With every spring, after the hustle of the big league Fashion Weeks from New York to Paris, come the smaller buds – those regional runway events that showcase homegrown talents and also give established players the opportunity to engage with customers around the country. Last week, for example, Tracy Reese made her first trip to Charleston, S.C., for the 10th anniversary of its Fashion Week, which is sponsored by Baker Motor Company, so I asked the designer to send us a postcard about her experience. And here’s what she wrote:
Charleston Fashion Week was a great experience! It had the excitement of New York Fashion Week with a big dose of Southern hospitality! I was so honored to travel down to South Carolina along with the designers of Creatures of the Wind and Cadet to share our collections on the Charleston runway.
Charleston Fashion Week was the local event of the season! It seemed like every stylish Charlestonian made an appearance each evening to not only take in the shows, but also see and be seen at the VIP and party tents. It was fun to see the personal style of these polished Southerners, no one is afraid of color or print!
On Friday evening, I was honored to share in judging the emerging designer competition. I was so impressed with the four young designers, showing beautiful collections with very distinctive points of view. From menswear-inspired tailoring to a modern twist on traditional Vietnamese garb, these new talents really brought their A-game!
Charleston Fashion Week also gave us the chance to experiment a little with a “direct to consumer” show. With the current conversation about how the fashion industry is changing, we decided instead of showing our Fall 2016 collection, to show Spring 2016, which is currently available in stores and online. It was wonderful to see all of the positive reactions from the Charleston crowd knowing that everything they saw was available to purchase immediately.
Luckily, we had a little bit of free time to get to explore Charleston around our show. Charleston is such a charming city, I could’ve spent hours and hours walking down King Street and visiting all of the specialty stores along the way. I did make sure to visit Charleston institution RTW to get our signed copy of my dear friend Fern Mallis’s book Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis ($38; amazon.com). And I couldn’t leave without experiencing one of Charleston’s historic carriage tours.