Fashion week panels get down to business on image, branding and marketing hustle 

Clothes Encounters

Clothes Encounters

The third annual Nashville Fashion Week runs April 2-6 at venues around town. Each day, fashionistas can take advantage of special offers and pop-up shops at different shopping districts around town, including The Mall at Green Hills, The Gulch, Berry Hill and Opry Mills.

But the real fun starts in the evenings, with all of the parties, dinners, and — of course — runway shows. Opening night highlights include the feminine, fun designs from Plenty by Tracy Reese and lines by Kal Rieman and Red Doll, who were favorites at NFW 2012. Wednesday night's show has lots of local power, with Black by Maria Silver and TUFT, which both showed at NFW 2012's Emerging Designer Showcase.

On Thursday, the runway shows will be held during the day at the Belmont Mansion, featuring Memeka by Gustavo Cadile and Modern Trousseau. On Friday night, check out local designer and NFW 2012 Fashion Fund winner Lauren Leonard's Leona collection, and stay for a luxe pop-up dinner immediately following the show. Saturday's closing show is the Emerging Designer Showcase, featuring an installation show hosted by Project Runway alum Mychael Knight. Stick around for the closing night party at Anthem, which is where all of the beautiful people will be, naturally.

Full details and ticket information is available at

Nashville Fashion Week also offers an educational component with panels that are open to ticket holders and to the general public for a $10 suggested donation. (Reserve a spot in advance at the NFW website.) All panels will take place on Wednesday, April 3, in the Emma Bistro at 9 Lea Ave.

The Business of Attire: How to Build a Fashion Brand

10 to 11:30 a.m.
Moderator: Sophie Simmons, designer, Thread/Dessous
David Perry, design/development/production specialist, The DSP Group
Robert Darwell, entertainment attorney, Sheppard Mullin
Lauren Leonard, designer, Leona, and the Nashville Fashion Fund 2012 winner
Cally Rieman, designer, Kal Rieman
Crissy Cassetty, retail recruiter, Nashville Downtown Partnership

Music City Retail Rocks! Selling Fashion in Nashville

1 to 3 p.m.
Moderator: Elizabeth Broyhill, veteran Nashville retailer/brand and media consultant)
Kayce Hughes, designer/boutique owner, Pears and Bears
Chelsea Eager, owner, Thompson Fifteen
Suzanne Sevier Rowland, founder, Sevier Skirts
Kathy Hadley, owner, Posh
Whitney Dunn, co-owner, The Perfect Pair

Look Sharp! Selling the Image

3 to 5 p.m.
Moderator: Libby Callaway, fashion writer/media consultant
Amanda Valentine, designer, Valentine Valentine, Project Runway contestant
Carrie Phillips, owner, Bismarck Phillips Communications (BPCM)
Lauren Zwanziger, Nashville-based Pinterest superstar and social media expert Alexis Borges, agency director, Next Model Management
Sally Lyndley, fashion/celebrity stylist and former contributor to Vogue and Love


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