There are three easy steps to apply:
NOTE: Partial information does not save to the Charleston Fashion Week® application system.
Only after a designer has clicked the SUBMIT button at the end of the application will complete submissions be made. Designers are encouraged to save and back up information.
Applications must be submitted by Monday, October 31, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST to be considered for the competition.
There are no age restrictions or required experience for the Emerging Designer Competition: East applicants. Both individual clothing designers and design duos are accepted, but not larger design groups or accessory designers.
Those under 18 years of age will need parental/guardian permission to apply.
1. A designer must meet one or more of the descriptions:
2. The designer's collection shown on the CFW runway in March 2017 must debut at Charleston Fashion Week®.
3. Designer must be a resident of one of the United States - meaning currently residing in one of the 50 states.
4. If under 18 years of age, designer must have parental permission and must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian if chosen as a semifinalist.
5. Designer must meet all of the requirements for submission.
CFW's Emerging Designer Competition is open to residents in all 50 states.
You are permitted to work with a seamstress, as long as the designs are your own.
Only online applications are permitted. Completed entries must be received by Monday, October 31, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Submissions after this date will not be considered.
Designers must submit collection sketches or renderings of four (4) garments to be featured in the proposed collection presented at Charleston Fashion Week® 2017. Meaning four (4) individual garments, not complete looks. Complete looks are permitted also.
Low-resolution digital photography or scanned images of sketches are accepted (72 dpi) in jpeg format ONLY. Maximum size per image is 5MB.
In addition, designers must submit with the following:
Your collection must debut on the Charleston Fashion Week® runway in March 2017. Designers are permitted to show this collection at other events, so long as it is shown at CFW first. Meaning, the collection you present for the competition must have never been shown on a professional runway.
Designers must present a Fall/Winter 2017 Men and/or Womens RTW, Kids, Evening, or Swimwear/Resort 2018 collection at Charleston Fashion Week®.
Your collection must include twelve (12) complete looks.
NOTE: Final designer runway show schedule is released by Charleston Fashion Week® in February 2017 and at their sole discretion.
Top finalists and all other submitted applicants will be notified by Friday, December 2, 2016 by midnight. Designers must confirm acceptance into the competition within 24 hours of notification or they may be disqualified.
Emerging Designers MUST commit to the following dates and times, in order to participate in the competition. Tip: Mark your calendar now!
*Out-of-town designers will receive accommodations at a CFW hotel partner; check-in on Sunday, March 12, 2017, check-out on Sunday, March 20, 2017. Final location at the sole discretion of Charleston Fashion Week®.
In January, CFW, the local community, and local & regional press/media gather to celebrate the Top Design Semifinalists! Top Designers selected to show at Charleston Fashion Week® are selected among some 150+ anticipated applicants. This is a true testament to each designer's skill and hard work and should be acknowledged as such.
In addition, designers film their introductory runway show video, meet and fit models, discuss hair and makeup vision, music, editorial, press, social media, what to expect week of, and more!
Charleston Fashion Week® requires a processing fee of $50 to enter the Emerging Designer Competition: East. Past emerging designers have disclosed costs at approximately
$5-10k. This includes all costs associated with designing/creating their looks – shoes, accessories, and any special hair and makeup pieces used for the show. Designers are also responsible for their own travel to/from Charleston (see details below), transporting their collection, and meals, for both the January 2017 creative production meetings and the week of the event.
If you reside more than 2 hours outside of the Charleston, South Carolina area, you are responsible for the following:
*Any guest(s) of the designer are responsible for their own lodging and transportation. Guest(s) are not permitted to stay in the CFW provided hotel.
**An exception will be made for designers less than 18 years of age.
Charleston Fashion Week® produces each Semifinalist's runway show in coordination with each designer. CFW provides models, DJ for approved music, hair/makeup direction and a team to produce approved looks. The runway, lighting, video, sound, scenic are set and at the sole discretion of CFW. Designers are responsible for the collection designs, shoes, accessories, and any approved special hair or makeup pieces.
Only models cast and selected for the Charleston Fashion Week® 2017 online model book may be used for designer runway shows*. The online model book will be provided to each designer to review and select a set number of models outlined by CFW. Charleston Fashion Week® will make selection based on overall and event production needs. Designers will fit potential models in January 2017. See additional details above regarding time and financial commitments related to model fittings.
*Designers are not permitted to contact CFW models under any circumstance due to competition rules.
Top Design Semifinalists show their eight (8) looks from their collection one night during the week of Tuesday, March 14 – Friday, March 17, 2017 (final schedule to be determined by Charleston Fashion Week®). Each evening one designer will be selected by the panel of judges. Up to five* finalists will advance to Saturday evening, March 18, 2017 – one (1) Tuesday, one (1) Wednesday, one (1) Thursday, one (1) Friday), one (1) possible addition – for the chance to be named the Emerging Designer Competition: East Grand Prize Winner.
*The Fashion Panel of judges reserve the right to “save” one (1) Top Design Semifinalist not previously selected as a finalist. Advancement is not guaranteed, but a possibility for all designers. Final decision made on Friday, March 17, 2017 following the conclusion of the shows. Designer will be notified by midnight and be available for final model fittings on Saturday, March 18. Time disclosed week of the event.
In 2016 Charleston Fashion Week® attracted more than 8,100 attendees including buyers, store and fashion retailer owners, featured designers, and fashion industry professionals and tastemakers. And Saturday evening's live streamed shows reached nearly 3,000 viewers. CFW attracts local, regional, and national press & media attention.
Designers are expected to attend each night during the week of the event. Each designer or design duo will be provided:
Special note: If you are a design duo team, you will receive two tickets for guests and/or family members for the night you show and two tickets if selected as a Finalist to show on Saturday (NOT four tickets). However, each person in the design duo team will receive a weekly pass to attend the shows each evening they are not showing.
Since 2008, the first year CFW’s Emerging Designer Competition: East began, designers have been successful in many areas of the fashion industry. Some have gone on to audition and cast for shows such as Project Runway, others worked for and with top fashion designers and retailers including Ralph Lauren, Lily Pulitzer, Bloomingdale’s, and Guess to name a few. Many have started their own successful design line and been featured in major print and online publications like VOGUE, Elle.com, Sports Illustrated, and many more.
2009 Emerging Designer Winner Marysia Reeves' swimwear has been featured in the 2010 and 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editions, VOGUE, Coastal Living, Teen VOGUE, andWWD. The Marysia SWIM collection has been picked up by BARNEY's New York, Anthropologie, and many other high-end boutiques across the country and internationally.
Lindsey Carter was selected as an Emerging Designer finalist for CFW 2009, with the debut collection from TROUBADOUR, which garnered praise from Women's Wear Daily, who named her a "Designer to Watch." Troubadour collection is available at Neiman Marcus, Anthropologie US, Anthropologie Europe, and specialty boutiques across the country.
In 2003, Katherine McDonald began to design her own collection, LulaKate, based in Charleston, South Carolina. Met with great success, in 2007, Katherine opened her flagship store on King Street in downtown Charleston. Today, the collection includes both bridal and ready-to-wear lines sold nationwide.
Charlotte Hess, 2011 Grand Prize Emerging Design Winner, was featured by ELLE.com and has since opened a textile studio in Nantucket where she does knit to order pieces from her line and custom work. Her collection can now be found at boutiques in Nantucket, MA; Palm Beach, FL; Burlington, VT; Auckland, New Zealand and Glasgow, Scotland.
CFW 2013 Emerging Designer semifinalist Jazsalyn McNeil was also a 2013 Belk Southern Designer Showcase winner, and her collection was sold store wide at Belk. Since CFW, Jazsalyn has embarked on a partnership with Lectra, the leading provider of integrated technology solutions that addresses the entire fashion collection process. McNeil will be designing two outfits to be used in a worldwise campaign featuring Lectra's technology. Over the past 40 years, Lectra has worked with some of the biggest names in fashion including Armani, Calvin Klein, Dior, Prada, and H&M.
Charleston Fashion Week® 2016 generated more than 331 million media impressions through the activation and support of local and national media to include reporters, bloggers, photographers, editors and journalists. Past press highlights have included event coverage by CNN, Huffington Post, InStyle.com, Glamour.com, Southern Living, The Daily Front Row, The Post & Courier, Style.com, etc. More than 150 credentialed media are onsite to cover and report the events of the week. To review past CFW press releases and event coverage visit the media tab of charlestonfashionweek.com.
The Grand Prize Winner will receive a once-in-a-lifetime prize package valued at more than $40,000 that includes:
Additional prizing may be added at a later date
Lunch with Fern Mallis to take place within six months to the date on which you were awarded the prize, final timing to be approved by Fern Mallis and must be scheduled in advance. CFW will facilitate.
Designer collection displayed at In Support Of (ISO) retail store with corresponding party. Details and timing determined at a later date in conjunction with ISO, Charleston Fashion Week® and winning designer.
Online marketing package from F22 Designs must take place within one year of the date on which you were awarded the prize.
Yes. If you have not been selected as one of the Semifinalists for any competition in years past, you may re-enter the Emerging Designer Competition: East again.
You can contact CFW via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail)