Chicago-based fashion designer Maria Pinto does things her own way. (You can start with that sentence: “Chicago-based fashion designer” certainly isn’t as common as, say, “New York-based fashion designer.”) But Maria Pinto’s unique vision extends beyond her toddling town — she’s created silhouettes that have wowed the entire world, especially when worn by First Lady Michelle Obama and another Chicago favorite, Oprah Winfrey. But even with clients like Mrs. Obama and Oprah, fashion is a difficult business. Survival is the key, and Pinto is an expert. She’s closed up shop once even after Obama and she keeps coming back.
She learned something about survival from her mother, she tells the Chicago Tribune. Pinto’s mother just turned 100, and her daughter fully expects to reach the century mark as well — in 40 more years, that is. She’s so confident in her longevity that she named her new collection M2057, for the year when she’ll hit the 100 year mark. (She actually raised money for the collection on Kickstarter.) No one knows if Pinto will still be designing for the First Lady forty years from now, or the president, or the First Man or whatever a female president’s husband will ultimately be called. But Pinto will no doubt bring her century’s experience to bear on the elegant looks of the future.