“Emerging Designers are the future of fashion, and our competition serves as a platform for undiscovered talent and connects them with fashion industry insiders who are looking for the next top designer,” said Charleston Fashion Week production director Jacqueline Lawrence in a press release advertising the 10th Anniversary of Charleston Fashion Week and its Emerging Designer Competition: East. As production ramps up for the famed fashion event, March 15-19, 2016, the 10th Anniversary Celebration looks to push the envelope on the cutting-edge of fashion, taking applications from aspiring fashion designers from all over the east coast until October 12th in hopes of discovering the next big name of the fashion industry.
Why should these “Emerging Designers” apply to the competition? Well, if a grand prize totaled at a value of $40,000 dollars including $10,000 dollars in cash, a private lunch with New York Fashion Week creator Fern Mallis (who will be in attendance at the 2016 event in March), and a private showing in the New York retail store In Support Of isn’t enough, perhaps some additional information will help.
During the week, audiences of thousands, including fashion industry experts such as past attendees Trina Turk and Louise Roe, view the competitors’ looks on the Charleston Fashion Week runway, granting the designers the ability to gain feedback from successful designers and stylists. In addition, their original designs receive valuable exposure on an actual runway, a chance that is hard to come by otherwise. Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week stated, “CFW provides a unique platform for emerging designers from the East Coast: I especially love that it fosters new talent and gives aspiring designers an opportunity to present their collections and ideas on a professional runway.”
Many of the finalists and semifinalists go on to achieve fame and prestige in the fashion industry, having appeared on major networks such as CNN, Marie Claire, ELLE, WWD and even Project Runway, like 2013 Top Design 20 semifinalist Karen Batts who competed on the show’s 12th season. Some participants have gone on to sell to major fashion companies like Belk or H&M, as well as release their own collections or open their own boutiques.
Charleston Fashion Week’s Emerging Designer Competition is a rapidly growing event, named as a Top 20 Event for March by the Southern Tourism Society, generating over 275 million media impressions in 2015 alone. Without a doubt, the 10th Anniversary Celebration will be one of the biggest media and fashion events to hit the South. As further planning for the event unfolds, we can only wait eagerly to discover what surprises the organizational team behind Charleston Fashion Week has under wraps for March. It will be an event that no fashion designer or media producer will want to miss out on, that is assured.