The fashion scene in Nashville is an eclectic one. There are several local designers who deserve recognition for contributing to the growth of the Nashville style community. These are the ones worth checking out.
Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Amanda Valentine is the youngest of five children. Her fate as a fashion designer was quite possibly sealed during her childhood when she would use old drapes and turn them into outfits. She earned a degree in clothing and textile design from the University of Nebraska and moved to Nashville in 2006. Amanda has worked as a wardrobe stylist on music videos, photo shoots, and red carpet events. She was selected to compete on the 11th season of Project Runway and was voted back by fans for a second time on season 13, where she placed second. Today, she runs and produces her clothing line, Amanda Valentine, in a converted factory space in Nashville. The line is a colorful collection of fun, artistic pieces.
Little Big Town’s lead female vocalist, Karen Fairchild, is more than just a country music star. The singer-songwriter has recently turned her passion for design into a clothing line, Fair Child by Karen Fairchild. Her love for fashion and design started early, leading her to create a custom look for her own prom dress. The Fair Child collection incorporates vintage Nashville elements into each of the bold pieces. From colorful lace to funky fringe, Karen is personally involved in every step of the design process, ensuring that every piece made in her name reflects the unique style that Fair Child offers.
Luxury women’s wear designer Cavanagh Baker is a Birmingham, Alabama native and a 2014 fashion design graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design. Now based in Nashville, Cavanagh opened her design studio in 2016, where she works to create dramatic and glamorous made-to-order pieces. Her collection is available exclusively at her Nashville studio, where she has a small collection of ready-to-wear pieces in addition to her signature made-to-order work. Cavanagh Baker takes a very hands-on approach to customer service, welcoming clients into her studio for consultations and fittings. Her target customers are Nashville area performers, who she dresses in everything from shorts to evening gowns.
Channeling dark imagery with minimal designs, Madness Is is an independent fashion brand that creates handmade pieces in Nashville. The line creates everything from structured basics to vegan leather pieces for men and women. The goal of the brand is to bring out the inner darkness in people through wearable design. For women, you’ll find black maxi dresses, oversized jackets, and various styles of tees. For men, there’s a selection of black T-shirts and hoodies.
Pink Elephant Designs
Behind Pink Elephant Designs is fashion designer Truly Alvarenga, who sketches, designs, fits, and sews all of her garments. She earned a degree in fashion design, graduating at the top of her class from IADT Nashville. She also held a double internship with Anna Sui in NYC prior to graduation. Truly has done wardrobe styling for music videos and even designed gowns that people wore to the White House. She started her company in Nashville in 2009 and currently creates pieces that fall on both ends of the fashion spectrum. From leather jackets to elegant evening wear, you can find her creations at boutiques in the Nashville area, as well as through the Pink Elephant Designs shop online.
Black By Maria Silver
After spending many years as a drummer and founding member of the rock band The Ettes, Maria “Poni” Silver started her women’s streetwear line, Black By Maria Silver, in 2011. Silver, who is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, designs the line for the modern voyager, offering travel-ready pieces made from mostly recycled fabric, and ethically produces it in-house.
From maxi dresses and blouses to rompers and tights, Ola Mai is a fashion line produced in Nashville and designed by Leslie Stephens. Inspired by and named after Leslie’s great-grandmother, Ola Mai, the pieces created for the Ola Mai collection exude elegance and flow, encouraging women to express themselves freely.
Founded in 2013 in Nashville, Ceri Hoover is a premium leather accessories company. Ceri employs American artisans to handcraft bags and shoes made from materials sourced from leather purveyors around the world. The high-quality pieces feature timeless designs and intricate details and are available in over 150 boutiques nationwide. Founder Ceri Hoover takes a very straightforward approach to her designs; she creates bags that reflect her personal sense of style and that allow other women to do the same.