of the season. It is called "Come Sail Away". I'm shutting down the Castaways Boat at North Avenue Beach. It's on June 12th and I'm going to have a fashion show on top of the boat. First ever. And we're going to have fireworks following the fashion show. Live steel drum band. It's going to be a really hot, sexy, warm night in Chicago.

Photos from Sunday to come, but until then, check out these photos by KrygPhotography. And follow Benjamin Cottrell Designs on facebook and twitter to stay up-to-date on all of his upcoming glamorous events

Stay Fabulous,
xoxo Aimee 


  1. Wow what a great interview very informative and so inspiring when people live their dreams, do what they love and turn it in to a successful business! Bravo!

    Ali of

    Dressing Ken

  2. Wow so much fun! I was following along on Instagram, the pics were great.
    Nice interview as well.


  3. Looks like it was a fantastic event! Wish I could have been there for it.


    Jules of Canines & Couture

  4. Great interview with Benjamin:) That event sounds fantastic!

  5. I just joined you on twitter and instagram! This interview with Benjamin was so fabulous. Great job girl! Wooot!

  6. Nice interview!
    Nicky NEWPOST!

  7. It's so cool you got to go to this! It looks like you had a great time. And I love the interview!

  8. That's so cool that you got an exclusive interview! And how amazing does Benjamin's next event sound---I wish I could be there for THAT!


  9. wow, so cool that you got to do this! :D


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