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It Takes a  Fashion Village!

More than a dozen pros from Charleston and New York—including award-winning fashion photographer Caroline Knopf, who lives in both cities—joined forces to produce the fashion feature, “Rite of Spring”. Check out this gorgeous “fashion story,” inspired by March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb.
 


I’m finding it hard to believe that it’s been eight years since Charleston magazine launched the first Charleston Fashion Week (CFW). It was a highly aspirational, tiny seed of an idea—19 runway shows by local retailers over five nights under what we thought was a huge tent in Marion Square. That little seed sprouted and grew, and now rambles like fig vine, covering not only Marion Square but inching into other parts of the peninsula and Mount Pleasant for a fashion-focused takeover of the area. This year is no exception; in addition to the 48 runway shows over five nights and a day of bridal, there are new tents and off-site events, such as trunk shows and pop-up shops cropping up all over town, as well as increasing attention from New York on the emerging designer and model talent. Turn to the special section on Charleston Fashion Week for all the details.

Beyond the stylish see-and-be-scene happenings in Marion Square this month, what’s intriguing to me is the growth and evolution of a fashion industry cluster right here in Charleston. From the plethora of boutiques and shops, both national and local, to the sheer number of artists and designers crafting lives and businesses—it’s been dramatic to say the least. That’s why we decided to host a photo shoot/party at the industrial-chic downtown bar Warehouse to gather some of the players in this burgeoning sector of the city. In “Fashion Insiders”, you’ll meet moguls (like former Lacoste USA CEO Bob Siegel, whom I like to call the Michael Jordan of fashion, as he’s been pulled out of retirement twice!) and designers (such as TROUBADOUR creator Lindsey Carter, who chose the Lowcountry as her home base and sells her women’s clothing line at Neiman Marcus and boutiques around the globe), not to mention our world-class photographers (including Caroline Knopf, who shot our fashion feature, “Rite of Spring”), hair and makeup artists, and more.

It was a marathon of a shoot, but fun and buzzing with conversations among creatives. I overheard handbag designer-turned-stylist Mary Norton recalling the early days “when local fashion was just Leigh Magar, Ayoka Lucas, and myself and now is a thriving group of wonderful artists.” And I was happy to learn that Mary’s back in the design game again, developing two new Moo Roo lines. Enjoy learning what else is going on within our fashion scene in this style-focused issue, and we look forward to seeing you at the ever-so-much-bigger CFW tents!

Darcy Shankland
dshankland@charlestonmag.com

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