In the heart of Chattanooga, the fashion world converged for a spectacular weekend of style and creativity at the 3rd Annual Chattanooga Fashion Expo, held on November 17-18, 2023. Under the visionary leadership of Shanna Forrestall, the proprietor of this burgeoning event, the Expo once again proved to be a dazzling showcase of emerging talent and established designers alike.
The Chattanooga Fashion Expo 2023 commenced with a dynamic Educational Program at the Edney Innovation Center. Industry professionals illuminated the day with complimentary education for creatives, designers, models, and beauty professionals, creating a vibrant learning experience.
As dusk fell, the excitement continued at Sleepyhead Coffee’s new location with the Opening Night Industry Panel & Networking event. Attendees reveled in an engaging panel, networking opportunities, and the ambiance of the evening. Food, drinks, and entertainment combined to create an unforgettable start to the expo, setting the stage for a weekend of style and inspiration.
The heart of the expo unfolded on Saturday at the Mac Avenue Event Space, where the Main Expo dazzled attendees with a series of 10 separate runway shows, curated shopping experiences, and more. This ticketed event was a celebration of fashion, creativity, and style, showcasing the vibrant talent within the industry.
Emerging Designer Winner: Pamoja Na – A Triumph of Innovation
Congratulations echoed through the venue as Pamoja na emerged as the winner of the Emerging Designer category. Pamoja’s collection captivated the audience with its innovative designs, seamlessly blending traditional elements with a contemporary flair. The winning showcase not only exhibited technical skill but also conveyed a narrative, leaving an indelible mark on the Expo’s legacy.
Last year’s design winner, Knot Me Jewels, returned to the runway, once again proving their prowess in creating a spectacle. Their collection showcased a mesmerizing fusion of craftsmanship and creativity, solidifying their status as a force to be reckoned with in the world of fashion.
Model Competition Triumph: Brittany Renee Takes Center Stage
The spotlight wasn’t reserved for designers alone; the Model Competition brought its own level of excitement. Brittany Renee emerged victorious, commanding attention with her poise, grace, and undeniable stage presence. Her win symbolizes not just a personal triumph but also reflects the dedication and hard work that models bring to the industry.
As a senior fashion editor at Upscale magazine, guest speaker, and a judge, I felt honored to witness the remarkable talent on the Expo’s stage. Joining me on the panel were esteemed designer Romey Roe and fashion executive Sarah Johnson, both contributing their expertise and discerning eyes to the event.
A Tapestry of Styles and Perspectives
What sets the Chattanooga Fashion Expo apart is its commitment to inclusivity and diversity. The runway became a tapestry of styles and perspectives, representing the rich mosaic of the fashion world. From avant-garde creations to culturally inspired designs, the Expo celebrated fashion in its myriad forms.
The Expo’s success is credited to Shanna Forrestall and her dedicated team, whose vision has turned the event into a fashion calendar highlight. Their commitment to fostering emerging talent is evident in the showcased designs’ caliber.
One of the standout highlights from our recent trip to Chattanooga was the incredible boutique hotel where I had the pleasure of staying – The Dwell Hotel.
From the initial trip planning, my sights were set on the charming gem that is thedwellhotel , and my friends graciously indulged my choice. A glance at their website reveals why – a haven of historical details and undeniable charm. Overflowing with elegance, themed rooms, an attentive staff, and delightful surprises like the in-house bar, Matilda Midnight. Chattanooga was a fantastic experience overall, and The Dwell Hotel offered the ideal setting for my unforgettable trip.
Looking Ahead: A Bright Future for Chattanooga Fashion
As the 3rd Annual Chattanooga Fashion Expo concluded, an undeniable sense of anticipation for the future lingered. Firmly establishing itself as a fashion cornerstone, the Expo consistently raises industry standards year after year.
My heartfelt congratulations to the designers, models, and organizers for making this event a resounding success. Until next year, when the fashion world converges on Chattanooga once again, let the inspiration from this Expo reverberate through runways and design studios worldwide.
Stay updated on Chattanooga Fashion Expo’s latest events and happenings by following them at chattanoogafashionexpo.
Upscale would love to hear your comments on this article.
Yours in fashion,
Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds
Senior Fashion Editor, Upscale Magazine
Video credit: Jehoshuah Media Film. Image credit: David Tedder Photography.