The Yard explores the avant-garde: 10 years of Fashion Week in the Holy City

Five nights of authentic, avant-garde fashion: the 10th anniversary of Charleston Fashion Week was nothing but impressive. There were a whopping 40 runway shows, a Rock the Runway Model Competition and Emerging Designer Competition. Tracy Reese, Creatures of the Wind and CADET were the featured designers this year. These three feature designers, the five epic nights and many talented emerging designers and models contributed to making this Fashion Week one that will never be forgotten.

Charleston Fashion Week Finale Saturday March 19, 2016(Michael Wiser)

(Photo by Michael Wiser)

Charleston Fashion Week was started in 2007 by Ayoka Lucas, an innovative stylist who began her career in Atlanta styling local celebrities. Since then, CFW has broadened its boundaries and developed into the chic and complex event it is today. It attracts a large and diverse group of individuals who arrive with high expectations of breathtaking fashion. This year made history as Charleston Fashion Week had us on the edges of our seats for the monumental runway shows featuring luxurious designers and brands.

Show after show, the audience was stunned by the amazing pieces and designs worn by the models. Not only were the runway shows a success, but the event as a whole took over Charleston from March 15-19. The broad spectrum of local designers, including IBU, Gypsy 7 and many more, contributed to the spark of this years’ Fashion Week. Each independent designer shared a special piece of themselves and their aesthetic through their collections, and clearly defined Charleston as a community. Thanks to Gosnell and Company Marketing and Events Management, Charleston Fashion Week ran smoothly.

Rebecca Gosnell, owner of Gosnell and Company Marketing and Events was kind enough to share her opinions on Charleston Fashion Week 2016, and even hinted at what is in store for the future of Charleston Fashion Week.

CYN: Did the 10th anniversary of CFW have as big of an impact as expected?

Gosnell:  “Yes, all the shows sold out and the press coverage extended well beyond Charleston.”

CYN: How many years have you been running CFW?

Gosnell:  “I’ve been on board for 9 years.”

CYN: How has CFW changed over the years that you have been involved? 

Gosnell: “They’ve been able to fill an important niche launching emerging designers. Now all the major modeling agencies and many national retailers come to Charleston looking for emerging talent.”

CYN: Do you believe this year was a success? Why?

Gosnell:  “Charleston Fashion Week will plant Charleston as a major player in the world of fashion, just as the culinary scene has developed here.”

CYN: How much of an impact do volunteers have on CFW?

Gosnell:  “There are over 350 volunteers from the labor force that make Charleston Fashion Week possible. The production could not happen without that support.”

CYN: Did the 10th anniversary reach its goals in the sense of getting as much press, selling tickets, celebrating and runway shows?

Gosnell: “Yes. All goals were met.”

(Photo by Reagan Hembree)

(Photo by Reagan Hembree)

After looking at the significant impact Gosnell and Company Management and Marketing has had on Charleston Fashion Week, it is hard to say if the event would have made it this far without their support and hard work. Charleston Fashion Week is taken seriously and, moving forward, it has the potential to be in the ranks with New York Fashion Week; but it will always be different. Charleston Fashion Week  is unique because unlike national Fashion Week’s that occur throughout  the year, Charleston is a small, tight-knit city that always supports its peers. Charleston built its own Fashion Week from nothing, and in only ten years it has made incredible progress. Without the support of a whole city, would not have been possible.

*This article first appeared in the April 2016 issue of the Yard.

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