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appatone

Fashion in Charlotte

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OK, I know it may sound like a stretch but hear me out. I have been reading all of the post around here lately about designer fashion and the industry itself. Our resident fashionista, girly, got me to thinking and I have added in a few thoughts of my own on the subject. To start, I think it only takes some small efforts and seed planting at times to transform something your city is known for.

My observations are that:

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I'm somewhat intruiged by the idea.

Just a few thoughts.

1. It would have to be an intown mill.

2. I'm not sure that in general people in Charlotte crave non-brand name clothing.

3. I'm not sure that the population is big enough here to support it.

4. Certainly the key would be to produce "hip" clothing.

5. Would "Charlotte designed" clothing have appeal beyond NC & SC?

I think it is a viable idea if the city could be convinced of the potential. Securing some sort of tax-credits on a reused mill, plus other incentives are essential. There may be some investors who could see the potential, but it will take someone with deep pockets and patience.

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The concept of a 'fashion district' in Charlotte is an intriguing one.  I wonder if any designers would take a chance on it?

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I'm not talking about established designers like Dior or Prada at all. They can stay in SouthPark. I'm talking about young, un-established upstarts looking to create a business or brand and turn into something like Lotus. Attracting random young design students and fashion entrepreneurs that show promise and linking them with an infrastructure to make their goals a reality. I think the question would be more along the lines of would we be willing to take a chance on them? But to answer your question, If I were a young fashion designer in my early twenties without any upstart money to launch my own line of clothing and a little uncertain about how to start my own line then YES I would take a chance on a program like this. It would be about helping to provide infrastructure and guidance to unknowns in order to have them eventually become knowns, and hopefully establish an (for lack of a better term) underground or guerrilla design district that would attract regional and national attention.

Altrvr, I think Charlotte could support this at first but as the district becomes more well known via advertisement, publicity, word of mouth etc. I would expect the district to attract tourists (possibly even a solid online patronage which is something else that can be worked on collectively) as well to support these boutiques. But I do think Charlotte, with the right pushes and shoves, could develop a certain culture that would easily support a fair amount of this retail. I still think a lot can be said for publicity and "buzz". Getting the neighborhoods name in the right publications as a hip district could be amazing. When this

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I think it's a great idea, however I feel that Charlotte's niche for fashion is to small at this point for it to make an immediate impact. Charlotte has the resources, but it would have to start out small and work it's way big.

This makes me wish the Art Institue of Charlotte would move Uptown, and sponsor Fashion shows for their Fashion Design students. They could even create there own Labels and store fronts. Kinda like what they have for their culinary department (Artisan) I think that would help advance this vision of yours.

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I'm not talking about established designers like Dior or Prada at all.  They can stay in SouthPark.  I'm talking about young, un-established upstarts looking to create a business or brand and turn into something like Lotus.  Attracting random young design students and fashion entrepreneurs that show promise and linking them with an infrastructure to make their goals a reality. 

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You're reading me wrong, appatone. I agree that a district of young fashion talent seperate from the more established boutiques in SouthPark would be an interesting and excellent idea. For one thing a local crop of designers would contribute more to the quality of life here and the economy.

I'm a SouthPark fan, as is obvious from my dozens of previous posts, but there is life beyond the intersection of Sharon and Fairview.

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As a college student/aspiring fashion designer...I think this concept would be great for the Charlotte Area - something new, fresh, & innovative that features a wide range of young designers showcasing their fashions. The resources and talent pool for this sorta thing is definitely here locally & statewide.....it just needs to be push'd by some big corporations who have faith in the "big picture."

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I think you have a very good idea. However, there are a few changes I would make. First, building Charlotte into fashion hub would have to come from within the fashion community. It would be better for the city to support their efforts and ideas rather than starting programs of its own. One thing the city can do is build a state-of-the-art apparel mart. A place where designers, manufacturers and buyers can meet. The apparel marts in Atlanta and Dallas have been very successful. In fact, most retailers I know make regular visits to both apparel marts. In the south, we tend to lack the showrooms or even the showroom "style" of cities like NYC and Paris. It's easier for a designer to hold a show and viewing of their line. An apparel mart would be the best way for the city to show its support.

Charlotte's fashion community lacks organization and cohesiveness. Too many retailers don't want to support local designers, preferring to sell more established brands. The local media doesn't give them much of an outlet either. BUT... There are people in Charlotte who care. The trick is getting those people together to make this happen. Atlanta recently had "Atlanta Fashion Week" AKA http://www.styleatlanta.com/styleweek.htm. The point was to bring awareness to style in Atlanta. And from what I've read, it was a success. Charlotte could easily do something like that. Perhaps not on the same level, but it can be done. Start now and in a few years, people will know about it. But attracting other fashion types to the city? That can't be the work of government. People will view it as suspect. It has to be done by the fashion community already here. But the city should support their efforts. All your ideas can happen if we just mobilize Charlotte fashionistas. I'm trying to do my part, too. I've been working on a blog to highlight fashion in Charlotte. :)

Anyway, I think your ideas are great. Oh, IIRC Johnson & Wales has a fashion dept. too. I don't know if they teach design or just fashion merchandising, but they do offer fashion education Uptown. Hopefully, the students will have more of a presence in fashion circles here.

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Yea I think fasion is definally going to be a bigpart of charlottes growth along with music. I hope one day charlotte is known for fashoin and music to along with holding many HQs.

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