Emerging Designer Competition FAQ

#1. HOW DO I APPLY AND WHAT QUALIFICATIONS MUST APPLICANTS POSSESS IN ORDER TO ENTER THE CHARLESTON FASHION WEEK® EMERGING DESIGNER COMPETITION?

There are ten easy steps to apply. This includes submitting an application fee, your name and contact information, details about the collection you would show if selected for the Competition, uploading a sketch from the collection and sample garments from the collection or your past work, and hitting the SUBMIT button.

Online applications must be submitted by Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST to be considered for the competition. There are no age restrictions or required experience for the Emerging Designer Competition applicants. Both individual designers and design duos (no more than a team of two designers may apply) are accepted for both fashion and accessory design. Those under 18 years of age will need parental/guardian permission to apply.

To qualify:
1. A designer must meet one or more of the following:

  • Have a design business and/or a label for a minimum of one year.
  • Demonstrate experience with fabric and/or textiles over a number of seasons and consistently produces garments to a high level.
  • Have previously or currently studies at a fashion program, and/or work under a recognizable designer.

2. The designer collection shown in March 2018 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 have a parent or legal guardian sign an underage waiver to participate if chosen as a Semifinalist.

5. Designer must meet all of the requirements for submission.

#2. DO MY DESIGN SUBMISSIONS HAVE TO BE SEWN BY ME, OR AM I PERMITTED TO HAVE A SEAMSTRESS OR MANUFACTURER PRODUCE MY COLLECTION?

You are permitted to work with a seamstress or manufacturer, as long as the designs are your own.

#3. ARE SKETCHES AND GARMENT IMAGES REQUIRED FOR APPLICATION SUBMISSION?

Designers must submit a collection of sketches or renderings of up to four (4) garments or pieces to be featured in the proposed collection presented at Charleston Fashion Week® 2018. Meaning four (4) pieces or individual garments (not necessarily complete looks, although complete looks are permitted also).

In addition, designers must submit images for the following:

  • Four (4) images of two (2) complete garments from either a past or existing collection the applicant designed. Or, the collection the applicant plans to show at Charleston Fashion Week®. Images to include:
    • One (1) full-length image per garment for a total or two images.
    • One (1) detail image per garment for a total or two images. For example, a texture, hardware, and/or other element that makes the garment special.

Images need to be of professional quality and on a model or mannequin must be used to show fit.

#4. DOES MY COLLECTION SUBMISSION HAVE TO BE EXCLUSIVE TO THE CHARLESTON FASHION WEEK® EMERGING DESIGNER COMPETITION? CAN I SHOW THE SAME COLLECTION I AM SHOWING AT CFW IN ANOTHER CITY'S FASHION WEEK?

Your collection must debut at Charleston Fashion Week® in March 2018. 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 another professional runway or presentation.

#5. WHAT SEASON SHOULD MY COLLECTION FOCUS ON?

We recommend Emerging Fashion Designers present a collection for the next season: Fall/Winter 2018 Menswear and/or Womenswear, Childrenswear, Eveningwear, or Swimwear/Resort 2019 at Charleston Fashion Week®.

#6. HOW MANY LOOKS SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN MY COLLECTION PRESENTED AT CHARLESTON FASHION WEEK®?

Emerging Fashion Designer collections must include twelve (12) complete looks. Emerging Accessory Designer collections must include eight (8) complete pieces. Additional details:

  • If selected as an Emerging Fashion Designer Semifinalist, you will be asked to show an initial eight (8) looks from your collection on the runway one night during the week of the event, March 13-16, 2018.
  • If selected as a Finalist the week of the event, you will be asked to show a complete twelve (12) look collection on Saturday, March 17, 2018. This would include the original eight (8) looks shown during the week of the event for the Competition, plus four (4) additional looks to make up the full collection for the Competition Finale.
  • If selected as an Emerging Accessory Designer, you will be asked to present eight (8) complete pieces to be displayed at Charleston Fashion Week®.

NOTE: Final event schedule released by Charleston Fashion Week® in February 2018 and at their sole discretion.

#7. IF SELECTED AS AN EMERGING FASHION DESIGNER SEMIFINALIST OR EMERGING ACCESSORY DESIGNER WHEN AND HOW WILL I BE NOTIFIED?

All applicants will be notified by Friday, December 8, 2017 by midnight. Designers must confirm acceptance into the competition within 24 hours of notification or they may be disqualified.

#8. IS THERE A FINANCIAL OBLIGATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE EMERGING DESIGNER COMPETITION?

Charleston Fashion Week® requires a processing fee of $50 to enter the Emerging Designer Competition. Past emerging designers have disclosed costs at approximately $5-10k. This includes all costs associated with designing/creating looks for the collection – 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) for both the January production meetings and the week of the event, transporting their collection, and meals.

#9. IF SELECTED FOR THE 2018 EMERGING DESIGNER COMPETITION WHAT TIME COMMITMENT WILL BE REQUIRED?

Emerging Fashion Designers MUST commit to the following dates and times, in order to participate in the competition. Tip: Mark your calendar now!

  • Attend the mandatory production meetings and model fittings January 12-15, 2018, as early as 8:00a.m. and as late as 8:00p.m. each day. The schedule is not flexible and is determined by Charleston Fashion Week®. See #10 for additional details.
  • Be on-site at the CFW tents in Marion Square for final production meetings and model fittings as early as 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 11- Monday, March 12, 2018. We encourage designers to arrive into Charleston on Saturday, March 10, 2018.
  • If selected as an Emerging Fashion Designer Finalist, you will be asked to show a complete twelve (12) look collection (your original eight (8) looks plus four (4) additional looks) on Saturday, March 17, 2018.

#10. IF SELECTED AS A TOP EMERING FASHION DESIGNER SEMIFINALIST WILL TRAVEL TO/FROM CHARLESTON AND ACCOMMODATIONS IN CHARLESTON BE PROVIDED?

Emerging Fashion Designers are responsible for the following:

TRAVEL
Emerging Fashion Designers are responsible for their own travel to/from Charleston for both the production meetings in January and the week of the event in March.

ACCOMMODATIONS:

  • Emerging Fashion Designers are responsible for their own hotel accommodations for the production meetings, January 12 -15, 2018. Designers need to arrive in Charleston on Friday, January 12 by 10:00 a.m. and depart on Monday January 15 after 10:00 a.m.
  • CFW will provide lodging for out-of-town Fashion Emerging Designers residing more than two hours outside Charleston for the evenings of Sunday, March 11 - Saturday, March 17, 2018, with checkout on Sunday morning. Designers will be sharing the provided room with another designer. *

Emerging Accessory Designers are responsible for their own hotel* and travel expenses to/from Charleston.

*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.

#11. WHAT TAKES PLACE IN JANUARY AT THE PRODUCTION MEETINGS AND WHY IS IT MANDATORY FOR THE FASHION DESIGNERS TO COME TO CHARLESTON?

In January, the Emerging Fashion 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!

#12. IF SELECTED AS AN EMERGING FASHION DESIGNER SEMIFINALISTS, HOW WILL I CREATE MY CHARLESTON FASHION WEEK® RUNWAY SHOW (CHOOSE MODELS, MUSIC, HAIR/MAKEUP LOOKS, SHOES, ETC.)?

Charleston Fashion Week® produces each Semifinalist's runway show in coordination with each designer. CFW provides models, approved music, hair/makeup direction and a team to produce approved looks. The runway, lighting, video, sound, scenic are set, and show production are at the sole discretion of CFW. Designers are responsible for the collection designs, shoes, accessories, and any approved special hair or makeup pieces.

#13. CAN I USE MY OWN MODELS FOR THE RUNWAY SHOW?

Only models cast and selected for the Charleston Fashion Week® 2018 online Runway Model Book may be used for an Emerging Fashion Designer runway shows*. The online Runway Model Book will be provided to each Emerging Fashion Designer to review and select a set number of models outlined by CFW. Charleston Fashion Week® will make final selections based on overall event and production needs. Emerging Fashion Designers will fit potential models in January 2018. See additional details above regarding time and financial commitments related to model fittings.

*Designers are not permitted to contact Charleston Fashion Week® models under any circumstance due to competition rules. To do so will result in elimination from the Competition.

#14. WHEN DO DESIGNERS SHOW THEIR COLLECTIONS?

Emerging Fashion Design Semifinalists show their eight (8) looks from their collection one night during the week of Tuesday, March 13 – Thursday, March 16, 2018 (final schedule to be determined by Charleston Fashion Week®). The Fashion Panel of judges will select one (1) Emerging Fashion Designer each evening as a Finalist. Up to four (4) Finalists will advance to Saturday evening, March 17, 2018 – one (1) Tuesday, one (1) Wednesday, one (1) Thursday, and one (1) possible addition* – for the chance to be named the Emerging Designer Competition Grand Prize Winner.

*The Fashion Panel of judges reserve the right to “save” one (1) Emerging Fashion Designer Semifinalist not previously selected as a Finalist. Advancement is not guaranteed, but a possibility for all Emerging Fashion Designers. Final decision made on Friday, March 16, 2018 following the conclusion of the shows that night. Designer will be notified by midnight and must be available for final model fittings on Saturday, March 17. Fitting time disclosed week of the event.

#15. WHO WILL VIEW MY COLLECTION?

In 2017 Charleston Fashion Week® attracted more than 7,500 attendees including buyers, store and fashion retailer owners, featured designers, and fashion industry professionals and tastemakers. Additionally, Saturday evening's live streamed shows reached nearly 3,000 viewers. CFW attracts local, regional, and national press & media attention.

#16. DO EMERGING DESIGNERS RECEIVE TICKETS TO CHARLESTON FASHION WEEK®?

Each Emerging Accessory Designer will receive two (2) Fashion Village tickets each night, Tuesday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 14. Tickets do not grant access to the Runway Tent. Design duo teams will still receive only two (2) tickets for each night, not two tickets each.

Emerging Fashion Designers are expected to attend each night during the week of the event. Each designer or design duo will be provided:

Semifinalists:

  • One (1) weekly pass to attend the shows each night the designer is not showing Tuesday, March 13 – Saturday, March 17. .
  • Two (2) tickets for guests and/or family members will be provided for the evening the designer(s) are showing. Design duos see note below*.

Additional tickets may be purchased online via the Charleston Fashion Week® website. Tickets will be on-sale in November 2017.

Finalists:

  • Two (2) tickets for guests and/or family members to attend the event and see shows for Emerging Fashion Designer(s) selected as a Finalist to move onto Saturday's Finale, March 17, 2018. *

Note: *Design duo teams will still receive only two tickets for the night of their show and two tickets if selected as a Fnalist to show on Saturday (not two tickets each); However, each person in the design duo team will receive a weekly pass to attend the shows each evening they are not showing.

#17. WHAT HAVE PREVIOUS DESIGNERS WHO HAVE SHOWN AT CHARLESTON FASHION WEEK® GONE ON TO DO?

Since 2008, the first year Charleston Fashion Week® held the Emerging Designer Competition, 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 & retailers including CADET, Libertine, Lily Pulitzer, Ralph Lauren, Timo Weiland, and Bloomingdale’s to name a few. Many have started their own successful design line and been featured in major print and online publications including VOGUE, Vogue.com, Elle.com, Sports Illustrated, Marie Claire, 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, and WWD. 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.

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 worldwide campaign featuring Lectra's technol¬ogy. 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.

#18. WHAT PRESS COVERAGE DOES CHARLESTON FASHION WEEK® TYPICALLY RECEIVE?

Charleston Fashion Week® 2017 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 115 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 on the Charleston Fashion Week® website.

#19. IF SELECTED AS THE EMERGING DESIGNER WINNER, WHAT DOES THE PRIZE INCLUDE?

One (1) Emerging Fashion Designer will be named the Grand Prize Winner to be selected by the Fashion Panel of judges. The Grand Prize Package is expected to include:

  • $10,000 cash prize;
  • Runway show as a Featured Designer at Charleston Fashion Week® 2019
  • $10,000 website or search engine marketing package from F22 Internet Solutions
  • Mentoring opportunity with an industry leader
  • Private lunch with an industry leader
  • Display of collection at Charleston Fashion Week® 2019

In addition, Emerging Fashion Designers qualify for the nightly People's Choice Award. One (1) designer each night Tuesday, March 13 – Thursday, March 16 and on Saturday, March 17 will have a chance to win a $250 gift card.

One (1) Emerging Accessory Designer Winner to be selected as the Top Emerging Accessory Designer to receive a Prize. The Prize Package is expected to include:

  • $500 cash prize;
  • Opportunity to host a trunk show at a Charleston Venue;
  • Featured Accessory Designer display at Charleston Fashion Week® 2019

Additional prizing may be announced at a later date. All Prizes subject to change.

#20. DURING WHAT TIME FRAME MUST THE WINNER(S) REDEEM HIS/HER PRIZE?

All cash prizes awarded at a date determined by Charleston Fashion Week®. Featured Designer show details disclosed in Fall/Winter 2018. F22 Internet Solutions website or search engine marketing package completed/used within one year of the date awarded. Mentoring and lunch to take place within six months to the date the Emerging Fashion Designer was awarded the prize. Final timing to be approved and must be scheduled in advance. CFW to facilitate.

#21. CAN I ENTER THE EMERGING DESIGNER COMPETITION CONTEST IN SUBSEQUENT SEASONS?

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 again.

#22. IF I AM EXPERIENCING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES UPLOADING IMAGES OR SUBMITTING MY APPLICATION, WHO DO I CONTACT?

Contact CFW via e-mail at robert@charlestonmag.com

#23. RULES AND REGULATIONS

PLEASE READ THE RULES AND REGULATIONS HERE