Unique Stylin’ by Chicago’s Teri Tkachuk

Open minded and fun, easy going but bold, daring and adventurous but most of all deeply passionate about Fashion. Teri is all that and more. Meet Teri and you’ll immediately catch her contagious positive spirit. Despite her addictive sense of humor, Teri takes her profession seriously and sits the board of the Fashion Department at the School of Art Institute Chicago,Clothes to me open doors; as much as people say “I don’t care what I wear” I don’t believe them. What you put on every morning or evening is as influential as a piece of art. It speaks volumes without you having to say a word. An LA girl, she’s born fashionable, ‘I am a lover of Isabel Marant, Lanvin, Alexander McQueen and Tom Ford and for casual looks,  I adore Rag & Bone boots and denim, vintage fur capes,  coats or vintage sundresses in the summer…’. The words she uses to describe her sentiment says a lot about her passion. Google her and you’ll find out how she represents – FASHION!

Teri 1

Teri grew up in a small prairie town in Canada and moved to Vancouver in the late 90’s after university. There is where her life changed. She ended up working for Bruce Allen, the most prominent music manager in the country. Part of her job was making certain her clients  were dressed the part, ‘Whether it was for a press tour or an appearance on an awards show…My personal style is influenced from the 70’s and 80’s.’ She loves whimsical boho with a bit of black edge. ‘I do not have a particular fashion icon as I look at fashion as an individual art. So many many women have influenced me from Nathalie Wood to Bridget Bardot’. 

How do you describe your style in three words?
I’ll give you one- Inconstant. But if you insist, it’s Inconstant, Quintessential and thought provoking!

What is fashion?
What you wear expresses how you feel and exudes your individuality. That is why there are so many labels, styles and forms of fashion, something for everybody and every “body”.

How can one have unique style like you, how do you do it?
I am forever changing what I wear depending on my mood.. I am in constant search of “that piece” the one. Fashion is creative and artistic. We let the designers be creative but I create looks for myself and my clients with great thought. We dress for our lifestyle…everybody has somewhere to go.

Teri 3

What is the future of fashion, especially in Chicago?
I am in awe of the students at the Art Institute and the manner in which they form their Art in Chicago. Fashion is one of the greatest art forms- plain and simple. As art evolves, so will fashion. 

Which public figure do you think takes fashion seriously as a fashion icon?
I admire Victoria Beckman because she always looks put together.. you would never catch her in sweatpants. Her style is way more conservative than mine though. I am more adventurous, I’ll take risks…why not?!

What was it like growing up with fashion on the mind always? Was it difficult putting clothes together or were you a natural? 
I can struggle like every woman but it comes second nature to me. What I wear embodies my mood and how I want to be seen. I don’t ever want to see a picture of myself and think “why did I wear that”? I want to to look back and enjoy the journey of how my fashion has evolved throughout the years.

Your family and style.. How did your passion affect them?
My close friends and my mother are always asking my opinion. I love to help even over facetime or skype!

What can people gain after changing their look/wardrobe besides confidence? 
After I complete a closet rehaul and my clients are wearing clothing that accentuates their bodies and lifestyle they feel cleansed of all the crap they had in their closets for years that just sat there, their moods their smiles is the greatest compliment!  But I don’t have a filter, I am a bit unforgiving, meaning sometimes I just blurt out “that is painfully ugly, you can’t wear that…it doesn’t work on you”.

Teri 4

How often do you remind people to stand up straight, not slouch, to look good. And what’s the percentage of people who do t know how to ‘wear’ their clothes with the right attitude? 
After a client sees himself or herself in an ensemble that makes them feel like a better form of themselves , their demeanor is obvious, they refer to their lookbooks that we create together mixing their old with the new. Some clients dip their toes in and some swan dive.

Why or how come Chicago? What do you think if the fashion scene here,? How long do you plan to stay? How is the fashion scene changing here? 
I moved to Chicago because of my son but the fashion scene here is fierce. The talent of young emerging designers is on pair with NY and Paris. I am privileged to sit on the Board of the Fashion Committee at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and see first hand the student’s talent. I get to purchase one of a kind items that have been made for a project in the classroom and I get the most compliments on these pieces. SAIC is in the top three  design schools in the country. We have legendary educators and designers like Nick Cave who push their students to design beyond fashion and put their talents into works of art and museum worthy projects.

Startups in Chicago are sprawling. Do you think ppl behind start ups can use stylists? How would it improve their chances of success? 
Most successful designers use stylists for Fashion Weeks in September and February. They rely on them… Stylists assist photographers on set…they can create the mood and put together looks that the designers or editors themselves didn’t see..It is tough for start ups….they need a lot of press or a huge following… they need to network not just with stylists but with bloggers,  social media and all the wheels have to be in motion…they need both sides of the business not just the amazing clothes they design but a brilliant marketing and brand agency…

What’s your typical day like? 
There is no typical day!  But I start my day around 5.30 or 6 am. Huge cup of coffee, drop off my son around 7.30 and either workout or train clients. (Oh did I mention I am a personal trainer in my off hours?) I try to read WWD on line everyday and look at every fashion mag out there to keep abreast of trends. I sometimes have stacks I don’t throw any away until I get thru them cover to cover.

I spend my afternoons and weekends styling or shopping with my clients or working on a photo shoot. I am also a model with Stewart Talent so sometimes I am at a casting call or in a photo shoot myself. I personal shop a lot for my clients and I do a ton of vintage market shopping for my clients. My evenings are usually spent in a hockey area with my son  or in front of my computer. But having said all the above, I don’t have a typical day… if I don’t have a thousand different things on my calendar I get really restless!

How do you destress? 
A vacation or mini getaway. The only way is to get away…somewhere warm.

Besides fashion, any other interests? 
I am obsessed with sports and exercise and Homeland.

Teri 5

Quote you live by? 
Way too many….:)

Biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it? 
Moving from Vancouver at the height of my career to Portland Or. I overcame it by not focusing on what I left behind but instead created a position as the style reporter on ABC’s affiliate KATU and then was able to pull clothing from all the major boutiques in Portland for my segments so I was able get to know the owners and then their customers. I dressed up to go to the gym, the grocery store  so when any one complimented me on what I was wearing I handed them my business card and briefly filled them in on what I do. One client turned into 10 and then I was hired as the stylist for Portland’s Fashion Week (which was actually only 3 days in Oregon) and that also created a small buzz. But most importantly I have amazing parents. I owe my work ethic to them.

Teri Wears:
Helmut Lang leather pants
A one of a kind asymmetrical cream crop shirt designed by a student at SAIC
Herve Leger bunny pink evening vest
Vintage faux fur coat
A 1970’s vintage gold snake belt


Now that you know Teri a bit more, check out her website & services on: http://thestyleditor.com/

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