Three words: Charleston Fashion Week. Five nights of epic, authentic, avant-garde fashion in the city of Charleston. Since it was founded in 2007, CFW has grown into an astonishing event. And in the past 10 years, CFW has broadened its horizons and developed into a complex, exciting extravaganza that keeps Charlestonians gawking, and even intrigues people around the country. Featuring 40 runway shows, emerging designers, spring bridal shows and a Rock the Runway Model competition, Charleston Fashion week is always guaranteed to be interesting and different. This year will make history as CFW shocks us with monumental runway shows featuring luxurious brands and designers. Running March 15 -19 this spring, the anticipation is eating at us, as we wait to see what is in store for the 10th anniversary.
Jacqueline Lawrence, the Charleston Fashion Week Production Director, was kind enough to share some secrets regarding the event. The anticipation is over in some regards for you fashionistas, you are about to be informed on aspects of Charleston Fashion Week that others will have to eagerly wait until March to find out.
‘What exciting things are in store for the 10th anniversary?’
“For the first time ever we are offering a Style Lounge ticket. This is the perfect option for the budget-conscious fashionista. The Style Lounge+ ticket allows guests to get an inside look at this year’s Fashion Week looks and mingle with other fans of fashion, while enjoying bites & cocktails and shopping at our jewelry, clothing and accessory boutique booths. Admission includes bigscreen, live-streamed viewing of the runway shows featuring all the latest fashions, visit to the exclusive Belk Tent and one complimentary drink.” (Does not include Runway Tent access.)
How has CFW grown and changed over the years?’
“What started as a showcase for Charleston retailers and “makers” has grown into something so much bigger. We’re now considered a launching pad for talent from around the East Coast. CFW attracts the top level fashion elite including Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week, and international model scout and consultant Karen Lee Grybowski seeking design and modeling talent, and we deliver. We’ve had numerous designers go on to appear on Project Runway and as featured designers at New York Fashion Week. To date we’ve had 65 CFW models sign with major modeling agencies including Elite, Factor Atlanta, Fusion, IMG, Major Model Management, Red Model Management and Wilhelmina….walking in fashion weeks over the world including Barcelona, Hamburg, London, Milan, New York, Paris and Tokyo.”
‘How has CFW influenced the City of Charleston and the importance of fashion around the city?’
“We’ve had a big impact on the local economy, spinning off more than $3.5 million last year through all the spending fashion week fans do when they come to town. But more importantly, professionals have told us we changed the conversation about style in Charleston. While we’ve always been known as a stylish, put-together place, CFW has made people take us more seriously as a place where fashion forward thinking is welcome and celebrated.”
‘Have students’ involvement from the College of Charleston had an impact on Charleston Fashion Week? If so, how great has this impact been, and what do you think the students have been able to take away from this special experience?’
“Absolutely! Each year we work with a variety of students backstage, in the style lounge, as greeters and seaters and many other areas. They are always attentive and eager to work. Some of the best people who have come through have gone on to work with international modeling agencies, well-known marketing companies and media outlets, famous fashion firms and more. At Charleston Fashion Week, students get to apply everything they’re taught in the classroom or, for example, The Fashion Club, to real life experience. That experience is key after graduation for a student to land a job. The best way to get involved is to sign on as a volunteer and we’ve also priced Style Lounge tickets starting at $20, to afford students an opportunity to participate.”
‘What should we be most excited about when looking to Charleston Fashion Week 2016?’
“This is by far our best lineup to date. We have an amazing roster of featured designers this year. And we’re very excited for our expanded Style Lounge tent including the Brothers & Craft Clubhouse (think like The Today Show feeling) which includes nightly interviews with our designers & guests, discussing the latest in fashion trends and other timely topics.”
So now the question is, who isn’t pumped for Charleston Fashion Week 2016? The 10th anniversary has so many surprises in store, and after getting a sneak peak, all you can do is make sure to get your tickets before it is too late!