Asheville designer to show in Lexus Charleston Fashion Week

Press release from Touchpoint Communications:

Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® (#LexusCFW), one of the nation’s leading fashion events, is proud to announce its top Emerging Designer Semifinalists for the March 14 – 18, 2017 competition and runway shows.

The Fashion Panel jury of judges selected the top 16 designers from an overwhelmingly talented pool of applicants from across the country. Each sought the coveted opportunity to showcase their collection on a nationally recognized runway presented before leading fashion insiders, tastemakers, and more than 1,000 guests each night. The Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® 2017 Emerging Designer Competition top Emerging Designer Semifinalists chosen to debut their collections are:


Adrienne Yunger                     San Antonio, Texas

Allyson Ansusinha                 Asheville, North Carolina

Amanda Casarez                     Stafford, Virginia

Andrew Clancey                     Nashville, Tennessee

Anna Catherine Dickens         Louisburg, North Carolina

Duo: Christy Hughes &

Sarah Elizabeth Morookian    Hartford, Connecticut

Jesse Thaxton                         Granbury, Texas

Joseph McRae                         Raleigh, North Carolina

Kathryn Hayes                        Savannah, Georgia

Nadine Ralliford                     Stone Mountain, Georgia

Quinan Dalton                         Raleigh, North Carolina

Rachel Lichtenwalner             Springfield, Virginia

Rafie Khoshbin                       Sterling, Virginia

Veronica Ramirez                    Sharpsburg, Georgia

Victoria Cullinan Strayhorn    Charlotte, North Carolina

Viviane Hamilton                    Stone Mountain, Georgia

The 2017 Emerging Designer Grand Prize Winner, selected by a Fashion Panel of judges at the end of the week, 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 2017

– Opportunity to intern for a well-known designer during New York Fashion Week in Fall 2017

– Featured Designer runway show on opening night of Charleston Fashion Week® 2018


“We are very excited to collaborate with Charleston Fashion Week by awarding a new prize of automatic admission to our Belk Southern Designer Showcase,” said Cyndie Washburn-Nester, Vice President of Fashion & Trend. “The winner will participate in a year-long product development experience learning the ins and outs of what it takes to develop and ship product to Belk stores and in spring 2018.”


The 2017 Belk Prize winner, selected by a Fashion Panel of judges, will receive a prize package including the following:

– $2,500 cash prize

– Winner’s merchandise will be carried in select Belk stores and on in Spring 2018.

– Special Guest during the Southern Designer Showcase presentation day at Belk corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 29, 2017.

– Mentoring meetings with buying, planning, e-commerce, and compliance teams.


The five-night event, which takes place in Marion Square in downtown Charleston, showcases collections from nationally renowned featured designer runway shows, glamorous on-site, multi-media entertainment areas including the Belk Tent and shopping in the Style Lounge, hip after-parties and much more.

The Emerging Designer Competition began ten 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 VOGUE, Marie Claire, ELLE, Women’s Wear Daily and on, 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



About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist.

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