Nashville’s always been a culturally unique place, but in recent years, we’ve broadened. We’re a restaurant hotspot, a burgeoning tech center, a diverse musical playground.
Increasingly, too, we’re becoming the home of a vibrant and creative fashion scene.
Nothing makes that more evident than the annual Nashville Fashion Week, a city-spanning celebration of our city’s fashion and retail community, returning for its sixth year from April 5 through 9, 2016.
Over that week, we’ll see new collections and designers making their debut, panels will share info and insight on the past, present and future of fashion, and pros and supporters alike will attend celebratory galas and raise glasses to the exciting state of Middle Tennessee style.
In addition to throwing focus on local and regional fashion, Nashville Fashion Week feeds into its future, by funneling proceeds from the event to the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. That fund awards an on-the-move local fashion player every year, to help him or her move forward professionally and creatively.
With that spirit in mind, we wanted to throw a little love toward some local fashion talent. Here, five Nashville designers worth knowing, all of whom will be taking part in Nashville Fashion Week.
If you’re not an avid Nashville fashion follower but you are a reality TV competition fan, you might already know Amanda Valentine’s name — she earned high praise on TV’s Project Runway, Seasons 11 and 13. She does quite well off-screen, too. Her spring 2016 collection (a sample from it pictured here) is filled with breezy pieces that mix dynamic black-and-white with bold pops of color.
ANY OLD IRON
East Nashville folks will know the Any Old Iron name from the neighborhood retail shop that opened a few years ago at 1629 Shelby. As he was bringing AOI from New York to Nashville, owner Andrew Clancey was also working on his first menswear collection for the brand, which we’ll get a look at during Fashion Week. On Facebook, he’s tipped that the collection will be “bringing some good old fashioned #rocknroll to the proceedings.”
Nashvillian Ashley Balding is the designer behind Ona Rex, and her OA aim is to create womenswear that’s “unique, bold, and luxurious.” In the spring/summer 2016 Ona Rex collection, that plays out with feminine, almost pastel colors (in the spirit of Pantone’s colors of the year) and playful lines.
SISTERS OF NATURE
Like Any Old Iron, Sisters of Nature is an East Nashville boutique (521 Gallatin Ave, #5) that’s growing with a fashion line this year, making a grand entrance during Nashville Fashion Week. Founder Kimberly Parker (she’s pictured above) told The East Nashvillian her first collection would focus on serving “the modern bohemian woman with a focus on unique details and feminine design.”
Nashville designer Truly Alverenga focuses on handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces, but beyond that, her designs are broad, from leather jackets to elegant evening gowns. The collection we’ll see at Nashville Fashion Week, she says, “is all about the beauty of China and the women that inspired it.”
For more info on what’s happening during the event and who’s taking part, visit the Nashville Fashion Week website. If you’d like to take part, all-access passes ($400) and tickets to individual panel/showcase/gala events are on sale now.