Best MN-Based Designers

October 22, 2013 7:00 AM

Although many would never consider Minnesota the center of the fashion world, many impressive designers have emerged from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Growing up in a Midwestern area has helped shape the creativity and design of these successful artists. Minnesotans have made their mark on the fashion industry through costume design, customized creations and retail enterprises. These designers are some of the best.

(credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for CDG)

(credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for CDG)

Lou Eyrich

Lou Eyrich found her fame as the fashion designer for the hit television show “Glee.” A native of New Ulm, Minnesota, Eyrich is best known for her costume designs for television and film productions. Also recognized for her personal style, Lou Eyrich always seems to make her presence known during high-profile events. Eyrich has appeared on the red carpet with a shaved head and a fashionable hairstyle tattooed on her head. Aside from winning countless awards recognizing her talent as a costume designer, Eyrich has taken home awards for her work in TV and has been nominated for three Emmys. A cancer survivor, Eyrich is also an outspoken advocate for breast cancer awareness.

Christopher Straub
I Zen Spa
1667 17th Ave., Suite 107
Shakopee, MN 55379

Christopher Straub will be in downtown Minneapolis this fall (November 8) as a guest judge for a charity fashion show called Fusion. Straub entered the fashion scene as a contestant on season six of “Project Runway,” the television reality show produced by the Bravo channel. Originally from St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Straub continues to live and work in Minnesota. He has partnered with retail clothing stores such as Maurices and has had success in promoting his collections of designs. An active member of the LGTB community, Christopher Straub is a true humanitarian, supporting young designers and important causes.

(credit: Christopher & Banks)

(credit: Christopher & Banks)

Christopher & Banks, Inc.
Customer Service Center
2400 Xenium Lane N.
Plymouth, MN 55441
(763) 551-5000

Christopher and Banks is a successful fashion and retail company based out of Minnesota. Although the company originated in Minneapolis, it is now operated out of a home base in Plymouth, Minnesota. Christopher and Banks mainly sells women’s clothing and accessories for the middle-aged adult demographic. The store has been franchised throughout the country and many opportunities to shop Christopher and Banks can be found in Minnesota as well. Christopher and Banks has also created a store for a plus-sized population of women. This fashion venture carries similar stylish clothing under the brand of CJ Banks.

Related: WCCO Lifestyle: Fall Fashion for your Kid

Monica Nassif
Sofia Graydon Sleep & Loungewear
(877) 351-5943

A designer with a Minneapolis-based company, Monica Nassif may be best known for her initial company Caldrea. While Caldrea focuses on beauty and home products, Nassif is a fashion designer by trade and has created a new sleepwear brand out of Minnesota. This Minnesotan company, named Sophia Graydon, specializes in women’s sleepwear and the use of luxurious fabrics to increase comfort and style. Nassif is a firm believer in being fashionable even while you are sleeping.

(credit: Caroline Hayden)

(credit: Caroline Hayden)

Caroline Hayden
(218) 371-6573

Originally from Perham, Minnesota, Caroline Hayden studied fashion in Wisconsin and is quickly becoming a much sought-after designer. Her designs have mainly focused on evening gowns and wedding apparel for the bride and her party. Currently, she designs custom dresses and have been featured in many prominent fashion events throughout the Twin Cities and other parts of the country.

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Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on

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