Ms. Ivon grew up in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood and in Evanston, Illinois. When she was 16 she took a summer job with Saks Fifth Avenue in downtown Chicago selling sportswear. The unexpected death of her father the following year changed her plans to attend college and she continued to work for Saks. At age 17 was promoted to assistant fashion director and eight years later became the director of fashion and special events, the job she held for the next forty years.
She served on numerous industry, civic, and charitable boards, including: The Fashion Group of Chicago; the Chicago Apparel Industry Board; Chicago Historical Society's Costume Collection Committee; Childrens Memorial Hospital; Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Grant Park Concert Society; and the Lincoln Park and Brookfield zoos.