Project Runway Finalist to Compete in Charleston Fashion Week 2018

Charleston Fashion Week

12th ANNUAL LEXUS CHARLESTON FASHION WEEK® ANNOUNCES THE TOP 12 EMERGING DESIGNER COMPETITION SEMIFINALISTS

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 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 or @chasfashweek.

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Designer Kenya Freeman of Sylvia Mollie "Makes it Work" on Project Runway

Kenya Freeman, photo: Project Runway

Kenya Freeman, photo: Project Runway

She keeps two notebooks by her bed. As thoughts and ideas make their way into her dreams, she awakes, rolls over to jot them down and goes back to sleep – and possibly dream some more. By morning, as the alarm clock goes off and sleepy eyes open, she glances in her notebook and inspiration is born. Designer Kenya Freeman, of the label Sylvia Mollie, is literally living her dream. Kenya seeks inspiration from everything and everyone. If it’s not coming in her dreams then she finds it in nature, in her surroundings and on the street. Her mind is always wandering and conceptualizing.

Kenya didn’t know she was a designer right away. In the twelfth grade, she signed up for a fashion co-op class where she learned to create mood boards and studied merchandising. This came to Kenya with such ease that her mother enrolled her in fashion school. In her first year in college, she started sewing, watching her designs transform from sketches to garments. Everything felt so effortless. For the first time, Kenya felt like she had been given a gift. She felt like a designer. There is a lot to be said about a mother’s intuition.

Photos by Prince Williams/ATLpics.net courtesy of Ragtrade Atlanta.

Strong lines and architectural patterns are things Kenya embraces in her designs and textile choices. Other elements such as shape and texture – the feel and touch of fabric is very important to her – also play a part in the DNA makeup of the brand. Her aesthetic comes from the allure of the classic woman. So who is the Sylvia Mollie “woman?” Well, firstly, she has a name, Kenya calls her “Tony.” “This is a powerhouse of a woman whose classic looks must transition to evening. Everything she wears has to be bold, beautiful and make a statement,” adds Kenya. Flowing fabric and a feminine sensibility, with a conscious attention to silhouette, perfectly balance the brand’s timeless yet modern approach. Strength and femininity are harmoniously woven together within the Sylvia Mollie collections.

project runway

So while Kenya Freeman may be living her designer dreams, it is also fair to say that her future is now – and it’s unfolding on national television for the whole world to see. Her personal life and professional career was uprooted, tested and turned upside down – in the name of fashion– when she was selected as a cast member to the Emmy Award winning Project Runway on Lifetime TV. Kenya is featured on the sixteenth season of Project Runway and said this was the best experience ever. She believes that being on the show will elevate the Sylvia Mollie brand to the next level from the tremendous exposure she receives week after week and though it wasn’t always easy being on the show and working under so much pressure, she absolutely “made it work!” Speaking of “making it work” Tim Gunn is wonderful according to Kenya, going on to say that the warm and nurturing gentleman you see on tv is consistent off air as well. Of course, she was tight-lipped about Project Runway specifics, not able to discuss how far she got in the show or who were the celebrity judges. She wouldn’t even drop hints. This is how Kenya described her Project Runway experience: “It was so many things – it was great, it was emotionally draining, it was fantastic, it was exciting and stressful, I’ve never absorbed so much caffeine, I’ve never gotten up so early - it was a lot of things. A very unique experience like no other and just to say that I am now a part of the Project Runway family at this point is something few can say.”

Kenya Freeman and her label Sylvia Mollie may very well be on their way to designer stardom and making its way to a closet near you. Kenya aspires to see her brand carried in the high end markets such as Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf’s but for now, the most accessible place to shop Sylvia Mollie is online at http://www.sylviamollie.com/

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Tim Gunn Surprises Crowd with Major Project Runway Announcement

This past Sunday, Project Runway host and mentor, Tim Gunn, surprised an audience of 6,000 Avon Beauty Bosses (independent sales Reps) in Nashville at their annual RepFest Convention to announce a key partnership for the upcoming season.

Avon will serve as the official beauty sponsor for Lifetime’s critically-acclaimed and Emmy nominated design competition series for season 16. Gunn was on hand to share details about the partnership, including how Avon will be releasing behind-the-scenes content on the brand’s social channels to help viewers create "runway to reality" looks at home. With a team led by makeup artist Hector Simancas, Avon will be creating the makeup look on models helping to bring the contestants' visions to life. 

“Avon is legendary in the beauty world,” said Gunn during his remarks. “It is a brand that embodies the values of freedom, inspiration and empowerment, which are core to Project Runway’s mission of inspiring up-and-coming fashion entrepreneurs. We can’t wait to debut Avon beauty on our catwalk, with simply stunning and wildly creative applications that perfect each designer look. Get ready to tune-in to another exciting season, and learn how to replicate each runway-inspired look with Avon!”

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House of Z - The Zac Posen Documentary

I think it's a fair assessment to say that Zac Posen has become a household name. If you don't know his brand of elegant and sophisticated womenswear, then surely you know him as a permanent judge with Project Runway.

As a young and extremely talented twenty-one year old, Zac Posen rocketed to stardom within the fashion industry - one of fashion's golden boys. His red carpet looks were showstoppers and graced A-list celebs like Gywneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet. But as we all know, what goes up, eventually must come down and golden Zac was not exempt. 

This documentary, directed by Sandy Chronopoulos, will premiere on Vogue.com on September 6 and will take us through the highs and lows of Zac Posen's career. 

Watch the House of Z trailer above.

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The Face Magazine Runway & Launch Party with Justin LeBlanc

The Face Magazine brought NYFW-worthy fashion to the Queen City! The Face delivered a fashion-packed Saturday starting with (my fave) mimosas at 9AM.  Because fashion never sleeps, a stylish group gathered for "Morning Mimosas" at SLOAN Boutique. Guests were greeted in style to the swanky SLOAN with a preview of featured The Face runway designer Justin LeBlanc - formerly of Project Runway and Project Runway All Stars.

At 1PM, Le Meridien Charlotte opened its sexy rooftop lounge to the chicest bunch I've ever seen of bloggers and influencers. My partner, Alex and I joined Justin LeBlanc for lunch along with our new bestie, Chandler from Hunter Brookes. Soon after dessert, everyone gathered around Justin and The Bow Tie Gent's Louis Matthew for a "conversation." Louis was spot on and on trend with his questions for Justin who talked about everything from what inspires him to his upcoming nuptials. #LoveWins

By 6:30PM, we had Uber-ed to Hendrick Porsche for the grand finale. Tonight was what this day was all about. The Face Magazine was celebrating the launch of their 4th issue. Before the runway shows, Hendrick Porsche unveiled the new Porsche Panamera - gorgeous. Soon after that, we took our seats as the shows were about to begin. BAM... 831 Minh Le, Emuleos and Tygerian Lace... 3 amazing runways, 3 modern, edgy collections. Justin LeBlanc Designs was the final show of the evening and it didn't disappoint. A runway filled with fringe, tassels and 3D printing. Justin LeBlanc  delivered a sexy, chic and unconventional collection. His artistic and architectural DNA are working harmoniously with a ready-to-wear sensibility. 

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You're Invited: THE FACE Magazine Issue 4 Release Event

Please join The Face Magazine & Hendrick Porsche as they introduce Issue 4 of The Face Magazine as well as the newest model of the Porsche fleet …. The 2017 Panamera.

The evening will be filled with the elegance and modern sophistication of not only the new Porsche Panamera but with a catwalk that will kick off the The Face Magazine 2017 fashion runway season that is accompanied by the latest issue of The Face Magazine.

The designer line up starts with Tygerian Lace, who will be debuting her newest RTW collection. Tygerian Lace has not only graced many red carpets locally and beyond but has recently been selected to create a piece for Charlotte Mayor, Jennifer Roberts. 

Next we have a Emuleos who is just off of the NYFW runway. She will be showcasing the very designs that graced NYFW just a few weeks ago and that gained her much press as an emerging designer to watch out for. 

As our finale for the evening you will have a chance to view the collection of Project Runway Alumni, Justin LeBlanc. His latest collection is nothing short of spectacular and leaves you only wanting more of his artistic creations. His designs have been seen all over the world from red carpets to personal collections. 

In addition to the runway guests will have the chance to experience boutiques, presentations and enjoy light fare, music from the DJ and the VIP bar.

Location: Hedrick Porsche 6800 E Independence Blvd
RSVP Link : thefacemagazine.eventbrite.com Word to the wise... this event might be SOLD OUT! FYI...

the face magazine

Start your day with MIMOSAS! 

Please join The Face Magazine & Sloan Boutique on March 4th, in welcoming Project Runway alumni, Justin LeBlanc, for Morning Mimosas in Style. 


Sloan Boutique, one of the Queens City’s most fashion forward shopping hot spots, is opening their doors for a special meet and greet with Justin LeBlanc where he will be on site to chat with you about his body of work and a sneak peek of the designs that he will showcase that evening on The Face Magazine runway. 


While at Sloan Boutique take a moment to sample the light fare offerings, shop a moment with the ladies at Sloan, chat with esteemed clothing designer Justin Leblanc and then grab a mimosa or two and enjoy your time with your fashion family! RSVP @ SLOANBOUTIQUE.EVENTBRITE.COM

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Project Runway, Lingerie & World Domination Close Out NYFW

Orlando Dugi

Patricia Michaels

Style Fashion Week New York wrapped up on Saturday, September 10th with consistently impressive fashion shows. Opening the final night were Native American designers Orlando Dugi and Patricia Michaels who brought culture and heritage to the runway. The artistic designs by Orlando Dugi showed unique artwork and captivating silhouettes,. Following were the ornamental ensembles from Project Runway alumni Patricia Michaels’ PM Waterlily collection, which featured her own original hand-dyed fabrics and entrancing textures. Guests were fascinated by each new piece that paraded down the runway, leaving them wondering what was going to come next.

The highly anticipated closing show of the week brought an interesting mix of distinct styles to a packed house at Hammerstein Ballroom. The first to show was Japanese designer Akiyo Hirakubo of Bradelis New York, a sultry yet ethereal lingerie line featuring enchanting and sophisticated pieces. Danny Nguyen’s ready-to-wear spring/summer collection took to the runway next, showing off a range of all white and gold exquisite designs. The models sported elegant, gold lace arm pieces. The final designer to close out Style Fashion Week, Adrian Alicea, put on a performance to remember from start to finish, with his “World Domination” line, featuring racy and seductive lingerie, underwear for men and women’s dresses.

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