13 Mar, 2012 | Events | 10 Comments
Organizers of Lexus Nashville Fashion Week and the Nashville-based fashion company Imogene + Willie are proud to announce the 2012 Nashville

Fashion Week Industry Panels, to take place Thursday, March 22, 2012 in the auditorium at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Each of the three panels will be 90 minutes and will begin with a moderated discussion followed by an audience-driven Q&A session.

The morning panel, titled “Producing the Goods,” will be held from 10-11:30 a.m. The two afternoon panels are “What Makes a Brand?” from 1-2:30 p.m., followed by “Southern Fashion Now” from 3-4:30 p.m.

Panelists and moderators scheduled to appear include local and national designers, fashion
executives, journalists, bloggers and TV personalities. Featured participants include Natalie

Chanin, Otis James, Barry Wishnow, Rose Apodaca, Susie Crippen, Dana Thomas, Dr. Dave Gilbert, Phillip Nappi, Jamie Frazier, Hannah Jones and Libby Callaway. Additional guests will be announced as they are confirmed.

Carrie Eddmenson, co-owner of Imogene + Willie, as well as an event panelist and moderator recognizes the importance of providing guidance for rising fashion professionals.

“We could not do what we do today at Imogene + Willie without having had great mentors,” she says. “We are honored to be a part of the curation of Nashville Fashion Week's industry panels, with the goal of providing local creatives the inspiration and tools needed to make a firm foundation on which they can build their own dreams.

“Hearing seasoned fashion industry professionals share their experiences is paramount to learning how to build and sustain a brand,” Eddmenson continues. “This is the best and most direct way to go about invigorating local markets and preparing them to compete in the everchanging global marketplace.”

Reservations for these panels are requested and can be made at NowPlayingNashville.com. Though there is no charge for the panels, donations are encouraged ($10 suggested) and will benefit the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

PRODUCING THE GOODS, 10–11:30 a.m.


The production process and what it takes to source, sew and manufacture fashion in the United States. An emphasis will be placed on the importance of and challenges to keeping production in this country.

Panelists: Natalie Chanin, Otis James, Barry Wishnow
Moderator: Carrie Eddmenson, co-owner, Imogene + Willie


OTIS JAMES is a designer and creator of handcrafted clothing and accessories in Nashville. He was recently named winner of Garden & Gun magazine’s “Made in the South” awards in the fashion category. His ties are sold online and in stores around the U.S. and in Singapore. James recently collaborated with musician Justin Townes Earle to produce a limited edition, hand-printed bow tie collection. He is currently developing further collaborations with other artists and expanding his line of caps. See his work at www.otisjamesnashville.com.

NATALIE “ALABAMA” CHANIN is owner and designer of the American couture line Alabama Chanin, made from 100% Certified Organic Cotton by artisans located near Chanin’s home in Florence, Ala. Chanin was a finalist for the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Fashion in 2005. In 2009, she was chosen as one of the designers for the Cooper Hewitt Global Triennial, “Why Design Now?” She launched a line of tabletop and home textiles with HEATH Ceramics in 2010, as well as the newest Alabama Chanin bridal collection. Chanin has a degree in environmental design from North Carolina State University and travels the world to lecture on slow design, sustainability and cultural preservation. She works from her home in Florence as designer, manufacturer, stylist, filmmaker, mother, artisan, cook and collector of stories. See her work at www.alabamachanin.com.

BARRY WISHNOW has led and consulted with a veritable who’s-who among fashion brands over several decades. After working in the 1970s with J. Schoeneman, the leading men’s clothing manufacturer, he joined Yves Saint Laurent to develop its YSL men’s business. Wishnow then returned to Schoeneman as president and CEO, the youngest senior executive in the business. He completed Burberry’s first North American license for men’s and women’s shirt and tailored apparel; formed Hugo Boss AG, where he served as president and CEO; and served as president of the men’s group at Calvin, creating the comprehensive licensing network that led to the CK brand. In the mid-1990s, he formed the Barry Wishnow Group, consulting for an international client roster that included Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Joseph Abboud, Catherine Malandrino, Luciano Barbera, Amanda Wakeley, Rosie Pope, Oswald Boateng and Windsor of Germany.

Wishnow moved to Nashville in 2009 and has developed the concept for BASH, a 1940s-inspired bespoke brand for men and women. Representing a high quality, definitive point of view, BASH will become a format for modern fashion retailing. See more at www.bashbybarrywishnow.com.

Moderator CARRIE EDDMENSON started her career in fashion as a principal at Sights Denim Systems, formerly the world’s preeminent denim development laboratory and premium finisher, located in Henderson, Ky. For 12 years, she worked in product development and design with companies including Paper Denim & Cloth, Rogan, Earnest Sewn, Levis Vintage Clothing, Ralph Lauren’s RRL, Joie, and Loomstate. In the early 1990s, she worked closely with Francois Girbaud, Lee, and Levis to develop new denim processes and inventions that led to the aesthetic of modern denim finishing. Through Sights, she started a product design and development company in Istanbul, Turkey where she lived for three years. While there, Carrie worked with the companies Diesel, Replay, Pepe, and Levis Europe to design and develop products for their European market. She attended Kentucky’s Centre College, where she studied arts and humanities. In 2009, Carrie and husband Matt Eddmenson left Henderson for Nashville, where they opened Imogene + Willie, now a rising star in the world of quality, American-made denim and ready-to-wear. Read more about I+W and Matt Eddmenson below. Also, see www.imogeneandwillie.com.

WHAT MAKES A BRAND?, 1–2:30 p.m.

The focus, hard work, and strategic thought required to define, build and market a fashion brand. Special emphasis will be placed on the importance of social media and issues concerning propriety.

Panelists: Rose Apodaca, Susie Crippen, others TBA
Moderator: Dr. Dave Gilbert, owner/founder, salttt


ROSE APODACA is a writer, text and exhibition editor, consultant, and half of A+R, a source for modern design from around the world. Apodaca and partner Andy Griffith founded A+R as a design retail lab and leading launch pad for modern designers to the North American market. Before opening A+R, Apodaca headed the West Coast bureau of Women’s Wear Daily and was a contributor to W magazine for six years. She continues showcasing rising and undiscovered talent, and her features have appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Glamour, Style.com and Paper, and she spearheaded the launch of “Image,” the Los Angeles Times style section. Her first book, Style A to Zoe: The Art of Fashion, Beauty & Everything Glamour, hit the New York Times bestseller list in September 2008 and continues selling worldwide. Her biography on Fred Hayman, co-founder of Giorgio Beverly Hills and marketing architect of Rodeo Drive, was published in 2011. The oversized “coffee table” book also serves as an exhaustive history of L.A. and Hollywood style, the evolution of the perfume and beauty industries, and the retail business (and weighs seven pounds). Apodaca is currently writing a DIY beauty book with neo-burlesque queen and style icon, Dita Von Teese. Read more about her at www.roseapodaca.com.

SUSIE CRIPPEN was the co-founder of J Brand and served as creative director of the iconic jeans company for six years. Since leaving the company after its sale in early 2010, Crippen has been traveling and working on her next creative endeavor. Prior to J Brand, Crippen was a wardrobe stylist in Los Angeles for six years.

Panel moderator DR. DAVE GILBERT specializes in product design and development, retail anthropology, and IP strategy management. He recently founded salttt, a product development agency and consultancy that assists companies in the development of new products with a focus on consumer electronics and retail experiences. He is also a founding member of Jumpstart Foundry, a venture capital micro-fund, where he helps to fund and advise startups. Gilbert spent six years at Nashville-based Griffin Technology, the world's largest manufacturer of iPod, iPhone, and iPad accessories, where he built the Griffin Co-op program, leading to co-branded accessory lines with Chilewich, Colonel Littleton, Aimee Wilder, Prophetik, and Threadless. On Griffin's behalf, Dave conducted shopper-marketing and brand research in the UK, France and Germany. A former professor of communication at Denison University and Marymount Manhattan College, Gilbert's work with students designing Art Mobs, crowd-sourced museum guides for mobile phones and iPods, was the subject of a front-page story in the New York Times. Gilbert has a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Texas, Austin. Learn more about Gilbert’s latest venture at www.salttt.com.

SOUTHERN FASHION NOW, 3–4:30 p.m.


An exploration of trends, characteristics, and the national and international affect of modern Southern design and designers.

Panelists: Dana Thomas, Matt and Carrie Eddmenson, Phillip Nappi, Jamie Frazier and Hannah Jones
Panel moderated by Libby Callaway, writer, author and media director of Imogene + Willie


DANA THOMAS is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, published by the Penguin Press in 2007 and is a contributing editor for “WSJ,” the Wall Street Journal’s monthly magazine. She began her career writing for the Style section of the Washington Post, and from 1995 to 2011, she served as a cultural and fashion correspondent for Newsweek in Paris. She has written for the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, the Financial Times, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Architectural Digest and Elle Décor and was the European editor of Condé Nast Portfolio. Thomas is a member of the Anglo-American Press Association in Paris and the Overseas Press Club. She taught journalism at The American University of Paris from 1996 to 1999. In 1987, she received the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Scholarship and the Ellis Haller Award for Outstanding Achievement in Journalism. She lives in Paris. She has just completed three months as a writer in residence at the Savannah College of Art and Design, working on a new book.

PHILLIP NAPPI is co-founder of the Italian hand made boot and shoe company, Peter Nappi (named for his grandfather, an immigrant shoemaker who arrived in America in 1904). Peter Nappi offers boots, bags and other dry goods, rich in old world tradition and craftsmanship. The boots are made in Italy by a family who has been handcrafting footwear for over 60 years. The 4,000 square foot Peter Nappi studio in Nashville’s historic Germantown neighborhood showcases luxury leather boots and bags, as well as hand picked, one-of-a-kind vintage European furniture. The brand has been covered in Harper's Bazaar, Men's Fitness, Bon Appetit and Esquire. In January 2013, a Peter Nappi exhibit is planned Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy. Read more about Phillip Nappi’s business at www.peternappi.com.

JAMIE FRAZIER and HANNAH JONES are the Nashville fashion designers behind Jamie and the Jones. The duo discovered their mutual appreciation for slow process design as sophomores at O’More College of Design in Franklin, Tenn. The results were unanimously positive: their skill at creating clothes that combine clean silhouettes with painstaking handwork (knitting, crochet, embroidery, beading, and hand painting are all hallmarks of Jamie and Hannah’s smart, feminine wares). Since graduating in 2009, Frazier and Jones have continued to produce their line from their studio inside Local Honey, Nashville's premiere source for independent design. Jamie and the Jones. have been featured in publications including Nylon, Elle.com, the Nashville Scene, Her Nashville, and the Tennessean. In 2011, they opened the first-ever Nashville Fashion Week. A month later, and they were awarded the Belcourt Theatre’s nD Emerging Designer Competition, through which they were awarded a stipend to produce a capsule collection that was presented alongside the work of two nationally known designers. Read more about Frazier and Hannah at www.jamieandthejones.com.

MATT and CARRIE EDDMENSON, owners of the Nashville-based fashion company Imogene + Willie, share a long and varied history in the fashion industry. Both started their careers at Sights Denim Systems, formerly the world’s preeminent denim development laboratory and premium finisher, located in Henderson, Ky. Matt worked in product development and design at Sights Denim Systems for four years. During this tenure, he worked with design houses including Earnest Sewn, Elie Tahari, Billy Reid, Rogan, American Rag, and RRL to develop fits, finishes and branding. Matt holds a BA in Fine Arts from the Art Academy of Cincinnati. (Carrie’s background is detailed above.) They share a long history both personally and professionally. At age 11, they met as schoolmates in Hendersonville, Ky. After high school, they went their separate ways until 2003, when they found themselves back in their hometown, working for Sights Denim. Love blossomed, and they were married in 2006. In 2009, Matt and Carrie left Henderson and headed to Nashville, where Imogene + Willie was born. Visit the I+W website at www.imogeneandwillie.com.

Panel moderator LIBBY CALLAWAY has contributed to some of the country’s most widely regarded magazines and newspapers, including the New York Post, where she was employed as a writer and editor from 1997 to 2004. Libby is an in-demand freelance fashion and travel writer, penning articles for publications and websites including Elle, the New York Times’ T Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Style.com, Travel + Leisure, Budget Travel, Self, BlackBook, Nylon and Glamour, where she was a fashion advice columnist in 2006 and 2007. In Nashville, Libby has written for a variety of publications including the Nashville Scene and the Nashville City Paper, where for two years she wrote a popular weekly style column. A former wardrobe stylist and vintage clothing dealer, Libby is a noted secondhand shopping expert; her professional advice on the subject has appeared in InStyle, Elle, Lucky, US, Nylon, Harper’s Bazaar, Budget Travel and Style.com, and on NBC’s The Today Show. Libby joined the staff of Nashville’s Imogene + Willie as media director in 2011, the same year Hyperion published her first book, The American Pickers Guide to Picking, a collaboration with her friend Mike Wolfe of the History Channel’s TV show American Pickers.