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Gen Sohr

Nashville Fashion Week Presents The 2017 Fashion Forward Awards at The Fourth Annual Fashion Forward Gala


Nashville Fashion Week ended year seven with the fourth annual Nashville Fashion Forward Gala and presentation of the Fashion Forward Awards at Track One on Saturday, April 8. The 2017 Gala, co-chaired by Kimberly Lewis and Gen Sohr, was created to celebrate and support the resolute, entrepreneurial spirit of the Nashville fashion community following the week-long festivities and that it did!

AmosEvents created a dreamy indoor garden party with 2016 NFF recipient Brett Warren’s larger than life fashion photographs centerstage. Butch Spyridon, President of the Nashville Convention and Visitor's Corp, Natalie Chanin, founder of Alabama Chanin and fashion photographer Brett Warren served as keynote speakers of the gala with Shelly Colvin performing two musical selections for the fashionable sold out crowd. The Nashville Fashion Week co-founders, Connie Cathcart-Richardson, Marcia Masulla and Mike Smith presented the awards with sponsors Margaret Ellis Jewelry, and Tito's Handmade Vodka. 

Recipients of the 2017 Nashville Fashion Forward Awards are:

Barrett Ward


Barrett Ward is the founder and CEO of FASHIONABLE, a fashion company with a mission of creating sustainable business opportunities for women. Their products, which include handmade jewelry, premium leather, apparel, and woven goods, are created by women who have overcome extraordinary circumstances, ranging from prostitution to addiction to a lack of opportunity due to poverty. Currently, over 300 women are employed globally because of FASHIONABLE, in areas including Nashville, Ethiopia, Peru, and Mexico.

Sandra Lipman


Native Nashvillian Sandra Lipman is well known across the community as a tireless advocate for community organizations and non-profits. She has strategized and chaired some of Nashville’s most important charitable events over the years, including the Junior League’s Showhouse, Iroquois Steeplechase, Symphony Fashion Show, the first Power of the Purse luncheon for the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation, the first Frist Gala for the Frist Center, Symphony Ball, Ballet Ball, Cheekwood’s 50th Swan Ball and many more.

David & Ellen Levy

LEGACY AWARD | David & Ellen Levy, Levy’s Clothier

David Levy is fifth generation owner of Levy's, founded in 1855 by his great-great grandfather.  He joined the company in 1977 after the passing of his father, Ralph Z Levy, Sr.  Having grown up in the business, it was only natural that he would lead the company into the 21st century. Levy's has been named continuously to the Gold Standard list of outstanding men's specialty stores since 2001 and been a presenting sponsor of NFW since 2011.

Renae Currey

RISING STAR | Renae Currey | Lucy Pop Salon

Sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Renae is a Nashville native and a professional hair and makeup artistwith a special emphasis on translating fashion and runway beauty trends into wearable hair and make up looks for clients in the salon. She started Lucy Pop Salon in 2010, where she continues to work with clients and lead a staff of 18. Her freelance work has been featured in publications like Porter Magazine, Nylon Magazine, and Teen Vogue, and she is an educator for the fashion focused, luxury hair care brand, Kevin Murphy.

Cassie Kelly


Sponsored by

Cassie founded her personal blog in 2012 as a way to connect with and empower women while on the road touring with her husband Charles Kelley from Lady Antebellum. Womanista expanded as a media lifestyle brand in 2015 with contributing writers and bloggers and now has over 7 million unique registered users.

Renee Peters

FACE OF FASHION | Renee Peters 

Sponsored by Margaret Ellis Jewelry

Renee Peters grew up in Nashville, but is now living and working in New York City as a Wilhelmina model and an advocate of sustainable living. She strives to be a role model in all that she does, using her platform for positive change. Her blog Model4GreenLiving seeks to reshape the way people think about environmental issues and to show that it’s cool to care. She uses her social media to send a message of self-love and body-positivity and to encourage mindful, sustainable living. Renee volunteers, is an environmental activist, as well as a budding philanthropist in her free time.

View photographs from the Gala as well as runway shots, back of house sneek peeks and party pics from throughout the week at

The Nashville Fashion Forward Fund Gala Set to Celebrate Creativity on Final Night of Nashville Fashion Week


The Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee invites the local community to celebrate and support the resolute, entrepreneurial spirit of Nashville fashion community at the third annual Nashville Fashion Forward Fund Gala, co-chaired by Alizah Greenberg and Gen Sohr, on Saturday, April 9 at OZ Nashville. 

Nashville Fashion Week is excited to welcome Mayor Megan Barry as the keynote speaker. Mayor Barry will speak to the importance of the arts and creativity as a cornerstone of the Nashville economy. Singer-songwriter Holly Williams will join Mayor Barry and fashion designer Julianna Bass, the 2011 Nashville Fashion Forward award recipient, as guest speakers at the event.  Williams will also perform during the evening’s festivities. 

“The fashion industry here in Nashville is a vital component of the artistic and creative economy which is critical to the success of our city,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “It is wonderful to see fashion designers and industry leaders coming together to support their fellow fashion designers at the Nashville Fashion Forward Gala which supports the important work of the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.” 

The Nashville Fashion Forward Fund is an endowed fund established to support the next generation of fashion industry professionals with ties to Middle Tennessee by providing a financial award and resources for experiential professional development opportunities. 

Holly Williams

“As a fashion enthusiast and entrepreneur here in Nashville, it is vital that we support worthy causes like the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund,” said Holly Williams. “I am looking forward to co-hosting the gala alongside Mayor Megan Barry.”

For the second year, Nashville Fashion Week will present the Nashville Fashion Forward Awards at the Gala. Award recognitions include the Nashville Style Icon, Fashion Forward, Legacy, Face of Fashion, Rising Star (sponsored by The Mall at Green Hills) and Point of View (sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka).  

Individual tickets to the Gala can be purchased for $150, tables of 10 for $1,250, and sponsored tables for $2,500. 

Julianna Bass has also been added to the City Lights: Ready-to-Wear Runway Show designer lineup at Legislative Plaza on April 9. The City Lights Show is sponsored by The Mall at Green Hills.

Julianna Bass is an American fashion designer who debuted her eponymous women’s collection with a runway presentation during AW15 New York Fashion Week. Bass is a Tennessee native who moved to New York to study fashion and costume design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. 

“It is an honor to be presenting at Nashville Fashion Week this year,” said Julianna Bass. “The brand is stretched all over the world, but there is something to be said about coming home. I was thrilled to have been awarded the first Nashville Fashion Forward Fund award, and I used it to expand my knowledge of international fashion trade shows. I traveled to the Bread & Butter Show in Berlin, Germany. And, while visiting Berlin I was so inspired that I decided to make the move from New York two years ago. My time in Berlin has given me an incredible mix of freedom and focus, where I can truly design from my authentic self. And, while I am now back in New York full time to focus on brand expansion, living in Berlin opened a world of possibilities for me both personally and professionally.”

Nashville Fashion Week is April 5 - 9 at unique locations throughout the city. The full schedule, All Access Passes and tickets to all events are now available in a range of prices at All proceeds from Nashville Fashion Week benefit the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Nashville Fashion Week is a city-wide celebration of Nashville’s thriving fashion and retail community and its vast array of creative talent. Featuring local, regional and national designers and industry professionals in an array of creative events throughout the week encourages both Nashvillians and visitors to explore the city’s diverse fashion and retail spaces throughout the week with promotions, partnerships and educational workshops. NFW is founded and directed by a collaboration of fashion, retail and media professionals who have combined their passion and resources to create a completely volunteer-led and run event spotlighting Nashville's growing fashion community with a sustainable focus for philanthropic support of the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.