Ever since the announcement of Kelly Cutrone speaking at Lexus Nashville Fashion Week, we've been anxiously awaiting the list of designers who will show their collections during the five nights of runway shows. This was definitely worth the wait and here's the thing...this isn't everyone.
- Akiko by Akiko Cook — A collection inspired by art, vintage prints and embroideries, Akiko has become a favorite with celebrities such as Christina Aguilera, Selena Gomez, Tori Spelling, Amanda Bynes and Ashley Tisdale and is sold in over 200 specialty boutiques and department stores. Presented by Posh Boutique.
- Ben Sherman — The first company to produce the famous Oxford button-down shirt and the fourth largest men’s casual wear in the U.K., Ben Sherman’s design feature effortless cool, with the roundel and colors of the British Royal AirForce. The line now also includes belts, bags, footwear and sunglasses. Presented by Posh Boutique.
- Betsey Johnson — Betsey Johnson has built her long-standing career in fashion by following her own set of rules. Known for her celebration of the exuberant, the embellished, and the over the top, Betsey has been rocking the fashion industry with her unique and original designs since the 1960s.
- Cooper by Courtney Warren — Warren has said it is her goal to “create a dress line that makes all women feel sexy and beautiful.” She named all the pieces in the line after her friends and family, a tribute to their support for her work. Presented by Posh Boutique.
- Gado Gado by Belinda Kazanci — Gado Gado garments are hand-made in Bali, using traditional methods of dyeing and printing and embellished and tailored by local crafts people in their villages. Designs are one-of-a-kind, using traditional Batik motifs, altered to find an innovative balance between Eastern and Western cultures. Presented by Posh Boutique.
- Gustavo Cadile — Cadile’s designs are a collection of late day and evening gowns which combine the spirit of Argentine glamour with European sensibility and American style. Celebrities and fashion personalities such as Catherine Zeta Jones, Reese Witherspoon, Queen Latifah, January Jones and Vanessa Williams are wearing his clothes. Presented by Gus Mayer.
- Julianna Bass — Each of Bass's collections have been notably inspired by the past. Various eras have always been intriguing to the designer and have led her to explore the edge of romanticism. Julianna was selected as a designer to watch by both Women's Wear Daily and New York Magazine.
- Katharine Kidd — Striking a balance between the era of 40s and 50s glamour with today’s sophisticated female, Kidd’s designs capture a feminine aesthetic that exudes both old-world chic and modern day freshness. Presented by Gus Mayer.
- Kevork Kiledjian—Kiledjian was born into the world of art and design with a mother inspired by architecture and a father who worked as a couturier for Lanvin. Kiledjian’s latest line maintains the designer’s sensuous, refined aesthetic, infusing the luxurious garments with beauty and strength.
- Leona Collection by Lauren Leonard — Sold at more than 100 retailers around the world, Leona Collection was described by Elle magazine as “whimsically youthful with a pinch of Southern sophistication.”
- Loretta Jane by Kelli Cooper — Loretta Jane is a burgeoning ready-to-wear line emphasizing quality fabrics for a customer with both a playful spirit and a sophisticated eye for fashion. Presented by Hemline Nashville.
- Norma Clare by Anna Redmon — Redmon named her line after her grandmother, and her designs are inspired by vintage looks the original Norma would have loved. The fabrics she chooses often inspire her garments, and she often chooses cloth of a heavier weight and drape, with finished products distinguished by clean lines and shapes.
- Robert Graham — The Robert Graham brand, for both men and women, is characterized by impeccable quality, exquisite detailing, and a wry, subtle wink of British-inspired humor. It's an attitude that carries through to the "Knowledge Wisdom Truth" label integrated discreetly into every garment. Presented by Levy's.
- Steven OO by Steven Oo — Oo debuted his collection as an MFA student at Bryant Park during Fall/Winter 2010 New York Fashion Week as part of the Academy of Art University. He specializes in intricate and structural knits and brings an unconventional approach to traditional knitting. Presented by Project Artisan.
- Sylvia Heisel — Heisel’s clothes embody both classic luxury and high-style global modernism. Sumptuous raw silks in her line, often in acid colors, align with vintage upholstery fabrics, startlingly futuristic textures and ornaments, and other surprises. Presented by Project Artisan. Carried by Jamie.
- Union of Angels by Cynthia Bapst — Bapst is an international clothing designer whose designs have been seen in numerous publications and runways. Her spring collection is sold in St. Barth, and she is working with well-known record labels in Nashville to dress their artists. Her future project is production of a television series called "Style in the City.” Presented by Stacy Rhodes Boutique.
What do you think? Pretty great, right? There will be more national, regional and local designers announced very soon along with show locations and times. Your best bet...buy the week-long pass! It's the best deal to take part in all five nights and if you buy before March 14, you can get your pass for $200 (Insider Access Pass is $350). After March 14, the price goes up to $250.
See you at the shows!