The more I conduct these fashion interviews, the more I am left speechless with the amount of talent Chicago possesses… And, it’s even more refreshing to enhance our fashion catalogue by learning about new/emerging designers, stylists, models, illustrators and etc., and I must say, Shontay Pinder you have been one busy bee!

Check her out…

Known for the ‘quality and sustainability of her garments,’ Chicago fashion designer Shontay Pinder of Shontay Pinder Designs has been recognized by the Apparel Industry Board in Chicago and was recently chosen to showcase her line among nine top emerging Chicago designers at the well-known Style Max Show at The Merchandise Mart.

In May, fashion designer Shontay Pinder celebrated her 5-year anniversary with a trunk show introducing her latest collection, PASSPORT by SP. In the spirit of the 1950s, Shontay designed tops, skirts and dresses designed in haute white, prints and bold colors with a few of her signature pieces for that added value. Overall the looks from the S/S’14 collection are chic, classic, and fashionably wearable.

RowASeat1 salutes you, Shontay Pinder on your five years of success, progress and style and we wish you much more to come!

RowASeat1: When did you fall in love with fashion?

Shontay Pointer: Oh gosh! As long as I can remember! At age five I made a ball gown out of my bed sheet (laughing), I cut it into pieces and thought I was fabulous hunny!

RowASeat1: In 5 words describe Shontay Pinder, the designer.

SP: I am conservative, chic, creative, stylish, and fearless.

RowASeat1: Congratulations on celebrating your 5th year anniversary as a designer in the industry!!! How does it feel?

SP: Time really flies! It feels great to be beyond the infant stages in business. I feel growth, security in my brand, as well as confident about what I have to offer to the Chicago fashion market.

RowASeat1: Explain the story behind your S/S ’14 collection.

SP: I really just wanted to design styles to compliment every body type. I thought about post baby bodies when designing; I took into consideration areas that women normally hide and tried to accentuate them into areas that they will be proud to bare. To stay on trend I designed figure flattering crop tops and high waist skirts adorned with a high side splits for an appeal. I wanted to design pieces that would become conversation pieces-such as the neckline of an evening look or a super mini skirt. I used real everyday women in my trunk show as models so that women could relate themselves to the size 8 or 14 and not the size 0.

RowASeat1: Every designer is known for their signature look – for those who are new to your designs can you describe the ‘Shontay Pinder’ signature look.

SP: My signature look is always a chic blazer. I have become known for my innovative blazer designs. I have one peplum blazer with a rose on it that I have been selling for 2 years now. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon. My clients love it!

RowASeat1: What inspired you to become a designer?

SP: I wanted to create my own wealth outside of a “job/career” and do what I love to do every day which is making women look amazing!

RowASeat1: As a designer, how important is individual style?

SP: Your individual style should reflect who you are as a person on the inside. If you are eccentric…be proud of it! Never be ashamed of what you like. I am the Queen of non matching outfits. I believe all colors go together (laughing). Be comfortable in your own skin.

RowASeat1: Tell us about your collaboration with Apparel Industry Board in Chicago (AIBI).

SP: I have been involved with AIBI since 2011. They helped me launch my brand and design the “right” way! Because of AIBI, I am a better business woman and my brand has developed as well.

RowASeat1: Who are some designers that inspire you the most?

SP: Marc Jacobs is my absolute fave designer in the entire world! I need to meet him! Marc if you are reading this, I love you!

RowASeat1: What’s your take on the lack of diversity within the Fashion Industry?

SP: Hmm… I think there are too many designers compromising their talent trying to attain a quick sell rather than building a brand with substance.

RowASeat1: Thoughts on Chicago’s Fashion scene – as far as what you’ve endured these past five years.

SP: I really try to stay low key. I see a lot of fashion activities in Chicago and I love a lot of Chicago designer brands. Style Chicago has some pretty awesome events all the time.

RowASeat1: What more can we expect from the Shontay Pinder brand?

SP: You can expect my brand PASSPORT by SP to continue to grow and supply you with the ‘haute’st’ designs. Lastly, all I am going to say is that you do not want to miss my holiday 2014 runway event!

Check out more on Chicago fashion designer Shontay Pinder; and be sure to follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.