Designers, models ready to strut their stuff during Charleston Fashion Week

By Nicole Johnson

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) –  For The fifth straight year clothing designers will show off their designs and models will strut their stuff down the runway for Charleston Fashion Week.

The red carpet has been rolled out for Charleston Fashion Week which has been called the "best regional event" by Folio's Fame Awards. The big event is helping the community in more ways than one.

As high-heeled fashionistas prepare to hit the runway for Charleston Fashion Week, local retailers see a business boom.

"I would get random emails and phone calls from local people. Hi I saw your things in a magazine, I'm interested in x, y, z, where can I see your things," said Anne Belen Designs owner Anne Hughes. "As far as drumming up business, it's really putting my name out there. It's been tremendous."

One of the goals of the five-day fashion celebration is to help grow the area's fashion and design community.

Charleston Magazine hosts Charleston Fashion Week along with dozens of local business and organization sponsors.

"This year we're going to have 45 runway shows and 16 emerging designers competing for the title," said Charleston Fashion Week director Misty Lister Johnson. "We have grown from 300 guests to 7,000."

Charleston Magazine estimates that the average attendee at the fashion tents will spend more than $200 each day they are in Charleston.

Last year, they say it was more than $1.7 million in economic impact.

Additionally, the event has woven a future for emerging designers or even models in the industry.

"You get exposed more. There are a lot of people you don't know that could be here that could be watching you. It could be agencies from New York and if they like you, they can sign you," Johnson said.

Local bars and restaurants also see big time benefits, as after-parties take place all over the city each night.

Two non-profit charities also benefit from Charleston Fashion Week. Part of the proceeds will go to the Center for Women and Lowcountry Aids Services.

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