I came back from Charleston, SC two weeks ago, where I was working backstage during Charleston Fashion Week. This was my second year experiencing Charleston Fashion Week but last year I was just an attendee as opposed to the crazy mad-woman backstage screaming at everyone.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Charleston Fashion Week, this was its 5th year anniversary of production and despite by personal ties with Charleston (I interned for the Style Director of Charleston Magazine, which puts on Charleston Fashion Week, for 4 months one summer), its fashion week is actually very impressive, with notable participants and judges such as Fern Mallis; designer, Mychael Knight of Project Runway; Derek Blasberg; CEO and Co-Founder of Gilt Groupe, Alexis Maybank; Anne Slowey, and more. Every year they have an Emerging Designer Competition and a Rock the Runway Model Competition where prizes range from monetary values, publicity and photo shoots/key exposure.
By working backstage I got to meet all the models and designers/emerging designers, which was an amazing experience. The winner of this year's Emerging Designer Competition was Charlotte Hess, a Philadelphia based designer who has put in time designing for Urban Outfitters Inc., which embodies Urban Outfitters, Free People and Anthrolpologie. This year they opened up the contest to the entire east coast, as opposed to the southeast region, like they did in the past.
Here's a video from night 4 of fashion week, which is the night Charlotte showed her collection (before she won Saturday night). The video starts off with Ayoka Lucas, Style Editor of Charleston Magazine and Creative Director of Charleston Fashion Week (my former boss), with Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week.