Back in February, we were one of the first to break the story that Maria Pinto, one of Michelle Obama‘s favorite designers, a recent inductee into the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and Olympic delegation uniform co-creator, had suddenly fallen on hard times and surprised everyone by filing for bankruptcy and closing up both her Chicago shop and her label entirely. Now, three months later, the NY Times asks, essentially, “So what happened?!” It’s the first major interview she’s done since the announcement and she sheds light on what led to her brand’s unexpected downfall. There’s nothing too surprising, a mix of growing too quickly to capitalize on her sudden rise in popularity and then the economic collapse leading to a big decrease in sales. But it still feels a little surreal, given how quickly it all happened. Interesting to hear it all in her words. And as a companion, given that Pinto was a loyal Chicagoan who didn’t make a move to greener pastures, elsewhere in the Times, the paper explains how our fair city has become the new training ground for fashion designers, but alas, one that can’t sustain jobs after apprenticeships or schooling and, unlike Pinto, designers are forced to move to the coasts if they’d like to put their new skills into practice.