11th Annual Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® Announces Top Emerging Designer Semifinalists

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Top emerging designers chosen to display fashion collections during Charleston Fashion Week®, March 14-18, 2017


The Fashion Panel selected the top 16 designers from an overwhelmingly talented pool of applicants from across the country

Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® (#LexusCFW), one of the nation’s leading fashion events, is proud to announce its top Emerging Designer Semifinalists for the March 14 – 18, 2017 competition and runway shows.

The Fashion Panel jury of judges selected the top 16 designers from an overwhelmingly talented pool of applicants from across the country. Each sought the coveted opportunity to showcase their collection on a nationally recognized runway presented before leading fashion insiders, tastemakers, and more than 1,000 guests each night. The Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® 2017 Emerging Designer Competition top Emerging Designer Semifinalists chosen to debut their collections are:

Adrienne Yunger, San Antonio, Texas
Allyson Ansusinha, Asheville, North Carolina
Amanda Casarez, Stafford, Virginia
Andrew Clancey, Nashville, Tennessee
Anna Catherine Dickens, Louisburg, North Carolina
Grace Hallman, Raleigh, North Carolina
Jesse Thaxton, Granbury, Texas
Joseph McRae, Raleigh, North Carolina
Kathryn Hayes, Savannah, Georgia
Nadine Ralliford, Stone Mountain, Georgia
Quinan Dalton, Raleigh, North Carolina
Rachel Lichtenwalner, Springfield, Virginia
Rafie Khoshbin, Sterling, Virginia
Veronica Ramirez, Sharpsburg, Georgia
Victoria Cullinan Strayhorn, Charlotte, North Carolina
Viviane Hamilton, Stone Mountain, Georgia

The 2017 Emerging Designer Grand Prize Winner, selected by a Fashion Panel of judges at the end of the week, will receive an enhanced prize package worth more than $40,000, including the following:

  • $10,000 cash
  • Once-in-a-lifetime lunch with Fern Mallis in New York City in 2017
  • Opportunity to intern for a well-known designer during New York Fashion Week in Fall 2017
  • Featured Designer runway show on opening night of Charleston Fashion Week® 2018

“We are very excited to collaborate with Charleston Fashion Week by awarding a new prize of automatic admission to our Belk Southern Designer Showcase,” said Cyndie Washburn-Nester, Vice President of Fashion & Trend. “The winner will participate in a year-long product development experience learning the ins and outs of what it takes to develop and ship product to Belk stores and Belk.com in Spring 2018.”

The 2017 Belk Prize winner, selected by a Fashion Panel of judges, will receive a prize package including the following:

  • $2,500 cash prize
  • Winner's merchandise will be carried in select Belk stores and on Belk.com in Spring 2018.
  • Special Guest during the Southern Designer Showcase presentation day at Belk corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 29, 2017.
  • Mentoring meetings with buying, planning, e-commerce, and compliance teams.

The five-night event, which takes place in Marion Square in downtown Charleston, showcases collections from nationally renowned featured designer runway shows, glamorous on-site, multi-media entertainment areas including the Belk Tent and shopping in the Style Lounge, hip after-parties and much more.

The Emerging Designer Competition began ten years ago and serves as a platform for undiscovered talent, connecting them with top fashion trendsetters including New York Fashion Week Founder and international fashion consultant, Fern Mallis, and CFDA members and top designers like David Hart, CADET, and Tracy Reese. Previous winners and contestants have been featured in VOGUE, Marie Claire, ELLE, Women’s Wear Daily and on CNN.com, along with other major media outlets; and their collections have been picked up by stores including Anthropologie, BARNEY’s New York, and Neiman Marcus.

For more information, including tickets and availability, visit charlestonfashionweek.com.


About Lexus Charleston Fashion Week®
Showcasing fashion designers, retailers, and models, the 11th Annual Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® (CFW) is one of the premier fashion weeks in North America. Named a Top 20 Event for March by the Southeast Tourism Society, this multimedia event presents high-end runway shows, interactive entertainment, chic after-parties, and press events. The 2016 event featured more than 40 runway shows, 8,100 attendees, Charleston Weddings magazine’s Wedding Week, the Emerging Designer Competition, and the Rock the Runway Model Competition™. Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® 2017 is scheduled for March 14 – 18, 2017. For more information, visit charlestonfashionweek.com or @chasfashweek.

About Belk
Belk, Inc., a private department store company based in Charlotte, N.C., is the home of Modern. Southern. Style. located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence. Belk is a portfolio company of Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm based in New York. Belk and http://www.belk.com offer a wide assortment of national brands and private label fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home.

Belk offers many ways to connect via digital and social media, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google Plus, and provides exclusive offers, fashion updates, sales notifications and coupons via email or mobile phone text messages. Customers can also download the latest Belk mobile apps for the iPad, iPhone or Android.

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Cristy Jamison

Cristy Jamison
Touchpoint Communications
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