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Charleston Fashion Week® officially opens 2012 design competition

Emerging Designer Competition: East 2011 winner Charlotte Hess
Emerging Designer Competition: East 2011 winner Charlotte Hess
Charleston Magazine

Planning for Charleston Fashion Week® 2012 is already underway, and the hunt for the East coast's most talented designers has begun. If you're a fashion designer looking for your big break, then Charleston Fashion Week's® Emerging Designer Competition: East is the spotlight you've been looking for. Applications are now being accepted to present and compete at Charleston Fashion Week® (CFW) 2012, March 20-24, with a chance to win over $15,000 in cash and prizes. But you don't have long - the application deadline is October 13, 2011.

The competition is accepting designers from Florida to Maine, and 20 semifinalists will make it to CFW 2012 to show their Fall 2012 collections. Like last year, 1 designer will be selected by a panel of judges to move on to the finals. Designers will need to present 8 looks for their runway show, and show an additional 4 looks for the finals. The Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • $5,000 cash prize
  • $10,000 online marketing and promotional package from F22 Designs
  • Professional hi-quality lookbook images of the Winner's Fall collection will be photographed by J.Balliet: Photographer
  • Free runway show at Charleston Fashion Week® 2013

The People's Choice winner each night is also rewarded - each evening votes are tallied via text from the crowd and $250 is awarded to their favorite.

Last year's competition was packed with talent, and the judges' panel was no exception. The panel included Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week, Janie Bryant, costume designer for Mad Men, Mychael Knight, fashion designer and Project Runway alum and Alexis Maybank, cofounder of Gilt Groupe.

Charleston Fashion Week® has become quite the launching pad for previous winners. 2008's winner, Carol Hannah Whitfield, went on to be a finalist on Project Runway and show at New York Fashion Week. She is now a successful bridal designer with her collection showcased in bridal salons all over the country. Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves, 2009's winner, is an in-demand swimwear designer who has shown at Miami Swim Week. Her Marysia Swim line has graced the pages of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue and Vogue, and is now being sold at Barneys New York and Anthropologie.

Up and coming designers, you won't want to miss this opportunity to showcase your work in front of thousands, as well as gaining the critical eye of fashion experts. Click here for a full list of dos and don'ts and be sure to get your application in before the October 13 deadline! And fashion lovers, Charleston Fashion Week® 2012 tickets will be on sale soon - stay tuned for all the info when it happens. See you next March under the tents!


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