Body-con dresses, flowy tops, tight jeans and sky-high heels set the scene at Sisu Uptown for the 2013 fashion show and announcement gala for Texas' Next Top Designer. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to supporting local entrepreneurs in the fashion industry.
Nine board members judged 16 Texas-based fashion, shoe and jewelry designers on innovation, marketing, financial plan and construction. But only one of the finalists would walk away with $30,000 to help launch his or her career:
- Jewelry designer Charmaine Marshall
- Anslee Connell of Savannah Red
- Candace Locke of Dimiloc
- Bridal designer Alexis Lantz
- Gladys J. Bowie-Young of Miss Jane Originals
- Shoe designer David Pedack
- Dorris Bogus of KaMit Sport
- Chelsea Stumo or Ruby Britt
- James Martinez of Barron and J.
- Jewelry designer Leen Borno
- Lucy Dang
- William Peck and Cara Noel Noggle of Hope & Faith
- Tekenna Jacobs of Phantasie
- Sheila Hamilton of LHP
- Whitney Bracey of Mahogany Blues
- Ruqaiyah Johnson of Ruby Charles
Scenesters packed into the tent for the show, which was riddled with technical difficulties. In spite of it all, Stanley Korshak's Bret McKinney, who is also a TNTD board member, pulled off a great show. "The issues were not my fault," he joked.
Campbell Agency models walked around the the pool — thankfully, no one fell in — flaunting looks from all of the participating designers. After the first presentation, trendy guests and board members— including Diane Reeves, Elaine Raffel, Alison Volk, LeeAnne Locken, Heather Lettieri, Jackson, and Lisa Petty — were surprised with a bright display of Abi Ferrin's spring 2013 collection. Ferrin was the first to be named TNTD in 2007.
Before the winner was revealed, Teresa Nguyen recognized Austin-based jewelry designer Jeannie Vianney, the winner of the 2011 Top Designer award. Then native Dallasite and current Project Runway contestant James B. Martinez announced that Dallas designer Lucy Dang earned the title as Texas' Next Top Designer for 2013.
Three models wearing her designs — a strapless white dress, an A-line printed sleeveless dress, and a black gown with gold accents — came out to greet Dang as a swarm of photographers ran over to the girls to capture the celebratory moment.