Charleston may not be known as an epicenter for fashion, but its fourth-annual fashion week was an impressive production. The week-long event, which concluded on March 26, summoned some significant new talent–from 21 states, no less. One of the week’s highlights was the Emerging Designer award. This year’s winner, Charlotte Hess, who exhibited a fantastic 12-piece knitwear collection, took home the $30,000 dollar prize as well as the People’s Choice Award.
Hess and her collection certainly faced formidable competition. As a Savannah native—basically Charleston’s sister city—I can attest to the region’s strong creative talent, much of which has come together to legitimize Charleston’s fashion week. My two favorite collections were those of Jamie Lin Snider, with her bold tribal prints, and of April Johnston, whose stunning ephemeral gowns could easily go from runway to retail. But it was indeed a difficult choice to make, so I’d rather highlight my favorites throughout.