Project Runway Finalist to Compete in Charleston Fashion Week 2018

Charleston Fashion Week


Showcasing fashion designers, retailers, and models, the 12th annual Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® (#LexusCFW) 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 2017 event featured more than 40 runway shows with 8,100 attendees. Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® 2018 is scheduled for March 13 – 17, 2018.  

Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® is proud to announce the top 12 Emerging Designer Semifinalists for the 2018 fashion competition. This year, Emerging Designers hale from a diverse collection of cities around the country, include a former Project Runway contestant (Kenya Freeman) and features the competition's youngest designer ever–she's 12 years old.

Each Emerging Designer will compete for the top prize March 13 – 17, 2018 under the tents in Marion Square in the heart of historic downtown Charleston. Tickets are now on sale for the hotly anticipated fashion event of the year. Visit the CFW website to purchase runway tickets, nightly passes, VIP packages and more.

“We were overwhelmed by the number of talented applicants of all ages, skill sets and education,” said Pauline Nakios, CFW fashion panel judge. “Each up-and-coming designer chosen will showcase his or her collection on the nationally-recognized runway before leading fashion insiders, influencers and media.”

“Charleston Fashion Week gives aspiring fashion designers the opportunity and platform to present their collections on a professional runway and share ideas with true industry professionals. I am pleased to be a part of the event for the seventh year!” - Fern Mallis, author and creator of New York Fashion Week.

The Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® 2018 Emerging Designer Competition Semifinalists chosen to debut their collections include:

  • Tygerian Burke // Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Kelly Callaway // Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Kenya Freeman // Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tina Gancev // Atlanta, Georgia
  • Sharae Hines // Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Heather Rose Johnson // Charleston, South Carolina
  • Tierra Macon // Los Angeles, California
  • Joan Madison // Columbus, Ohio
  • Kimberly Millar // Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Patresea Peppers // Atlanta, Georgia
  • Emilie Schroeder // Brooklyn, New York
  • Patrick Tai & Terrence Henderson // Charlotte, North Carolina

The 2018 Emerging Designer Grand Prize Winner, selected by a fashion panel of judges at the Saturday night Fashion Finale, 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 2018
  • Mentorship with L2 Apparel and Lilia P. CEO, Pauline Sokol Nakios
  • Featured Designer event or show at Charleston Fashion Week 2018
  • $10,000 website or search engine marketing package from F22 Internet Solutions

The Emerging Designer Competition began eleven 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 VOGUEMarie ClaireELLEWomen’s Wear Daily and on, 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 or @chasfashweek.


Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant Celebrates Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® with Two Runway Shows & Four Exclusive In-Store Events

Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant will help celebrate fashion in Charleston during Charleston’s most fashion-focused week—the 2017 Lexus Charleston Fashion Week ® (CFW). Gwynn’s will kick off CFW as the title sponsor of the Charleston Fashion Week Gwynn’s V.I.P. Lounge. This exclusive lounge elevates the fashion week experience with Gwynn’s styles, cocktails, local fare from Queen Street Hospitality Group and more.  On Wednesday, March 15, Gwynn’s will participate in the MUSC Children’s Hospital Raise the Runway Fashion Show & Luncheon.  During the luncheon, Gwynn’s will feature a runway show showcasing safari-themed looks and will be donating a Gwynn’s V.I.P. experience package hoping to raise thousands of dollars for MUSC Children’s Hospital.  Next up is the Ron White Trunk Show that kicks off on Thursday, March 16 and runs through Saturday, March 18 at the Gwynn’s store in Mt. Pleasant.  Guest can shop the new season styles from the Ron White Spring 2017 Men and Women’s Collections.  Friday, March 17 is a monumental day for Gwynn’s as they hit the runway at CFW with their show “1967-2017: A Retrospective” which celebrates the store’s 50 glorious years of business. The looks highlight fashion through the decades including current styles by Alice and Olivia, Alexis, Jimmy Choo, Aquazzura, Milly, and vintage Chanel.

“We’ve participated in Charleston Fashion Week since the inception in 2006. We are excited to celebrate 50 years in the Lowcountry with our unique runway show. Every season, we bring in incredible local and national brands to our store, and we’re looking forward to showcasing these during fashion week. This even puts Charleston on the global fashion map, and we’re honored to be involved with the event,” said Marshall Simon, proprietor of Gwynn’s Mt. Pleasant. 

On Friday, March 17th Gwynn’s will also be hosting a meet & greet trunk show featuring Leo & Sage’s Owner and Creative Director, Pauline Sokal Nakios.  Nakios will be in the Mt. Pleasant store from 12pm-3pm.  At this event, guests can also enter to win a $250 gift certificate.  In addition, customers can shop the What Goes Around Comes Around trunk show from 10am-7pm on March 17 and March 18. Selections include authentic vintage luxury goods from Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Celina, and more.

Closing out Gwynn’s celebration of fashion during CFW 2017 with an exclusive CFW event. Gwynn’s will host a book signing by fashion icon Fern Mallis.  Mallis will be signing copies of her book Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis.  Guests can purchase a copy of the book at the store (Retail: $55 + Tax), enjoy brunch and mimosas, and shop for their CFW closing night outfit.  The book signing will take place at Gwynn’s store in Mt. Pleasant from 12pm-2pm.


Lexus Charleston Fashion Week Announces Bibhu Mohapatra and Rachel Roy as Featured Designers

Charleston Fashion Week with Fern Mallis

 Lexus Charleston Fashion Week®, one of the leading fashion weeks in the United States, announced its March 14-18, 2017 schedule, and features internationally known designers Rachel Roy and Bibhu Mohapatra, runway shows from 16 competing Emerging Designer semifinalists, and exciting retailer and local designer shows.  

Bibhu Mohapatra, a New York-based fashion designer, will be featured on Friday March 17, 2017. His creations have been spotlighted in many fashion magazines including VOGUE, Marie Claire, ELLENew York Magazine, and Harper's Bazaar. Mohapatra has presented many collections of luxury women's ready-to-wear, couture and fur under his name in New York, Mumbai, Zurich, Beijing, and New Delhi. His collections are sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, SAKS, and Nordstrom, Lane Crawford in China, and other boutiques around the world.

On Saturday March 18, 2017, Rachel Roy will be the Featured Designer to close Charleston Fashion Week® 2017. Roy is the founder of her eponymous brand and a tireless activist for using your voice to encourage change and design the life you want to live. In addition to running her successful brand, Roy is a sought after speaker on entrepreneurship and philanthropy and has shared her story and experiences at forums ranging from the White House to the Fortune Most Powerful Women conference series to other various women’s empowerment summits. Roy nurtures young design talent globally through her work with the Woolmark Prize, Who’s Next/VOGUE Mexico and CFDA incubator programs. Roy has been recognized by the Accessories Council with an ACE AWARD for best brand launch as well as Mattel’s 10 Women to Watch and numerous best dressed honors including Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List.

Mohapatra and Roy will also serve on the Fashion Panel under Fern Mallis, who will again lead the effort in determining the 2017 Charleston Fashion Week® Emerging Designer Competition Winner.

Naomi Russell, executive director of Charleston Fashion Week®, says “We are very excited and honored to have such great designers like Rachel Roy and Bibhu Mohapatra during CFW 2017. This continues CFW’s goal of bringing nationally known fashion stars to Charleston, to judge and mentor the competing emerging designers, as well as highlight the strong fashion scene here. Charleston Fashion Week® 2017 promises to be bigger and better than ever, and we look forward to seeing everyone under the tents next month!”

Charleston Fashion Week® will take place from March 14-18, 2017 under the tents in downtown Charleston, S.C., and showcases collections of emerging designers, nationally renowned designer runway shows, glamorous on-site tents such as the Belk Tent, shopping in the hip Style Lounge, happening after-parties and much more. The Friday and Saturday night runway shows will also be live-streamed on the CFW web-site and mobile app. Tickets for Lexus Charleston Fashion Week are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting