Chelsea Billingsley didn’t set out to become a fiber artist. “Crochet found me,” the Englewood native says. At Chicago Bulls College Prep, track was her passion. But after a teacher introduced her to sewing, Billingsley, now 26, found it just as meditative as running. “I felt free.” Today, with her own fashion label, House of Chelsea B, she’s taken the craft to the hilt, creating flower-adorned crocheted dresses with dramatic mermaid skirts and sweater and pants sets that merge street style with traditional technique. “I’m a full-on maximalist,” says Billingsley, who wears her own crocheted masks because they make her feel “like the ultimate goddess.” With a recent sneaker collab with Nike under her belt, in October she’ll mount her first fashion show in four years: “I’m bolder now. I know just what kind of artist I am.”

Behind the scenes of our photo shoot with Chelsea Billingsley

Chelsea Billingsley
Flow-wrist crop hoodie ($180) and Flow-wrist skirt ($350)