FASHION TALKS: Maria Pinto is about to launch a quarterly salon series to engage her customers in a conversation about fashion, art and culture at her M2057 Style Studio in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. But first, the fashion designer, whose designs have been worn by First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Brooke Shields, will participate in the city’s second-annual Lake FX Summit and Expo, to be held May 13 to 15, joining the likes of artist Nick Cave, chef Graham Elliot and jazz musician Ramsey Lewis. Considered the Midwest’s largest free gathering of artists and creative entrepreneurs, Lake FX will offer more than 100 talks, panels and workshops geared toward those working in fashion, culinary, film, visual arts, performing arts, music, technology and design. Most of the Lake FX events will take place at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Pinto’s salon series starts June 5, featuring a conversation about 1920s fashion between Pinto and Petra Slinkard, curator of costumes at the Chicago History Museum. “Our primary tool for this engagement is through fashion, but fashion that is deeply connected to the arts and culture. We have learned that our clients are not just interested in the clothes we create, but also in the underlying ideas that we manifest through fashion,” said Pinto, who launched her contemporary ready-to-wear label M2057 in 2013 by raising funds on Kickstarter.

Pinto’s guests for the next two salon series will be photographer Sandro Miller in the fall and Zoë Ryan, chair and curator of architecture and design at the Art Institute of Chicago, in the winter.

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