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Nashville Convention and Vistors Corp

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 To Celebrate Nashville’s Creative Community On Closing Night of Nashville Fashion Week

The Nashville Fashion Forward Fund Gala To Celebrate Nashville’s Creative Community On Closing Night of Nashville Fashion Week

The Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and co-chairs Kimberly Lewis and Gen Sohr invite you to celebrate and support the entrepreneurial spirit of Nashville’s creative arts and fashion community at the fourth annual Nashville Fashion Forward Fund Gala on Saturday, April 8 at Track One in the burgeoning Wedgehood Houston area. The Fashion Forward Gala is the culmination of Nashville Fashion Week’s five day celebration featuring local, regional and national designers and industry professionals in an array of creative events throughout the city. The Gala will be designed and coordinated by AmosEvents.

Nashville Fashion Week is excited to announce that Butch Spyridon, President of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp, will speak to the importance of the arts and creativity as a cornerstone of the Nashville economy. Natalie Chanin, founder and creative director of Alabama Chanin, will be the guest speaker for the evening followed by a musical performance by singer-songwriter Shelly Colvin

“I am honored to be included in this event. Fashion has become the next step in the creative “thread” that speaks to Nashville’s unique and authentic offerings,” Spyridon said.

Nashville Fashion Week will present its third Nashville Fashion Forward Awards at the Fashion Forward Gala to recognize community leaders that have made an impact on the Nashville fashion industry. Sandra Lipman is the 2017 Nashville Style Icon. Awards will also be presented for the Fashion Forward, Legacy, Face of Fashion (sponsored by Picture Booth), Rising Star (sponsored by The Mall at Green Hills) and Point of View (sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka) recipients at the event. 

Butch Spyridon
Natalie Chanin
Shelly Colvin

“All of us at Alabama Chanin are so honored and excited to be participating in Nashville Fashion Week. It has been wonderful watching the industry unfold, connect creative individuals, and flourish in our communities. It has only just begun,” says Chanin.

In 2013, Chanin won the CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge, an award competition that identifies and celebrates the greatest American designers working in the realm of sustainable fashion. Chanin continues to learn and to teach craft traditions, using them to bridge generational, economic, and cultural gaps. Steluta will host an Alabama Chanin Lifestyle Pop Up Show featuring collection pieces and home goods curated by Alabama Chanin on April 1-9 in their East Nashville boutique. 

“Nashville Fashion Week has grown to have a significant impact on young designers, and the industry as a whole is paying attention. It’s an honor to sit on their advisory council during this exciting time, and I’m especially thrilled to perform at this year’s gala, where my friend Natalie Chanin will be speaking,” Colvin says.

Colvin has written and recorded two full-length albums, and collaborated with numerous artists on stage and off including John Prine and The Black Crowes. Shelly is featured in the critically acclaimed music documentary Heartburn Highways Revisited and has performed at many festivals and historical venues including Bonnaroo, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Stagecoach, Lincoln Center and was most recently a featured artist at Dylan Fest at the Ryman Auditorium.

Individual tickets to the Gala can be purchased for $200, tables of 10 for $2,000, and sponsored tables for $2,500 at and includes The Gala Late Party. Others can join the festivities following the awards ceremony at 10 p.m. Late Party tickets are $50.

Nashville Fashion Week will be held April 4-8 at unique locations throughout the city. Runway and All Access Passes as well as tickets to individual events are now available in a wide range of prices. All proceeds from Nashville Fashion Week benefit 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.