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Thompson Hotels Chicago Influencers X Azeeza Khan


A woman with designs on Chicago—and the world

“The Azeeza woman emanates confidence and makes her own way rather than following trends, yet she always has the eyes of everyone around her,” says Azeeza Kahn, the founder and designer behind the handcrafted limited-run label Azeeza.

We love this ethos, and so do fans like Sarah Jessica Parker, Sophia Bush and Gabrielle Union who covet her feminine statement pieces, often embellished with jewels and beads.

Here, Khan reveals some of her insider designer secrets, and shares her favorite places to hang in Chicago.

What inspired you to go out on your own and start Azeeza?

I’ve always been inspired by design and was constantly dreaming of the things I wanted able to find in stores. After working a few years in a corporate role, that itch to pursue my passion was flaring up, and I decided to give it a go. Of course, in this industry, nothing is ever certain so I kept my day job and funneled all earnings into my brand until it was able to stand on its own.

Embellishment is part of your signature style, where does this influence come from? What inspired the 2015 collection?

My signature embellishment will always be a trademark of the brand—both literally (I copyrighted it this year) and figuratively throughout my collections. It is inspired by traditional Indian beading, however I worked with my production team to design something more modern and totally unique. My SS15 Ready-to-Wear was inspired by urban elements of my hometown Chicago’s chain link fences, gritty neutral colors and luxe, unexpected finishings.

What’s your number one tip for dressing well?

Invest in quality basics and prioritize fit.

What makes your Chicago store so special?

It’s a one-stop-shop. We do retail sales, private client design sessions and even produce a selection of our items by hand in this location. We are centrally located on one of the best shopping streets in the country, which helps attract the wonderfully diverse bunch that have become our customers and clients.

What are your three go-to spots in Chicago?    

For an amazing curation of fashion and art I love RSVP Gallery. The Art Institute of Chicago is the best place for finding inspiration—in both the art and the individuals who are there to see it.  A perfect place to grab a cocktail or have an outstanding meal is Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf.