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Emerging Bridal 2012 FAQ

Q: How do I apply and what qualifications must applicants possess in order to enter the Charleston Fashion Week® Emerging Bridal Designer Competition contest?

A: Applicants must first read through this FAQ thoroughly and then complete an online application in three easy steps:
1. Fill out and complete the application 
2. Upload sketches and collection images
3. Submit your application

Applications must be submitted by Friday, December 16, 2011 at 11 p.m. EST.  
There are no age restrictions or required experience for the Emerging Bridal Designer Competition applicants (both individual designers and design duos accepted; those under 18 will need parental/guardian permission to apply).

[NOTE: Partial information does not save to the Charleston Fashion Week® system. Only after a designer has clicked the SAVE button at the end of the application will complete submissions be made. Designers are encouraged to save and back up information.]  

Q: What state do I have to reside in to submit my application and qualify for the competition?
A: The Emerging Bridal Designer Competition is open to residents of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Q: Am I eligible to participate in the Emerging Bridal Designer Competition if my designs have currently/previously sold in a retail store?
A: Designers will not be eligible to participate if their designs have currently/previously been sold in a retail store.

Q: Do my design submissions have to be sewn by me, or am I permitted to have a seamstress produce my designs?
A: You are permitted to work with a seamstress, as long as the designs are your own.

Q: What is the deadline for submitting my application?
A: Designers can enter the Emerging Bridal Designer Competition starting Monday, November 7, 2011.  Entries must be received by Friday, December 16, 2011 at 11 p.m. EST. Applications submitted after this date and time will not be considered.

Q: Do my design submissions have to be exclusive to the Emerging Bridal Designer Competition?
A: No. However, the collection you present must have never been shown on a professional runway. In other words, your collection must debut on the Spring Bridal Show runway during CFW.

Q: Can I show the same collection I am showing at the Spring Bridal Show in another city’s Fashion Week?
A: Yes, but the collection shown at Charleston Weddings magazine’s Spring Bridal Show must be shown first at Charleston Fashion Week® 2012, prior to any other events.

Q: What season should my collection focus on?
A: Designers must present a 2012 Bridalwear collection at the Spring Bridal Show at Charleston Fashion Week® 2012.

Q: How many looks should be included in my collection presented at the Spring Bridal Show at Charleston Fashion Week®?
A: Your collection must include 10-12 looks.  The collection can consist of any bridal party apparel (bride, groom, bridesmaid, groomsman, mother of the bride, flower girl, etc.), but you must have a minimum of one bridal gown.

Q: How will I create my Spring Bridal Show runway show (choose models, music, hair/makeup looks, shoes, etc.)?
A: You will design your own runway show with Charleston Fashion Week® acting as your producer.  Charleston Fashion Week® will provide models, music, and hair/makeup looks based on your design aesthetic. Designers are responsible for the runway designs, theme, shoes, accessories, and any special hair or makeup pieces.

Q: Can I use my own models for the runway show?
A: Only models that are cast and selected for the Charleston Fashion Week® 2012 model book may be used for your runway show.  An online model book will be provided for the Emerging Bridal Designer to review and select a set number of models.  Final selection will be made by Charleston Fashion Week®.  The Emerging Bridal Designer will fit models when they come for Charleston Fashion Week® in March.   

Q: When does the Emerging Bridal Designer show his/her collection?
A: The Emerging Bridal Designer will show their collection at Charleston Fashion Week® on Saturday morning, March 24, 2012 at Charleston Weddings magazine’s Spring Bridal Show.

Q: If selected as the winning Emerging Bridal Designer, when and how will I be notified?
A: The Emerging Bridal Designer winner will be notified by e-mail and phone by Wednesday, December 21, 2011.

Q: Is there a financial obligation to participate in the Emerging Bridal Designer Competition?
A: Charleston Fashion Week® does not require a fee to apply for the competition.  However, the winning Emerging Bridal Designer is responsible for any and all costs associated with designing/creating his/her looks including shoes, accessories, and any special hair and makeup pieces you wish to use for the show.  The winning Emerging Bridal Designer is also responsible for his/her own travel to/from Charleston (see details below), transporting their collection, and meals.

Q: If selected as the winning Emerging Bridal Designer will travel to/from Charleston and accommodations in Charleston be provided?
A: If you are based outside the Charleston, South Carolina area, you are responsible for your travel to/from Charleston.  Once here, lodging will be provided the evening of Friday, March 23 and transportation to/from runway tents and to/from lodging location. 
Ground transportation to/from airport, if applicable, meals, and incidentals while in Charleston are the designer's personal responsibility.
Note: Any guest(s) of the designer are responsible for their own lodging and event transportation. An exception will be made for a designer under the age of 18.

Q: How many Charleston Fashion Week® attendees will view my runway presentation?
A: More than 7,000 people attended Charleston Fashion Week® 2011, including buyers, store owners, and fashion industry professionals.  Charleston Fashion Week® attracts local, regional, and national press attention. The Spring Bridal Show typically has 700 attendees, and shows are presented to standing-room-only crowds.

Q: Will the Emerging Bridal Designer receive tickets to the Spring Bridal Show at Charleston Fashion Week®?
A: Two tickets for guests and/or family members will be provided for the morning you are showing. Additional tickets may be purchased online via the Charleston Fashion Week® website.

Q: What designers who have shown at Charleston Fashion Week® in seasons past have gone on to successful ventures?
A: All of our 2008 Emerging Design Contestants went on to second casting auditions for Project Runway. Two CFW designers – 2008 Emerging Designer finalist Carol Hannah Whitfield and Gordana Gelhausen, retail designer, were featured contestants on season 6 of Project Runway.

2009 Emerging Designer Winner Marysia Reeves' swimwear has been featured in the 2010 and 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editions, VogueCoastal LivingTeen VOGUE, and WWD. The Marysia SWIM collection has been picked up by BARNEY's New York, Anthropologie, and many other high-end boutiques across the country and internationally. 

Lindsey Carter was selected as an Emerging Designer finalist for CFW 2009, with the debut collection from TROUBADOUR, which garnered praise from Women’s Wear Daily, who named her a “Designer to Watch.” The line has also been featured in E!NewsDaily Candy, Garden & GunFashion Week DailyWGSN, and Stylesight.

Charlotte Hess, 2011 Emerging Designer Winner, was featured on

This is the first year for the Charleston Fashion Week’s® Emerging Bridal Designer Competition.

Q: What press coverage does Charleston Fashion Week® typically receive?
A: Charleston Fashion Week® 2011 generated more than 19 million media impressions through the activation and support of local and national media to include reporters, bloggers, photographers, editors and journalists. CFW 2011 press highlights include event coverage by, ELLE magazine, Post & CourierSophisticated Living, Fashion Wire Press, Quest magazine, New York Social Diary, etc. More than 160 credentialed media are onsite to cover and report the events of the week. To review past CFW press releases and event coverage visit the media tab of

Q: If I am experiencing technical difficulties uploading images or submitting my application, who do I contact?
A: You can contact our website director via e-mail at

Q: If I still have questions after reviewing the above about the competition, who do I contact?
A: You can contact the runway director via e-mail at