CMAs, CMTs, Americana Music Honors & Awards, NATAS Regional Emmys, CNM Excellence Awards, NTCs, WILLCOs, Stars of Industry, Impact Awards—Nashville has lots of awards. All call out important players in our region and the performances that keep us moving forward.
Now a new one honoring the region’s fashion industry, the largest concentration of fashion companies per capita outside of New York and Los Angeles, with the public invited to help select the Emerging Talent Award.
The new NFA (Nashville Fashion Alliance) Honors will focus on “Art and Commerce: Tradition and Transformation” because that is the magic of of our region’s creative industries. They blend creativity that is in our frontier-town DNA with business savvy that was bred by being a hub for America’s goods and services. We make it new but keep it real. That’s Nashville. And it is Nashville fashion.
With luminaries large and small making, selling, and promoting fashion in the area, the time is right to recognize the rich array that we have in Middle Tennessee, from Justin Timberlake’s William Rast brand and Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James to niche designers like bespoke tie and hat virtuosoa Otis James and leather genius Savannah Yarborough to the rising and emerging design stars like Jamie and the Jones and Ona Rex to outrageously gifted merchants like Elizabeth Suzann and Two Sons to those big-name designers in our region like Natalie Chanin and Billy Reid and big-name brands like Wrangler and Johnston & Murphy. Even Predator superstar P.K. Subban rocks his own clothing line with a hockey player logo.
The New York Times has already done its shout out to Nashville as the American Paris of fashion or, as I like to say, the American Frontier Paris because we have a strong artisanal streak and a passion for trailblazing. Like the sabre tooth tigers that called Nashville home, it’s time for us to stand proud and roar. We will show the world and ourselves what is going on all around here in one of the most creative of creative economies in the country.
The NFA plans to do just that on November 16, 2017, at Marathon Music Works in Nashville in an evening that will highlight fashion’s contribution to the creative economy and (of course) feature great Nashville music and great local food.
As you might expect in Nashville, cotton is a title sponsor, in the form of Bayer’s CropScience’s e3 sustainable cotton program. And table sponsors already include groups who see where Nashville fashion is going, like IMG/WME, global leaders in sports, entertainment and fashion, and Ritholz Levy Fields LLP, which recently expanded its media, entertainment, fashion law practice to Nashville.
Media sponsors include Native, Nashville Arts, nFocus, Style Blueprint, Emma, and The Callaway. Hospitality sponsors include Tavola, the 12th Table, The Farmer’s Florist, New Hat Projects, and Jackalope Brewing Company.
So what awards is the NFA handing out?
Emerging Talent Award (NOMINATED AND VOTED ON BY THE PUBLIC) goes to an individual whose brand has been in business for less than five years, has produced at least one collection or product line, and shows exceptional promise.
Womenswear Designer of the Year Award (Nominated and Voted on by the Peers) goes to a womenswear designer/brand that has been in business for at least two years, has an ecommerce website, has at least one full collection or product line and shows exceptional growth and promise.
Menswear Designer of the Year Award (Nominated and Voted on by the Peers) goes to a menswear designer/brand that has been in business for at least two years, has an ecommerce website, has at least one full collection or product line and shows exceptional growth and promise.
Accessory Designer of the Year Award (Nominated and Voted on by the Peers) goes to an accessory designer/brand that has been in business for at least two years, has an ecommerce website, has at least one full collection or product line and shows exceptional growth and promise.
The NFA Fashion Insider Award (Nominated and Voted on by the Peers) goes to a talented and dedicated industry leader who embodies our creative community and whose work has had a positive impact on our regional fashion community through advocacy, working sustainably and/or innovating local fashion and design.
The NFA Triple Bottom Line Award (Nominated and Voted on by the Peers) goes to an individual/designer/brand that elevates the regional fashion community by focusing on people, planet and profit.
In addition, two special honors will be presented:
The NFA Art and Commerce Award recognizes a regional leader whose work embodies the spirit of cooperation among Nashville’s fashion, music, food, and business industries and had positive impact on the symbiotic relationship between the arts and commerce within our regional community.
The NFA Influencer Award recognizes an individual who serves as an advocate for local and sustainable design and embodies what the NFA stands for by acting as a tireless advocate for the local fashion industry and early stage fashion businesses.
How can you get involved?
All members of the public are eligible to nominate and vote on The Emerging Talent Award, which will be conducted via a link on the NFA website. Nominations close on September 12th and voting begins on September 19th.
If you are in the business of fashion in any way shape or form, join the NFA and become a peer voter. Or join for the evening wearing your favorite local designer. Tickets go on sale September 12th.
About Dr. David Rosen