In 1945, Sean Sussman’s (current owner of Vogue fabrics) grandfather, Sy Sussman , returned from war and bought a pickup truck. With that truck, he drove to NYC, filled the bed with rolls of fabric, returned to Chicago, and knocked on the doors of dressmakers with premium designer fabrics to sell. Shortly afterwards, he opened his first storefront in Evanston, his first sale was a 10 cent spool of thread.
Nowadays, Vogue Fabrics has 2 retail stores, a warehouse in Evanston, and a catalog with customers around the globe. Although I was hoping to reveal a secret wholesale fabric resource for Chicago’s designers, owner Sean admits, “Our heart is in retail.” Yet he assures me that they have a leg up on the competition with quality fabrics at a decent price. Depending on your project, I agree. The shelves are stocked with fabrics that range from knit jersey to wool gabardine that is sourced through distributors, jobbers, and mills from California to China.
My advice for the designer/ start-up apparel brand- Don’t hesitate to browse the shelves of Vogue especially if you are in a pinch. They just might have the last minute fabric you need. And if you are buying a whole roll or more, wholesale pricing might be available. Some fabrics come with the option to order more from the distributor.
Vogue Fabrics is a large contributor to our local fashion community and they have been successful in supporting designers near and far. Keep an eye out for “It’s Sew Easy” broadcasting on PBS, (only available on YouTube in the Chicago area), Vogue supplied all the fabric.
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