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Material World

Laura Hine | August 27, 2018 | Feature Features National

From Highland Park to New York City, Chloé Mendel elevates faux fur with atelier-level craftsmanship.
Fashion designer Chloé Mendel wearing the Catherine Blanc reversible coat, $1,750, at

Sometimes it’s simply destiny. Chloé Mendel is a sixth-generation furrier, daughter of the legendary Gilles Mendel. “That’s my heritage, and I can’t deny it,” says Chloé. She gave her legacy a decided twist when she founded Maison Atia with business partner Gustave Maisonrouge. Instead of coats and accessories made from animal fur, Maison Atia makes every item out of faux fur. “I’ve always played with this fantasy that we could be the coolest fake furrier,” she says. “It was a missing piece in the luxury market for people who don’t want real fur, or who wear fur but want an alternative.” Her target consumer also isn’t interested in fast-fashion faux pieces. “There’s a world where people love luxury and want garments with a good finish where the inside detailing is just as important as the outside,” she says. The designer splits her time between Los Angeles, New York and Highland Park, where she and partner Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame are raising their young son. “The North Shore is beautiful,” she says. “It’s a nice small town near a big city.” Pop-up shop, Oct. 24-26; cocktail party to benefit PAWS Chicago, Oct. 25, 5-8pm, 1997 N. Clybourn Ave.


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