[Spotlight] Winston-Salem Fashion Week
Nikita Wallace, the founder of Winston-Salem Fashion Week, said this year’s event would be much different from prior years because of expansion and new partnerships. Wallace said the festivities would kick off on Friday, Sept. 20, 6:30 p.m. at the Winston Cup Museum, 1355 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. The headliner partner, Champion, will present three emerging artists at 7 p.m. for the Bailey Power Plant Coal Pit Urban Street Designer Showcase, located at 445 Patterson Ave.
Wallace said there are 13 designers this year and over 80 models. WSFW is also partnering with SECCA, which just opened a Fashion in Winston-Salem exhibit on Sept. 12 that will run until Oct. 6. Although the opening night reception is on Friday, there is an access center panel discussion happening on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 486 Patterson Ave. Ste. 21, starting at 6 p.m. The LEAD Girls of N.C. will be presenting their looks from their six-week fashion program at the opening night reception as well.
“I am really excited about partnering with SECCA as well as Champion coming on and just being the headliner,” Wallace said. “I really wanted to do an Urban Street Style category, and we are very excited to do that this year and highlight young designers who are into street style.”
Wallace said the City of Winston-Salem and its representatives are very supportive of WSFW. Mayor Allen Joines, Councilwoman D.D. Adams, and Councilwoman Annette Scippio are among some of the local celebrities that will appear at WSFW this weekend.
“I am excited to see that the city is embracing it and are more open and receptive to the wonderful possibilities fashion could bring to the city,” Wallace said. “Showing the fashion aspect of each [individual], I think it has made a big impact, and I see a bigger impact as we go.”
Wallace said some of the designers presenting work are Nannette Davis, who works with various metals and focuses on statement pieces. Wallace said Davis just returned from showing her work at New York Fashion Week, and one piece, in particular, stuck out to Wallace.
“She has this one piece where it drips down her back like a waterfall; it cascades down the back; she makes these by hand using metal pieces,” Wallace said. “Just the little sneak peeks that I have seen are phenomenal,” Wallace added, noting the other designers’ works.
Other designers include Swynette Stone, who presently has her unique hat design on display at SECCA; 16-year-old Ariona Brewster, who will be presenting her first full collection; and DoGoodArtist Iris Cole returning and collaborating with Carol Reeve on a collection called “SHEtali.”
“We have already established that we have great visual and performing arts here, and just think about fashion in the midst,” Wallace said. “I think it is carrying out the City of Arts and Innovation initiative. I see it impacting college students that are graduating. Instead of leaving the city, I think it will be an opportunity to create jobs so that they can stay. It is also an opportunity for the City of Winston-Salem to become a tourist destination.”
On Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. at Corpening Plaza, located at 231 1st St. W., WSFW will be present at the International Village Food and Music Festival. Then on Saturday evening, starting at 6:30 p.m., is the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter Designer Showcase, located at 575 Patterson Ave. On Sunday, WSFW will come to a close with the retail and boutique showcase starting at 5:30 p.m. at the same location.
Sponsors for WSFW include JCPenny, Winston-Salem Chamber, SECCA, Dewey’s Bakery, Champion, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, Once Logix, Winston Cup Museum Special Events Center, Royalty Marketing, HanesBrands Inc., Goodwill of Northwest North Carolina, Hanes Mall and YES! Weekly.
For more information, visit the website.