Afriyie Poku wins CFW’S Emerging Designer competition

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Atlanta based designer Afriyie Poku won the coveted title of Emerging Designer East and the People’s Choice award at Charleston Fashion Week. Poku stood out at CFW for several reasons. His ebony skin, chiseled features, and tall hair captured the attention of nightly CFW audiences. He was also the only menswear designer among twenty featured semi-finalists. Most importantly, Poku masterly succeeded in accomplishing his goal of modernizing 18th and 19th century menswear clothing, and making his designs totally wearable for the here and now.

This sensational rising star lives to design. I had the pleasure of interviewing him a few hours before he unveiled his stunning collection. He had these words to say about his relationship with his work: “The day I stop designing is the day I cease to exit.” See his designs at

Countdown to Charleston Fashion Week

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

I arrived in Charleston this afternoon, and plan to spend a few days of r&r before the work of fashion week begins. What a week it’s going to be! Since its inception in 2007, Charleston Fashion Week (CFW) has grown into a formidable fashion force in the Southeast. CFW’s unique focus on emerging designers and model talent distinguishes it from other events of this kind. The fashion world converges on Charleston’s Marion Square from March 19-23 for five whirlwind days of 35 runway shoes, competitions, and nightly entertainment.

The emerging designer competition, CFW’s cornerstone event, provides career launching exposure for rising young designers. Models on the cat walk at “Rock the Runway” contest will have a rare opportunity to showcase themselves and not the couture fashions they wear.

The guest panel represents a who’s who of fashion notables such as the following: designers Antonio Azzuolo, Johnson Hartig, and Christian Siriano, Arlene Goldstein, Belk’s Vice President of Merchandising and Trend Direction, and international fashion consultant and architect of New York Fashion Week, Fern Mallis.

Belk, the largest privately owned department store chain, is a major sponsor of the 2013 CFW. For event information and tickets, go to:

Stay tuned for more on this week’s events.