Luxury Portfolio

Design Chicago Panel: Defining and Designing Your Luxury Brand


Yesterday, representatives from Luxury Portfolio International attended Design Chicago, at the Pogghenpol showroom at theMart in Chicago, IL. The event is the Midwest’s largest residential design conference and features two days of events focusing on kitchen, home furnishing and bath areas. Professionals in the interior design, architecture and luxury home fields gathered the learn more about best practices in the industry and the latest and greatest in home design.

Luxury Portfolio attended a design panel titled “Defining and Designing Your Luxury Brand” where design professionals from the Chicagoland area, discussed how they built their brands and what they have learned thus far as the top professionals in their prospective fields. The panel was moderated by Elise Hofer Shaw, Editor in Chief of Sophisticated Living, a magazine tailored to luxury lifestyle based in Chicago. Panelists included Dawn McKenna, the top realtor in Illinois, Jay Riordan, finalist of NBC’s America’s Dream Builder, and Alison Victoria, host of Windy City Flip and President of Alison Victoria Interiors.

The panelists discussed varying topics including homing in on your strengths to build a successful brand. “I would rather be a master than a Jack of all Trades” said McKenna, “Starting out I tried to do everything and that was a disservice to my clients”. Collectively, the panelists agreed that having a strong team also plays a major factor is building a successful design brand. “I take everyone [on my team’s] opinions into consideration. I don’t always use all of the feedback but having another perspective is helpful” said Riordan.

The panelists also discussed the importance of being personable in the design industry. “[This industry] is all about networking and selling yourself and your service. Having a personality is important to build relationships with other designers, builders and real estate agents” said Victoria. The panel concluded with the speakers providing advice to attendees. “Be true to your brand” added Victoria. “Don’t branch off too far from your vision if it doesn’t make sense. As long as your brand makes sense to you and your mission stick to that.”