Not even creating clothes for the First Lady could keep Maria Pinto in business.  According to various reports, the Chicago designer quietly closed her boutique and filed for bankruptcy earlier this month. Peculiar news, considering Oprah was also a client.

Maria Pinto's Spring 2010 collection presentation.

Just six months ago, I was privileged to attend a lovely presentation of Pinto’s glamorous Spring 2010 collection in a flower shop in New York City’s hip Meatpacking District.

The exquisite Cuban-American designer, however, remains hopeful she will rebound.

“I am confident that the ‘Maria Pinto’ name will not go away, but will merely take a break, before emerging in a new form,” Pinto told the Sun Times.  ” I plan on using the next several months to explore different avenues and opportunities for business, as economic conditions improve.”

Image credit: Tracy E. Hopkins