Fashioning a Future
Charlotte Hess took the CFW 2011 Emerging Designer Competition: East title before a cheering crowd and an impressed Fashion Panel, including Fern Mallis, K. Cooper Ray, Janie Bryant, and Mychael Knight. Photographs by Karson Photography (left) and Joshua Drake (right)
August 5, 2011
Fashioning a Future
written by Ayoka Lucas
Every year since its inception, Charleston Fashion Week®’s (CFW) Emerging Designer Competition: East (EDC:E) grows and attracts fashion industry leaders. New York Fashion Week creator Fern Mallis and Elle magazine’s Anne Slowey, as well as noted fashion writer and editor Derek Blasberg, top designer Cynthia Rowley, and Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant, are just a few of influential names on CFW’s growing Fashion Panel. So it’s no surprise that many of the aspiring designers whom they have judged in the competition have gone on to receive national attention.
Such EDC:E alums include Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves, whose swimwear line has been featured in Vogue, Marie Claire, Sports Illustrated, and O magazines; Lindsey Carter, whose Troubadour label has been seen on E! News and WWD; Carol Hannah Whitfield, who went on to become a Project Runway Season 6 finalist; Julie Wheat, who presented at 2011 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Miami; and our newest winner, Charlotte Hess, who recently landed a feature with Elle.com.
Hess, who wooed audiences and judges alike with her undeniable talent, says the competition was a pivotal shift in her career. “CFW provided me with an incredible platform to showcase my work to a massive audience,” says the Philadelphia-based isobel & cleo designer. “It was an extraordinary experience, from the selection process to my final win. I couldn’t imagine a more nurturing group of people to guide me into the fashion industry.
“I know I will continue to collaborate with the extremely talented artists, media, and producers that I met that week,” she continues. “The entire event was a phenomenal adventure unlike anything I’ve ever participated in.”
Who will be the next design star to debut on the CFW runway? It could be YOU!
Applications are now being accepted for the Charleston Fashion Week® 2012 Emerging Designer Competition: East. Taking place March 20-24, 2012, the five-night celebration of the region’s fashion and design communities has opened the competition up to residents of Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. Online applications will be accepted through October 13, 2011.
For more designer success stories, click here.
For a full list and bios of the CFW 2011 Fashion Panel, click here.
For more info on the 2012 Charleston Fashion Week® Emerging Designer Competition: East, click here.