It's Chattanooga Fashion Week! Really—don’t laugh. We know, we know. Is there a Southern city of equal size more not known for fashion than Chattanooga? Is our idea of dressing to impress not the rumpled, stained T-shirt we ordinarily wear to work? But that’s changing (although not at The Pulse), thanks to some new and noteworthy young designers, stylish boutiques and an entrepreneurial organizer.
Jaime Hatcher Hemsley, owner of the modeling agency Gage Talent Knoxville, launched Knoxville Fashion Week earlier this year, and smaller cities across America are launching their own fashion week events, so why not? Hemsley had the same idea and brought it here.
The focus is, of course, bringing attention to Chattanooga designers, models and businesses, so Warehouse Row was a natural forum for the show, which kicks off this week on Wednesday, Aug. 22, for a four-day run highlighting such young design talent as Brandon Carruth and Madison Waldrop (both profiled in this State of the Arts edition of The Pulse). On Thursday, the spotlight is on Fashion Row, featuring the fashion-based businesses of Warehouse Row. On Friday, it’s swimwear and a menswear show. On Saturday, pop-up shops, three runway shows and cocktails cap off the week.
Of course, Hemsley can’t expect to turn Chattanooga into a fashion locale over the course of a few days, but if she can move the needle even a smidgen toward that goal, that’s a fashion move forward.