MARIA PINTO’S NEXT STEP: After shuttering her store and design business last March, Chicago designer Maria Pinto, who gained national recognition for dressing First Lady Michelle Obama on the campaign trial, has reemerged as the new creative director for women’s fashions for Mark Shale, a men’s and women’s specialty store with three locations in the Chicago area. Pinto, who was in New York last week for buying appointments, will oversee women’s buying and visual merchandising. “Fall will really have the impact of my efforts,” said Pinto, who has introduced Hugo Boss and René Lezard into the retailer’s mix. Pinto’s appointment is part of an overall revitalization for Mark Shale, which plans to soon unveil a new marketing campaign and Web site.
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