With a flagship boutique on Chicago’s famed Michigan Avenue and her designs gracing the cover of Vogue, fashion designer Azeeza Khan’s star has been on the rise since she launched her namesake clothing line in 2012. But this year promises to be her best one yet with her fall collection debut at Barney’s New York and her first baby, a little girl, nearly ready to make her own arrival. Not surprising, the marketer turned designer wanted her baby shower to be a totally stylish affair. And luckily, the attention to detail her hosts applied to the event was right in line with the creativity Khan puts into her designs. The Bump talked with the mom-to-be and her party planner, Jodi Fyfe of Paramount Events, to get a behind-the-scenes look at the inspo for everything from the décor to the DIY activities at the chic celebration.
How involved was Azeeza in the party planning?
Jodi Fyfe: Azeeza definitely pays attention to every detail, but she was great and let her hosts take the reigns for this one. Her family already celebrated with a separate shower, so this one was mainly for clients and close friends.
What guidelines (if any) did you give Paramount Events?
Azeeza Khan: We originally intended on something more intimate, but it turned into a larger bash with 50 guests! I provided a list of my pregnancy cravings, like [Chicago chain] Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza and sausage, egg and cheese McMuffins, and a photo of one of my dresses to use as a design for the cookie favors.
What made you choose children’s boutique Monica + Andy as the venue?
JF: Owner Monica Royer was one of the shower’s hosts and is a dear friend of Azeeza's, so she closed the store for a Sunday brunch celebration. Monica and Azeeza have done many collaborations together, including a line of custom flower girl dresses. Azeeza's baby will of course be one of Monica + Andy's models and will wear (and influence) collections to come.
The décor had a bit of a French flair—where did that influence come from?
JF: Azeeza’s designs are very chic, so we wanted everything to reflect her style. We worked with party goods company Paris 312 to decorate the store with oversize balloons, message boards and cupcake toppers that were Parisian inpsired.
How did Azeeza’s pregnancy experience influence the theme of the baby shower?
JF: Since Azeeza told us about her fast-food pregnancy cravings, we decided to serve sophisticated re-creations of her favorites, like McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish and Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza. The food was passed around by servers to give guests more opportunity to mix and mingle.
How did your guests respond to the theme?
AK: The food was delicious and the theme was so much fun! Many women enjoyed sharing their own pregnancy cravings, and it made everybody smile knowing that even a fashion designer loves her fast food.
Tell us about the DIY crafts table.
JF: We worked with Make to Celebrate, a local company specializing in DIY party activities, which set up an activity station inspired by Azeeza’s embellished dresses. They provided jewels, ribbons and mini hangers for guests to decorate for her future daughter's inevitably fabulous closet.
Did the invite suggest a dress code?
JF: No, but everyone looked fabulous and many guests wore their “Azeeza best”—a lot of fun frocks in the room. Azeeza wore a look from her upcoming Fall/Winter ’16 collection, available at Barneys.
What was your favorite part of the day?
AK: It would definitely be the rendition of "My Girl" performed by a staff member from the Chicago Children's Choir. I hadn't heard the song during my pregnancy, so when I did, it was really touching and the lyrics had a whole new meaning—it was very emotional. Having a packed schedule really limits my social time, so it was truly nice to have many wonderful friends in the same room to catch up, talk babies and get plenty of advice.