Thierry Andre Roger was born in Antibes, Switzerland on April 24, 1963 to Andre Ries of Germany and Sonia Louise Roger-Lenoir of France. Thierry passed away peacefully in his home on the evening of May 08, 2023 and is preceded in death by his parents and his dearest Aunt Nicole Bouvier. He is survived by his partner in life and loving husband Steven Martin-Roger, his adopted Hudgins-Vrooman family, his God Children, John Paul and Emma Vrooman, as well as many friends who consider
him a part of their extended family. Memorials may be made to the Thierry Roger Fashion Fund for College Scholarships.
Thierry Roger lived his dreams. He spent his younger years with his beloved Grandmother in Villars-sur-Ollon, Germany. During his youth, he moved with his mother to France where he spent time in Paris, Niece and Cannes and where he resided until
he moved to the United States in 1990. Still, he visited his granny often.
When friends once asked him where his love of fashion began, he explained, “I guess I was always attracted to clothing. As a child when I was on vacation at my granny’s house I used to sew pieces of fabrics on my sister's dolls to pass the time and I would help my granny when she was sewing.”
In his younger years he always wanted to be a chef or a nurse, but his granny enrolled him in fashion school and he enjoyed it
so much he shifted his sights toward building the dream of a career in fashion.
Thierry studied fashion and art at L’ecole des Beaux Arts de Tours. While in Paris, Thierry continued his study of fashion and women's clothing, and later worked for the House of Guy Laroche.
He moved to Chicago in 1990 and made his fashion mark quickly–his biography includes a line of couture evening wear
and mother of the bride dresses for Henri Bendel. His hand painted silk scarves were featured in the Chicago Tribune Style section and carried by Chicago’s finest boutiques.
In November 2001, Thierry married the love of his life, Steven Joseph Martin-Roger. They have built a family and have lived
in the Mayfair neighborhood of Chicago for over two decades.
In 2003, Thierry opened Collection Privée, a small Roscoe Village boutique that quickly became the destination for unique gifts, original handbags, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and both ready-to-wear and most important, custom fashions designed by Thierry
and made for every woman. Later, Thierry moved operations into his home studio in Mayfair to focus exclusively on creating
the most magnificent custom designs for his well established clientele.
At that time Thierry Roger Couturier was formed and Thierry went on to build a beautiful brand and to design thousands of custom garments from the most casual outfits, to the most stunning embellished ensembles–never losing sight of his classic approach to fashion. The fabrics and accoutrement that he selected were always of the finest quality, and the craftsmanship
of his work made him a leader in Chicago fashion.
Still, Thierry was more than an acclaimed fashion designer and stellar businessman. He was the kindest, gentlest, most honest partner and friend a person could ask for. His service to the world was great because it was genuine and in a class by itself, just like Thierry. He helped us feel empowered, graceful, beautiful, unique, and so served; so loved.
He used his natural talents to do good in this world.
As a recent example, consider that during the COVID-19 pandemic Thierry launched into designing and delivering hundreds of face masks at a time when they had become essential to everyday life. The statewide stay at home order came into effect at the exact same time that Thierry began undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment for a recent cancer diagnosis. He was interviewed at the time and shared, “This experience has been surreal. I have been designing for clients for years out of my home studio, which was going to be a big benefit when I started the treatments. I could have never imagined that at the very same time there would be a need for skills such as mine all across the region and the country.”
Thierry had to put his regular fashion design business on hold because no one needed special clothing for special events–our country was at a stand still. He saw being able to produce face masks as an unusual benefit during his time receiving cancer treatments. He shared that making masks got him out of his own mind and body and helped him focus on doing good for others.
He shared at the time, “The doctors and experts told me that the particular kind of treatment I was undergoing would become increasingly more difficult to bear. They told me to brace for major pain and fatigue. While I have experienced bouts of being tired, and feeling less than my best, I feel like this experience has allowed me to focus on others needs and has empowered me
to aid my community, and in turn somehow has really helped me feel better.”
Thierry encouraged others who are facing tough times to focus on what they can do to assist others in need. He believed in
a positive mind set and had a true desire to help those who face challenges feel better about life.
Thierry once said, “I am confident, if you can put your mind on something that helps others, it will help you.”
Today you can find his masks as part of the official archives of the Chicago History Museum.
Thierry was always a warrior. He was amazing at overcoming all kinds of challenges and beating all kinds of odds. He was
a citizen of the world in so many ways. He lived his dreams which is something a lot of people just don’t do. And so if there
is a call to action from Thierry to each one of us, it is to get busy living our dreams.
Before his passing and with his legacy in mind, Thierry, his husband Steven, and close friends discussed establishing
the Thierry Roger Fashion Fund. This endeavor will include a large in-kind donation from Thierry’s studio including tools
of the fashion trade such as sewing machines, and other sewing items, as well as nearly $1,000,000 worth of fine fabrics, embellishments, and accoutrement to the Fashion Studies Program of Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois.
In addition a scholarship fund is also being established to fuel the dreams of the next generation of fashion designers and artistic pioneers. The Thierry Roger Fashion Fund will award annual scholarships to students who not only want to make a difference in fashion but also in their community and in the world.
We love you, Thierry. As your legacy, may we each seek to live our own dreams as you have done, and may we each seek to lend our talents and our hearts to others to ensure that our neighbors and friends are uplifted to live their dreams as well.
We will celebrate Thierry's life in Chicago and the Metro East
Details linked below:
Saturday, May 27, 2023 in Chicago
Saturday, June 17, 2023 in Millstadt
To donate to the Thierry Roger Fashion Fund, please visit:
If you have any questions, you may contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org
and she can help guide you through the donation process.
Before his passing and with his legacy in mind, Thierry,
his husband Steven, and close friends discussed establishing the Thierry Roger Fashion Fund.
This endeavor will include a scholarship fund to fuel
the dreams of the next generation of fashion designers
and artistic pioneers.
We Love You Forever, Thierry Roger