10 Milestone Moments Over 10 Years / by Sarah Vaile

#3: Chicago Bound

February, 2010: Lincoln Park, IL

I lived and breathed for design in New York. I was among the greats of the greats. I can’t tell you how many days I would skip class to attend a seminar at the D&D only to find Bunny Williams and Albert Hadley leading a group of thirty people. I wanted to hear how it was done straight from the racehorse’s mouths. 


I spent a spring interning for Celerie Kemble, who shared the elite design world’s ins and outs with the fullest transparency and enthusiasm of a professor…a brief apprenticeship that I will never take for granted to this day. 

I would run to go grab a sample and meet John Robshaw. I would bump into editors everywhere. New York was no doubt the epicenter of design. 

Only one small problem - my heart and soul still resided in the Midwest. I always knew New York was just a for-now thing and well….and could sense the time was up. There are not many things scarier than moving a private practice to an entirely fresh city but I could sense that it was now or never. 

A fortuitous phone call from my best college friend and I had my first Chicago project - a single family in Lincoln Park, Chicago.