The Nashville Fashion Alliance is giving this honky-tonk town a shake of designer spice. The city has the largest per capita concentration of independent fashion companies outside New York and Los Angeles -- seemingly a repeat of when, in the 1980s, music industry rebel types fled the big cities and built Nashville's scene. “We're very inspired by that,” says Van Tucker, CEO of the Alliance. Here are three local designers to watch.
Designer: Savannah Yarborough
“I picked Nashville to open my bespoke leather jacket studio in 2014. Now everyone comes to me. We work with a lot of musicians, but also Wall Street and tech guys. The hardest thing has been finding another person to help sew -- very few people here have the skill to make a leather jacket. We're going to have to move more here!”
Designer: Cavanagh Baker
“Nashville allows me to be more versatile. I get to design ready-to-wear for the everyday client and also create custom pieces for country music performers. I recently worked with Kelsea Ballerini on a jumpsuit for her ‘Peter Pan' music video. New York and L.A. are important, but everyone there is doing the same thing, on the same schedule. I wanted to be somewhere where I could be truly hands-on with my clients.”
Designer: Andra Eggleston
“I moved here after living in New York and L.A., where people say they want to support you, then disappear. Here, when people said they would connect me with someone, I half-believed them. But an hour later, I'd get an email from them. When people think of Nashville fashion, they think cowboy boots. But people now wear a hip urban dress with cowboy boots. I don't think that anyone has departed from the old Nashville -- they've just adapted it into their own.”