A life in the fashion industry may seem to be all glitz and glamour, but ask any designer trying to get their foot in the door and they'll tell you: it's tough work.
Still, when you love something, you go for it.
It's no different at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where students are putting the finishing touches on their pieces that will be put on display at an upcoming show.
"I think the big payoff is seeing your work walk down the runway," explained senior Kylee Alexander.
From conception to creation, everything the students have worked on this semester will be reflected in the year-end show. More than 250 original garments are expected this year.
"It's all about innovation. It's all about that idea," said instructor Nick Cave, who's overseeing this year's show, which will be held Thursday in Millennium Park.
One designer, Julia Coventree, is looking forward to a summer internship with a men's fashion line in New York City, so she decided to do menswear for Thursday's show.
"I do feel ready to conquer, but at the same time I'm kind of nervous because I've never been thrown into the industry before, but I think with all the teaching that I've learned from SAIC I'm ready to just go forward and take on New York," she said.
Thursday's show will include fashion icon Ikram Goldman receiving the Legend of Fashion Award. Proceeds from the event go toward student scholarships.