Kicking off night one of Nashville Fashion Week at OZ Arts Nashville featured A Lady of the Lake, Ola Mai, Splashed by DKG, Shea Steele, and Van Hoang, the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund 2018 award recipient. Ticket proceeds from Nashville Fashion Week benefit the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
If you’d like to learn more about each designer from night one and their involvement with Nashville Fashion Week, you can read their bios here.
The Nashville Fashion Forward Fund is an endowed fund at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee that supports the next generation of fashion industry professionals with ties to Middle Tennessee by providing an annual financial award and resources for experiential professional development opportunities. Experienced designers as well as professionals in all aspects of the fashion industry from photographers to stylists, models, hair and makeup artists, boutique owners and bloggers are encouraged to apply each fall for the Fashion Forward Fund Award.
I had the opportunity to interview Van Hoang, the 2018 award recipient last night. She creates sustainable womenswear here in Nashville, Tennessee. With NowPlayingNashville also being a fund at The Community Foundation, I wanted to know if Van had heard about The Community Foundation prior to receiving this award? So I asked.
“Yes, I’ve been following The Community Foundation and Nashville Fashion Week since they launched the award,” said Van. “It’s something that I’ve been thinking about applying for every year since it started and it’s been a goal of mine.”
Van’s collection at Nashville Fashion Week was primarily made of deadstock and remnant materials to reduce unnecessary waste and promote awareness on the sustainability issue to the Middle Tennessee area. She featured linen and some deadstock yarn that she found.
“Some of the fringe, I had gotten from another local clothing company that was a piece of the fabric that they didn’t use,” added Van. “I thought that it could definitely be used for something.”
Van creates pieces that can easily be incorporated into an existing wardrobe and everything is handmade in her studio. All of the pieces from her collection on the runway look very light and airy for those very hot summers in Tennessee.
I asked Van how her fashion was impacting the Middle Tennessee community. She commented that she had just officially launched her collection last year.
“I hope that people are thinking about sustainability more and thinking about it in terms of their clothing and fashion,” stated Van. “This was the first year that Fashion Week had the sustainability summit, so I thought that it was great for the conversation to be a part of Fashion Week. I think we are taking a great step forward with sustainability efforts.”
One of the things that Van added is that sustainable fashion and fashion can go hand-in-hand.
“It doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can still look great and it could still be sustainable. You don’t have to wear a burlap sack to be sustainable.”