Chicago Residents Try Reality TV to Launch Careers

March 30, 2011

Don’t you just love reality television? Did you know there is a reality series being taped right here in Chicago?

Kenmore Appliances has launched a fashion competition called “So You Wanna Be A Designer” in which six new fashion designers show off their wares in a battle to win $20,000 and a pair of Kenmore Elite laundry machines.

The series is being filmed at the Kenmore Live Studio, 678 N. Wells in Chicago, and you can go there to watch all the action unfold each week through May.

The Chicago studio sounds like a place to visit whether you are interested in this reality show or not, but we’ll get to that later.

Kenmore Studio

The Kenmore Live Studio is open to the public and allows consumers of all ages explore their own talents. Click the pic for more info.

At the Kenmore Live Studio, contestants will have tons of creative space, access to Kenmore sewing and laundry appliances, and a direct line to Naperville designer Debbie Jagel, the host and the competitors’ mentor throughout the show.

“Having created my brand, Ootra, here in Chicago, I know how high the triumphs and how low the hardships in fashion can be – especially in the beginning,” said Jagel. “Hosting this program enables me to share my business insights in a competition that truly celebrates the business of fashion with amazing designers as they come into their own before our eyes.”

The six contestants will learn how to navigate the fashion world, including how to create and launch a brand and how to price and promote designs.

Just like American Idol, home viewers can vote for their favorite designer during each show. Between our votes and the judges ruling, a new fashion star will be made.

The designers:

*Michael Pazmino: Born in Chicago and raised in Ecuador, he attended UIC.

*Tonya Pierce: A Florida native, she moved to Chicago to study fashion design at the International Academy of Technology and Design.

*Jessica Davis: Bi-coastally raised, she attended the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago.

*Anna Hovet: A North Dakota native, she moved to Chicago in 2003 to attend the School of the Art Institute.

*Stephen Curd: Moved to Chicago after graduating from Lindenwood University.

The contestants will be presented with a challenge each Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Kenmore Live Studio. The completed designs will be showcased each Thursday from 6:45 to 8 p.m. through May 12, the season finale.

The series premiere was actually last Thursday, and Anna Hovet won that first competition. Her designs were showcased with a fashion show in the Bloomingdale’s building on North Michigan Avenue on Saturday.

If you don’t feel like leaving your Chicago home to watch the series at the studio each week, you can see live broadcasts of the each show at

Viewers can vote up to five times for their favorite designer every Thursday from 7 to 7:50 p.m.

By the way, the Kenmore Live Studio sounds like it would be worth checking out all on its own.

Launched last year at the corner of Wells and Huron, the venue offers patrons an interactive experience with Kenmore products and often has scheduled presentations, including cooking demonstrations, new product unveilings and appearances by well-known Chicago talent.

The locale includes a “Stain Station” for laundry enthusiasts, the “Kenmore Live Café” where patrons can surf the Net and a “Kid Zone” where little ones can flex their creative muscles.

Entry is free and open to the public from Thursday through Sunday, 6 to 9 p.m., as well as 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekends. Visit Kenmore’s Facebook page for more information and upcoming events.

Back to that other reality TV series, American Idol: The next one could very well be from the Chicago area.

Two suburban residents are among the top 13 contestants that still remain on the singing competition:

*Haley Reinhart is a 20-year-old resident from Wheeling.

*Casey Abrams is a 20-year-old resident from Wilmette.

The show is on FOX-TV on Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. Tune in and vote for a Chicago resident to be the next American Idol.

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Wow, how cool is this? I know one of the finalists, Michael Pazmino.
I’ll send him a link to your story.

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