All dressed up and somewhere to go

A newcomer to Music City's growing slate of entertainment this spring, Lexus Nashville Fashion Week is designed to draw attention to local, regional and national talent in the fashion and retail industries.

For the inaugural edition of the event, a series of runaway shows, educational workshops and panel discussions are planned to put the focus squarely on one of the city's key cultural sectors.

"This would never happen right now if it weren't for everything (in fashion) that had come before," says Cindy Wall of Nashville Fashion Week. "Nashville has always been fashion conscious, even dating back to the early Grand Ole Opry. Right now we're a city that has the perfect equation of old and the new, people who have lived here forever and are Southern born and bred, and a great infusion of people from other places in the world."

According to Wall, the sprawling five-day event likely wouldn't have gotten off the ground without financial assistance from lead sponsors Lexus and Green Hills Mall.

"In Lexus, we had a company that was generous and brave enough to step forward as a lead sponsor," she says. "We can talk all we want to about the right time to make this happen, and you can have the best ideas in the world with lots of volunteer involvement, but it's nothing without that last push. With any creative endeavor, it's not the vision of one person but it's how everybody can come together to make something that's fantastic and beautiful and moving."

Famed venues such as the downtown Arcade, War Memorial Auditorium and East Nashville's Crystal Fountain Church will serve as host sites for the week's runway shows. Even for lifelong residents of the city, these historic locations are sure to be viewed in a different light.

"These places are interesting and creative and distinctly Nashville," Wall says. "They're so representative of the spirits and styles of this city. These places will be presented in ways that Nashvillians have never seen before. People will be surprised and moved and delighted at this transformation."

Individual tickets are now available for $50-75 on the event website. Attendees can also purchase all access passes for reserved seating and entry to nightly after-parties.

Ticket proceeds from Lexus Nashville Fashion Week benefit the newly established Nashville Fashion Forward Fund (handled by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee). The Nashville Fashion Forward Fund will be awarded annually to local talent who have demonstrated expertise in a fashion-related field.

"In raising money for this fund, we help support creative people at a point in their careers when they're ready to move to the next level," Wall says. "That's an element that distinguishes Nashville Fashion Week. You have to keep in mind that (the fashion industry) is a real economic driver in our city. We are celebrating entrepreneurs who make this city healthier and better."    

Nashville Fashion Week is founded and directed by Creative Co-op Nashville LLC, a collaboration of fashion, retail and media professionals who have partnered to combine resources and passion to create an event that spotlights Nashville’s growing fashion industry.

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