THEIR KIND OF TOWN: “A night like tonight proves that fashion is alive and well in Chicago,” said John Shea of Spiegel Inc., addressing the seventh annual awards gala of the Apparel Industry Foundation in that city.. Shea, the catalog company’s vice chairman, president and chief executive officer, accepted an award for focus marketing for the firm’s E-Style catalog, which targets African-American women.

A crowd of about 425 turned out for the party held last month at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, honoring the roster of award winners in this yearly salute to the Chicago fashion industry. The designer of the year award was presented to Alyce Hamm, president of Alyce Designs, known for its embellished special-occasion dresses. Hamm brought an entourage of four nieces wearing her distinctive sequined prom gowns.

The foundation also saluted a trio of new designers: Amiee Bae and Cynthia Castro of Bae and Castro, who make fashion-forward sportswear; Steve and Andi Rosenstein of Fitigues Inc., known for casual cotton waffle-weave separates, and Wilson Harris III of Nubian Nation, who makes hip-hop clothes.

Neil Bluhm, president of JMB Realty Corp., whose developments include the Oak Brook Center, Water Tower Place and 900 North Michigan Avenue malls, was presented with the board’s special award. Sportswear manufacturer I.B. Diffusion took the honors for manufacturing and marketing, and Oxxford Clothes was cited for suiting of distinction.

The Stanley Paul fashion design award went to Beatrice Zombori, a student at St. Charles High School. She gets $5,000 toward her tuition at Parsons School of Design in New York. The runner-up award of $500 went to Sugeiri Martinez of Farragut High School.

The award winners, who were announced in May, are chosen by the winners from the previous year.

HORNBY’S LATEST LOOK: New York-based Judy Hornby, known for her special occasion dresses, is broadening her repertoire. In September she introduced a bridge sportswear line, and for fall she’s launched an outerwear collection. The new line of coats will be shipped in August to stores, including I. Magnin and Ultima in Chicago.

The coats feature cashmere and wool, novelty tweeds, silky microfibers and fake furs. Soft leathers and sheepskins will also be highlighted. Wholesale prices are $150 to $280, with most coats wholesaling around $225.

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