NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 31, 2018) – Nashville Fashion Week, the region’s longest-running fashion industry event, announced the first details of its 2018 programming and its 2017 Nashville Fashion Forward Fund recipient to a sold-out crowd at last night’s Kickoff Party at Noelle. All four Nashville Fashion Week runway shows will take place in one location for the first time ever at OZ Arts Nashville on Tuesday, April 3 through Saturday, April 7.
“Our mission has always been to educate local and national audiences about Nashville’s thriving fashion industry,” said Nashville Fashion Week managing partners/co-founders Connie Cathcart-Richardson and Marcia Masulla. “For over eight years, Nashville Fashion Week and the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund have helped raise awareness of Nashville’s vast creative talent by showcasing over 109 designers and hundreds of local businesses with an investment of over $750,000 in the local fashion community. We look forward to fostering Nashville’s fashion-forward and entrepreneurial talent for many years to come with this volunteer led and run event.”
Designer Maria Silver has been named the 2017 Nashville Fashion Forward Fund recipient. A committee from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee selected Silver from a group of experienced fashion industry applicants with ties to Middle Tennessee. Silver is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York with a bachelor of fine arts in women’s contemporary clothing and costume design. Before founding her fashion line Black by Maria Silver in 2011, Silver worked in various costume design positions on Broadway, then moved to Los Angeles as a design assistant, as well as toured with the cult rock band The Ettes. Black by Maria Silver has been featured in Nylon, Bust, Refinery 29, Elle, and others. More recently, Silver designed for the critically acclaimed Nashville Ballet production 7 Deadly Sins, and in 2017, opened her first storefront in East Nashville. This will be her fifth year showing at Nashville Fashion Week.
“I couldn’t be more honored to receive the Fashion Forward Fund award from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Nashville Fashion Week,” said Sliver. “The continued support from the Nashville community has been key to my growth. With this award, I hope to explore new ways to improve both my e-commerce presence and brick and mortar storefront, with the end-goal to integrate both in an innovative manner. I believe is the future of our craft and art.”
The Nashville Fashion Forward Fund is an endowed fund that supports the next generation of fashion industry professionals with ties to Middle Tennessee by providing an annual financial award and resources for experiential professional development opportunities. Established in 2011 by the co-founders of Nashville Fashion Week, the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund is a component fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. All proceeds from Nashville Fashion Week benefit the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund.
Nashville Fashion Week announced local and emerging designers with additional announcements to follow for two additional nights of runway. Six established local designers will have the opportunity to showcase their most recent collections again at the Nashville Designer Showcase on Tuesday, April 3 at opening night of Nashville Fashion Week:
- Any Old Iron
- Black by Maria Silver
- Lily Guilder
- Ola Mai
- Ona Rex
- Truly Avarenga
The Emerging Designer Showcase on Friday, April 6 will include ten designers from across the country. These designers were selected from hundreds of applications submitted through the emerging designer application process this year.
- Amanda Casarez (Stafford, VA)
- Andrew Gallivan (Brooklyn, NY)
- Ariel, Inc. (Atlanta, GA)
- Barbara Bultman Designs (St. Louis, MO)
- Eileen Kelly (Nashville, TN)
- Justin Mark Richards (Nashville, TN)
- Laura Citron (Nashville, TN)
- Shea Steele (Brooklyn, NY)
- Splashed by DKG (Birmingham, AL)
- Yellowcake Shop (Cleveland, OH)
“We are delighted to showcase Nashville’s leading designers with new designers discovered through our emerging designer application process,” said Richardson and Masulla. “The quality and number of emerging designer applications we receive continues to grow each year as does the community support for our local designers. It’s so rewarding to watch these designers grow from year to year.”
All four Nashville Fashion Week runway shows will take place in one location for the first time ever in collaboration with OZ Arts Nashville on Tuesday, April 3 through Saturday, April 7.
The 2018 AMAX Talent + Nashville Fashion Week Model Search finalists selected from thousands of applicants were also announced. They include:
- Francesca Désir
- Aubrey Hill
- Lily Merhoff
- Vienna Rovenstine
- Alyssa Taylor
The winner will be awarded a $1,000 modeling contract with AMAX Talent, the opportunity to meet one-on-one with top national modeling agents including IMG, Next, Elite and Ford, a professional photo shoot with fashion photographer/2016 Nashville Fashion Forward Fund recipient Brett Warren, and the opportunity to walk the Nashville Fashion Week runway. The AMAX Talent + Nashville Fashion Week Model Search has been a launch pad for many successful modeling careers since 2012.
“We had a remarkable group of applicants this year and are excited to have the opportunity to work with Nashville Fashion Week to find and develop unique and diverse models with high fashion potential from the Nashville area for the global marketplace,” said Ginny Maxwell, Director of Scouting & Development at AMAX Talent.
Tickets for Tuesday, Friday and the Elevated Access Pass are now available to purchase on the Nashville Fashion Week website. Prices range from $50/$75 for standing tickets, $75/$100 seated tickets, and $350 for the ELEVATED Access Pass. All proceeds benefit the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
For more information on Nashville Fashion Week, schedule updates, and to purchase tickets, visit www.nashvillefashionweek.com.
ABOUT NASHVILLE FASHION WEEK
Nashville Fashion Week is a city-wide celebration of Nashville’s thriving fashion and retail community and its vast array of creative talent. Featuring local, regional and national designers and industry professionals in an array of creative events throughout the week encourages both Nashvillians and visitors to explore the city’s diverse fashion and retail spaces throughout the week with promotions, partnerships and educational workshops. NFW is founded and directed by a collaboration of fashion, retail and media professionals who have combined their passion and resources to create a completely volunteer-led and run event spotlighting Nashville’s growing fashion community with a sustainable focus for philanthropic support of the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
THE NASHVILLE FASHION FORWARD FUND
The Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is an endowed fund that receives proceeds from Nashville Fashion Week each year. The establishment of the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund was inspired by the professional development provided by the Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA) through programs such as the CFDA/VOGUE Fashion Fund. The Nashville Fashion Forward Fund ensures that Nashville Fashion Week is not just a signature high-profile event to celebrate creativity, but also an ongoing, sustainable focus for philanthropic support.