Anna in Chicago Social
by Lily Hansen | CS magazine | February 27, 2012
Often overlooked by fashion epicenters like New York and L.A., Chicago’s design scene is once again garnering the attention it deserves—thanks in part to Anna Livermore. Livermore, 30, is the brains behind V. Mora (vmora.com), a sewn product consulting and development company that translates clients’ visions from sketchbook to the rolling rack or display case. The process is simple: Livermore and her team of pattern makers, sample makers, technical designers and sourcing experts mentor each designer through the entire process. And with the advantage of producing in Chicago and overseeing every sample, designers gravitate toward V. Mora’s concept. “Regardless of their budget, I want V. Mora to be the place where designers can go for help, from onetime consultations to full product development,” says Livermore.
Livermore began her career in Chicago designing her own line, V. Mora Designs, but was inspired to switch gears and start her consultation business in 2008. “Through honesty, working with integrity and having friends like national fabric rep Jay Arbetman recommending business to me, I didn’t have to spend a lot of time marketing because I figured my reputation would stand on its own,” she says.
And it worked. A flood of aspiring designers seek Livermore’s expertise on how to get their creations to the retail market. One half of Wicker Park’s boutique and brand Sir & Madame, Autumn Merritt has worked with V. Mora for several seasons to produce her “classic with a twist” designs. “Being able to oversee our collection every step of the way was really important to us,” she says. “Working with Anna to produce our collections makes us feel like a critical part of what keeps Chicago’s fashion wheels turning.”
Livermore also makes custom designs for clients like red carpet regular Kristyn Burtt, an MSNBC veteran and host of online entertainment show The Web Files, who worked with Livermore to design a red carpet cocktail dress for an Oscar week event. “Once a designer understands your personality and what cuts look best on you, it’s absolute magic,” Burtt says.
Livermore dreams big for the future, hoping to create a Chicago garment district where designers can get everything in one place. And with 15 clients and counting, Livermore proves that big results can come out of the most modest Ravenswood studio: “I’m grateful every single day,” she says. “I built my business from the ground up, and everything has fallen into place. That’s proof that this is exactly where I should be.”
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