Over the several years, it is growing to be increasingly more obtrusive that Nashville is a fashion capital not to be underestimated. Building on its already-longstanding popularity as Music City with genres starting from u . S . A . And pa to rock, hip, and the entirety in among, Nashville is likewise a developing hub for impartial fashion groups. According to a recent take a look, the town had the very best in keeping with capita attention of style groups out of doors the usa’s two biggest enterprise hubs, New York and Los Angeles. Then last yr the O’More School of Design, the most effective nationally ranked fashion school in Tennessee, joined the campus of Belmont University. The acquisition moved O’More from the suburbs into the coronary heart of Nashville and, ultimately, cast an even nearer connection among the city’s design scene and destiny-style entrepreneurs who’d come to fuel its increase.
Offering two diploma alternatives — a BFA in Fashion Design and BFA in Fashion Merchandising — O’More’s recognition dates returned nearly 50 years and stood aside for numerous specific motives. As Associate Dean of O’More, Shari Fox factors out, the most significant of which is the college’s ties to the community and the advantages and connections this offers students beyond the classroom partitions.
“All our teachers right here have functioned as fashion designers or merchandisers in the enterprise,” says Fox, whose tenure with O’More is going lower back 24 years. Professionals here aren’t handiest preparing graduates to input the fashion enterprise professionally — often in small classes that do not exceed eight students in keeping with the trainer, the dean notes — but they are actively part of it. “They give up some of their time to be in the lecture room,” says Fox of the school’s faculty, which can be observed running and working at some of the local organizations, such as Ona Rex, Mae & August, and Curves with Purpose, when no longer guiding a student through a design concept or business idea.
With cutting-edge facilities and prioritized 1:1 get right of entry to professors, O’More’s fashion program’s goal is to train college students to suppose significantly and creatively about fashion while additionally assisting them in making more oversized their view nicely past the Southern metropolis’s limits. “All our college students do an extensive internship with a clothier, store, or entrepreneur,” Fox explains, including, “We encourage college students to have a selection of studies.”
In addition to the route paintings, internships, and even the participation in O’More’s annual student runway show, what’s arguably most notable approximately these younger style leaders is what they do upon graduation. As more reports, the college had a 2018 activity placement rate of ninety%. And even as graduates are hired with fortune 500 companies that encompass Disney, VF Corporation, Hanesbrands, Inc., OshKosh Corp. And Dollar General, Fox says graduates today are eager to be part of Nashville’s fashion capital: “Our students and alumni gasoline the fashion businesses with expertise and knowledge.”
This said, it’s no surprise that locally born organizations and independent designers have turned out to be the spine of the fashion network surrounding Belmont. Along with Nashville’s mainstay fashion presences, consisting of Genesco, Inc. (whose roster of manufacturers include Journeys, Schuh, and Dockers) and iconic designer Manuel Cuevas the consumer fashion designer to the celebs, Fox appears to neighborhoods like 12 South which borders Belmont’s campus for symptoms of in which style is heading.
“That’s what the fashion industry seems like in Nashville proper now. Smaller makers, designers, and homes,” she says of the town that is domestic to unbiased brands like ABLE, Nisolo, and Elizabeth Suzann. And in turn, as she provides, “There’s no question the people of Nashville are very supportive and loyal to those styles of companies. They see them as being extra respectful and sustainable to the surroundings, and they serve everybody.”
With this assist in thoughts, O’More’s college students seem uniquely prepared to make an effect in fashion proper where they live, if no longer everywhere else. And if that sounds a piece romanticized, then perhaps it is simply in keeping with the town the university calls domestic. “Nashville has so long been a fantasy-making region,” says Fox. “You come with your guitar for your return, and you emerge as a legend. There’s a certain hopefulness within the air, and it is beautiful to creatives of a wide variety, which include individuals of the style community.”