USC Fashion Board Fashion Forum

I went to the USC Fashion Board’s Fashion Forum Thursday night and it was amazing. I think the best part about it was the fact that the forum consisted of shop owners , designers, a photographer, and a fashion blogger.

I was able to meet so many people and hear them say some wonderful things. Lucky Levinson spoke about his store, Brittons, which is a Columbia shopping institution. I remember shopping there as a child with my mother. The store is over 60 years old. I also met Perry Lancaster from the store as well. He invited me into the store, so I went the next day. It was just as neat as I remembered. I actually bought my mom some earrings from Brittons on Friday. I can’t wait to go back.

Don Oates and Diane Stephenson spoke about the clothing company, Southern Tide. I love this company because it is based right here in South Carolina, and it really showcases “Southern Prep” style. Ralph Lauren has nothing on them. They really focus on the quality of their products. It took them almost 2 years to design the perfect pair of pants, and almost a year to make the perfect tee. Diane’s son founded the company only a few short years ago and now they are in over 400 stores around the country. I truly see them getting big in the next few years. Oh and did I mention they put Lycra in their signature polos and use fabric that is hard to shrink with every wash?

Then my friend Anne Postic from The Shop Tart spoke about blogging as a business. I gained some wonderful insight from her. The thing that really struck me was the fact that she made her blog into an LLC. I had seen other bloggers do that too, so I have been thinking about turning The Fat and Skinny into a LLC operation for some time. I think she lit a fire under me.

Annabelle Cain from LaRoque also spoke about her clothing line, but I don’t want to get into too much detail. I had to interview her for class on Friday, and I want to blog about my experience in her studio.

Travis Teate was the next panelist. He is a fashion photographer based right here in Columbia and is very passionate about fashion and art. It was amazing to hear him speak with such enthusiasm. He is a great guy. Hopefully I can work with him in the future.

Last but not least was Melissa Blanchard from Van Jean. She owns several stores here in the Midlands, but her store Van Jean is her store that sells awesome new designers like 3.1 Philip Lim, Doo.Ri and Tory Burch. The clothes and accessories are amazing. I went to the store on Friday and tried on a Kenneth Jay Lane bracelet that was fab. I also checked out a Philip Lim wallet that converts into a wristlet and can hold your blackberry. Who doesn’t love a store with leopard carpet?

I also want to thank  Marguis Bias for putting on a fabulous fashion week at USC. The events were great, and it was amazing reconnecting with him again. We go way back to Governor’s School for the Arts in high school. He played the flute and I played the cello. Tee Hee!

Jai From The Fat and Skinny

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