By  on May 4, 2009

After garnering national attention as First Lady Michelle Obama’s designer of choice on the campaign trail, Maria Pinto joined the likes of Anna Sui and Nicole Miller as the recipient of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Legend of Fashion award.

“I’m speechless; it’s very humbling,” said Pinto, a 1990 SAIC graduate who was honored on Thursday during the school’s annual fund-raiser, “The Walk.” The award was particularly significant for Pinto given the ups and downs of her career. Known locally for the eveningwear and sleek sheaths worn by Obama, Pinto launched her line in 1991 but declared bankruptcy in 2002 after an employee embezzled funds and the company was under strain from 9/11.

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