Mayor Megan Barry opened the program with remarks about Nashville’s talented community, many of its designers — Elizabeth Suzanne, Eric Adler, Cavanagh Baker and Margaret Ellis —she has recently commissioned for additions to her wardrobe. Barry also spoke to the progress the city has made in providing vital industry resources, jobs and quality manufacturing. Omega Apparel, a leading contract manufacturer of military uniforms for the US Armed Forces, was announced as the 2016 Nashville Fashion Forward Fund recipient. Other honorees included Mary Seng of Happily Grey with the Point of View Award, model Dylan Stephens with the Face of Fashion Award, Poni Silver of Black by Maria Silver with the Rising Star Award, Manuel Cuevas with the Legacy Award and Holly Williams with the Style Icon Award.
Ticket proceeds benefit the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. This fund is awarded to a local fashion industry professional or organization to further professional and artistic endeavors. Among the past recipients are Eric Adler, Lauren Leonard Phelps, Elise Joseph, Ceri Hoover and Julianna Bass who was the first fund recipient and one of the night’s special guests. Bass shared the story of her professional journey, allowing patrons to see first-hand the impact that the fund can make on the career of a young designer.