Winters Blue Heats Things Up
By Lauren Strejc

February 23, 2006- At this point in February, Chicago is in a “tweener” stage: the winter season is near its end, but Spring Fashion Week hasn’t yet arrived. ConVurge and Y-ME to the rescue!

The two organizations teamed up to host the Winter Blues Y-ME Illinois Charity Fashion event at the House of Blues Hotel’s Kaz Bar. Not only did this event present the fresh spring looks of names such as Doris Ruth and Oilily, but it also raised money for a worthy cause.

Most everyone is familiar with the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization ( It is a Chicago-based grassroots organization founded by two breast cancer patients, Ann Marcou and Mimi Kaplan, in 1978. Since then, it has grown into a nationally-recognized organization that is based upon providing support and information to breast cancer victims and survivors.

ConVurge ( is a business relationship and event management company, headquartered in Chicago. The company was founded by women in 2003 and has grown substantially in a short period of time. This was ConVurge’s first fashion event, and its success can give one a pretty clear image of why the company has grown so fast.

The Winter Blues event featured an art auction, live blues entertainment, fashion presentation, raffle, and delicious food and drinks. Upscale TV’s William Kelly MC’ed the fashion show, which featured 20 models wearing the spring looks of Chicago designer, Doris Ruth, and Akira, LiLi Boutique, Oilily, The Dressing Room, Tribeca, and Fleet Feet stores. Shoes were provided by City Soles, Akira, and Kathryn Kerrigan. Accessories were courtesy of K.Amato, Adornments, Breathe Boutique, 1154 Lill, and Drea Designs. The models’ beauty team consisted of Becca Cosmetics, Beth Follert, Fiona, and Gina Ussel for makeup application, and hair was styled by XEX Salon.

The Kaz bar was packed with smiling faces; everyone was having a blast. In addition to entertaining the guests, the event raised over $7,000 (with donations still coming in), which all went towards Y-ME’s cause to help provide support for women fighting breast cancer, to make sure no one has to go through the struggle alone.

If you missed this event, ConVurge will be hosting the Chicago Fashion Crawl later this spring, and will be launching a series of networking events for the fashion industry this summer, with the goal to help promote the up and coming fashion scene in Chicago . If you’d like to get involved, contact Becca Hancock at   Check our event calendar for the latest updates!

Photo by Philip Jones