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Nashville Fashion Bands Together

by Amelia Gray
Fashion Career Center Columnist

For years, the Music City has been known more for its country ballads and cowboy boots than high fashion, but now one group is hoping to bring fashion to the forefront.

Amidst the crooning superstars in this capital city of country music, the Nashville Fashion Group (NFG) aims to raise the city to fashion heights like New York and Los Angeles. Their mission statement sets the bar high: "Our goal is to build a fashion scene that will ultimately enhance the social, economic, and cultural atmosphere of Nashville as well as build the careers of those interested in being in the fashion industry."

All Together, Now
The goals of the NFG involve more than clothing designers. Members include models, photographers, stylists, designers, and fashion design school students, making it a varied community of individuals in the fashion industry. As in many community groups, networking is key for the NFG, and building relationships within the group is an important aspect of membership.

Building strong partnerships in a vibrant community is an important aspect of fashion design in any city. From huge markets like New York to large cities with smaller fashion communities, local designers hope to find a client base willing to promote them through glowing recommendations and word-of-mouth advertising.

Local Spotlight: Nina Dewara-Tanawanich
Residents and fashion design school students in Nashville are taking interest in Nina Dewara-Tanawanich, a native of Thailand who now calls Nashville home. Her flirty and feminine designs will soon be featured in her first fashion show, a collection of 40 pieces including couture gowns, cocktail dresses, and beautiful hand-quilted skirts.

Nina designs and creates fashions with her husband, Alex, who has the typical spirit of fashion in Nashville. "You don't need to fly to New York and you don't need to buy expensive labels when you have a local designer who is as good," Alex recently told Nashville magazine All The Rage. "Stimulate the local economy--people should be proud to wear something local, if you like fashion."

For Nashville's growing fashion community, city pride is becoming a fashionable selling point. If fashion designers in Nashville continue to take their cues from this growing community spirit, the fashion world will be quick to take notice.

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About the Author
Amelia Gray is a teacher and freelance writer in San Marcos, TX. Amelia earned a bachelor's degree in English literature from Arizona State University.