Every year, emerging designer semifinalists take over the runway each night leading up to the Charleston Fashion Week Finale Night, when a winner is named — Photo courtesy of Joseph Nienstedt / Charleston Fashion Week
Within minutes of arriving downtown, you'll find yourself thinking that Charleston, S.C., must certainly be the most fashionable city in the South. Everywhere you turn, you'll find fashion and shopping at the focus of this fun-loving yet gracious small city, with picturesque King Street as its stylish epicenter.
The most anticipated fashion event of the Charleston calendar is the annual Charleston Fashion Week, scheduled in 2015 for Tuesday, March 17, through Saturday, March 21.
Charleston Fashion Week serves as a "pathway to New York" for many aspiring models and designers, gaining more national attention with each annual event. Since its inception in 2007, Charleston Fashion Week has seen numerous designer and model success stories, and this community promotion remains as the event's core mission.
Bright colors, florals and patterns abound, adorned by both models and spectators at the Charleston Fashion Week — Photo courtesy of Joseph Nienstedt / Charleston Fashion Week
Each year, fashion-lovers return to Marion Square to celebrate both local and national designer collections, with over 7,500 guests in attendance over the course of the five-night event. Style-savvy ticket-holders can expect to see over 200 models adorned with the designer duds of 20 emerging designers and seven featured designers throughout more than 40 runway shows.
Historic Marion Square acts as the perfect backdrop to a fashion week that ignites the local style scene, bringing even more color and flair than usual to the city of Charleston.
Kicking off Charleston Fashion Week 2015 will be the annual Raise the Runway fashion show and luncheon, benefiting the Medical University of South Carolina's Children's Hospital. The lunchtime event will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., featuring clothing by Gwynn's of Mount Pleasant and food from Halls Chophouse.
A donation of $125 per seat or $1,250 per table is requested for entry.
Behind the lens: Charleston Fashion Week photographers await the next runway show — Photo courtesy of Joseph Nienstedt / Charleston Fashion Week
During The 2015 Baker Motor Company Charleston Fashion Week, Marion Square will be transformed into an elegant, tented soiree. Within the park grounds, attendees can browse, shop and sip their way through the Style Lounge, checking out local goods before or after the runway show.
The Belk Tent will also be a constant event fixture, featuring items from designer Trina Turk and the Belk Spring 2015 collection.
Of course, the Runway Tent will be where all the magic happens, with South Carolina's fashion-forward lining the rows to see what's in store for the upcoming season.
A Charleston Fashion Week model struts her stuff in a bold emerging designer's newest collection — Photo courtesy of Joseph Nienstedt / Charleston Fashion Week
Each evening from Tuesday to Friday, Emerging Designer semifinalists will work their magic on the runway, competing to be crowned the 2015 Emerging Designer of the Year during Saturday's finale show.
This year, Charleston Fashion Week will also showcase nightly Featured Designer collections from Anna Toth (2014 Emerging Designer Winner), PLANTE, HARBISON, Belk featuring Trina Turk, Todd Snyder New York, Amsale and Carlos Campos NYC.
Friday brings the Rock the Runway event, a consistent crowd favorite. All participating Fashion Week models have been competing for a Grand Prize that includes mentorship from Karen Lee Grybowski, an international model scout, along with $1,000 cash and more! The Rock the Runway male and female champions are announced Friday evening.
Models showcase a featured designer's collection on the Charleston Fashion Week runway — Photo courtesy of Joseph Nienstedt / Charleston Fashion Week
Tickets for Charleston Fashion Week range from $45 to $80 Tuesday through Thursday; $85 to $130 for Friday; and $90 to $155 for the Saturday evening finale. Saturday's Spring Bridal Show tickets cost $55 to $75.
Two weekly ticket packages are available for dedicated fashion devotees: the Charleston Fashion Stars package – featuring front row seating to all runway shows at $1,100 – or the Charleston Glam package, with second row seating for $800. Both packages include nightly access to the Gwynn's VIP Lounge, a luxe swag bag and backstage passes.
Check out the Charleston Fashion Week app for live streaming of the Saturday Finale and to vote for your favorite Emerging Designer for the People's Choice Award! For the full 2015 schedule or to purchase tickets, visit the Charleston Fashion Week website.