Who We Are

Fashion Matters Chicago is an educational initiative to study the relationship between culture and fashion, to provide a forum for lectures and seminars on the subject, and to promote fashion enterprises that support the dignity of the human person.

By working with industry leaders, such as image consultants, cosmetics professionals, professors, stylists, fashion designers, and buyers, Fashion Matters Chicago focuses on communicating character and beauty through personal appearance and style. We want every woman to have a profound knowledge and humble pride for the innate dignity she possess, and, in turn, to use that knowledge to make thoughtful style choices. We believe in providing big picture reasoning and practical, day-to-day tips in order to allow each woman to easily turn the theoretical into practical wardrobe solutions.

Fashion Matters Chicago Committee

Carolyn Madigan, Vintage Enthusiast
Nothing is more exhilarating to Carolyn than contemplating and discovering beauty in all its varied forms. Whether this be galavanting to different parts of the world to expand her scope, mulling over beautiful works of art, soaking up meaningful time with friends, delving into vintage thrift shops, or spending a blissful morning creating her own art, beauty is everywhere. With that, she loves curating unique pieces paired with classic staples in her everyday look. As our chief fashionista, Carolyn works as a director at a non-profit aimed at empowering young women to recognize and to share their own inner beauty with the world.
Personal Style Icon: Jenny Walton, Fashion Illustrator & Creative Director

Rachael Skinner, Girly-Girl

Having lived in eight different states, Rachael understands the importance of knowing who you are and being able to reflect it in an instant through the way one dresses and carries herself. An eighth grade science teacher, Rachael loves inspiring young people with a passion for learning and creativity, and how to be most authentically themselves. As a result, her go-to look is a silk scarf, a little color on her lips, a pair of black patent loafers, and a hint of sparkle! She’s known for her sparkle parties.

Personal Style Icon: Carla Brademan, Rachael’s Grandma!

Ziba Sidrys, Street Stylist

As a Chicagoan, Ziba genuinely gets her inspiration straight off the streets. She loves riding public transportation and observing what individual style choices says about one’s personality. Ziba is the founder of a dance company, called Confidance, where she works not only to help individuals improve their dance skills, but also to build up their self-image and confidence. A lot of her fashion inspiration comes from people who attend her hip hop classes. Many of these hip hop fashions can easily be translated into a daytime, professional look, if done correctly. Who ever said street can’t be chic?

Personal Style Icon: Gabija Varnaite, Lithuanian Model & Blogger

Katie Hinderer, Edgy Chic

A freelance writer and high school teacher, Katy has secretly, or not so secretly, been in love with the fashion industry for years. Writing for a variety of online publications and blogs offering fashion tips and practical advice for women of all ages, she works as a local fashion consultant for women and teenage girls. The best part of her role is finding out what the person’s style is and then finding clothes that work perfectly for them, regardless of her own preferences. Fashion for Katy is a venue to show off one’s personality and sense of personal style.

Personal Style Icon: Kendie Skeen, Fashion Blogger & Retail Store Owner

Juliette Black, Casual Collegiate – The Minimalist

Profession: History and Secondary Education Majors
Style: Comfortable, minimal, and occasionally wild
Favorite current trend: Fur coats
Every woman should own: Accessories that reflect their personality
You’re never fully dressed without a: Purse
Hobby or fun fact: I have a flight booked for the day after graduation to backpack through Europe!

Personal Style Icon: Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, Fashion Designers & Actresses


Charlotte Demski, Casual Collegiate – The Prep

Profession: French & International Relations Major
Style: Slighty masculine, classic, and on a budget!
Favorite trend: Plaid anything
Every woman should own: A trench coat
You’re never fully dressed without: A little bling!

Personal Style Icon: Jeanne Damas, Fashion Designer & Model

Valeria Borquez, Casual Collegiate – The Bohemian

Profession: Communications Major (still discerning)
Style: City-chic and accessorized
Favorite current trend: Plaid pants
Every woman should own: Fashionable sneakers
You’re never fully dressed without: Earrings
Hobby or fun fact: I love to draw and paint, and I keep an art journal!

Personal Style Icon: Caroline de Maigret, Music Producer & Model

Heide Kenny, President, Steering Committee Member

Heide, our classically-styled committee member, is the President of Chambers Gasket & Manufacturing Co. In addition to running a certified woman-owned business, Heide is the volunteer chair of Mary’s Closet, a Catholic Charities program that provides professional clothing to women and men in search of work.

Personal Style Icon: Grace Kelly, Princess & Actress

Cinthya Castro, Steering Committee Member

Cinthya, our fashion expert, is a certified personal image strategist and beauty consultant. She is the owner of Image & Style Studio as well as Eco Beauty Concepts, a beauty products distribution company. She has lived and worked in the fashion industry around the world, including in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Dallas, New York, and now Chicago.


Mary Pat Fahy, Treasurer

Mary Pat, our home stylista, is an interior designer. She has worked in the home fashion industry as both an assistant buyer and store manager.

Patti Lechner, Secretary

Patti, our resident seamstress, is an elected official for Northfield Township, serving as clerk of Northbrook, Northfield and Glenview.