New Orleans Fashion Week to act as focal point for Southern fashion

Featuring designers, models and a host of events, the New Orleans Fashion Week runs from Mar. 18-24.

Emilie Eliopoulos | Staff Artist

Featuring designers, models and a host of events, the New Orleans Fashion Week runs from Mar. 18-24.

While New Orleans might be better known for its music, food and art, New Orleans Fashion Week has been expanding the city’s fashion scene since 2011. NOFW 2017 will feature more than 30 designers from the Gulf Coast region from Saturday to March 24.

Since NOFW 2016, the event has focused less on displaying boutique clothing and more on showcasing the works of designers from the South, working to become a platform for designers to highlight their creations in New Orleans’ thriving domain of fashion.

The official kickoff party takes place Saturday at W New Orleans, starting NOFW 2017 with an entertaining but still très chic, first event. Sunday marks the Kid’s Runway Day at Fulton Street Square, featuring works by local children’s fashion designers.

The W New Orleans and NOFW will present “What She Said,” a conversation with a “fashion and design female power panel” on Tuesday. Moderated by NOFW founder Tracee Dundas, the panel will include fashion influencer and local boutique owner Hattie Collins Moll, actress and film producer Shanna Forrestall and jewelry designer Raegan Charleston.

The Top Design Competition will feature 11 designers who come from a variety of design backgrounds, from menswear to professional modeling. Taking place on Wednesday at the Civic Theatre, the competition will showcase a new generation of southern designers who stand to win a prize package, along with the titles of Top Designer and Yelp People’s Choice Awardee. Judges David Leslie Anthony of ART+DESIGN Magazine, Lisa Barona McRoberts of Louisiana State University and Claire Massey of Lakeside Shopping Center will help make the final decision.

More than 50 runway shows will span over the final two days of the event at the Civic Theatre. The featured designers, as well as numerous models, stylists and other artists, will be able to flaunt their talents on the runway.

Friday at the Lakeside Shopping Center is Career Day, offering internships and skill-building opportunities to students interested in pursuing careers in fashion. Attendees will also hear from several industry professionals, including designer Brik Allen, who won the Top Design Competition at NOFW 2016 and competed on “Project Runway.”

New Orleans’ creative spirit and frenetic energy make it the perfect meeting point for all Southern fashionistas and beauty lovers. Come Saturday, NOFW 2017 is sure to bring an array of artistic talents to a city that feeds off innovation and individuality.

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