Events: Charleston Fashion Week with Belk

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. The best kind of whirlwind but a blur none the less. I’m still trying to get back in to my routine after getting the chance to take a quick trip to Charleston, thanks to the team at Belk.

When I was first asked by the brand to attend Charleston Fashion Week as part of their Southern Style Summit, I had two thoughts: 1. Sweeet. 2. Wait, do we have a Belk in Louisville and I’m so clueless I didn’t even know?

After a quick google search and a question to the PR team, I was assured that I haven’t been missing out and that, in fact, we don’t have a Belk here in Louisville but there are locations throughout the state including in Elizabethtown. After visiting their store in Charleston, I’m about to start a letter writing campaign to bring one to the 502. But let me back up a little bit.

Last Wednesday I skipped out of town and was surrounded by bright buildings and palm trees by noon. There wasn’t much time to just soak in the surroundings though because Belk had planned out a pretty killer trip for us that kept us moving. The us I’m referring to was a group of nine bloggers from around the south of which I was very lucky to be included.

We were welcomed to our rooms with a bonanza of great dresses and welcome goodies – think beauty products for days and some South Carolina treats. It was definitely the first of a handful of pinch me moments. Before I could spin around though we were off to get the lay of the land from Arlene Goldstein, the VP of Trend Merchandising at Belk. A quick note about Arlene. She is a boss. An enviable mix of knowledge, experience, style and most importantly, warmth and kindness. Arlene made us feel immediately welcome and she spent the next three days introducing us to everyone and sharing her expertise.

CarolineCTan_CHSFW_Thursday_Midday_0041The Belk Southern Style Summit Crew with Arlene Goldstein and Fern Mallis – Founder of NYFW 

Our first night, we went to an amazing dinner at The Grocery with Trina Turk and her team. I was lucky enough to sit next to Arlene and caddy-corner to Trina Turk so I spent half the meal just listening to them tell stories. (She had just returned from a trip to Cuba, is celebrating 20 years in business and is also a boss lady with so many cool stories.) I was also lucky enough to meet members of her team while trying to convince all of them to come to Derby. I could go on and on about this dinner but we’d be here all day so I’ll just cut it short and say it was certainly something I’ll remember as one of the coolest opportunities I’ve had while doing the blog.

Lou What Wear * Stripes * Layers * Spring Outfits_0688
Saturday we kicked off our day with a fun style challenge at the Belk in Charleston. We were given a $250 budget and 30 minutes to throw together a look based on Belk’s spring/summer trends. It was kind of like Mall Madness/Super Market Sweep (can those shows come back?).

Romper: Eight Sixty Ella Romper c/o Belk | Blazer: 1 State Peplum Blazer 

I left the dressing room looking like the Tasmanian Devil ran through it. Tried on about a million things but in the end, I went with this Eight Sixty Printed Romper and a 1 State White Blazer, finished off with a pair of French Connection heels and my belt. It was fun seeing what everyone put together. Arkeedah had her fab look styled up in about a half second and I still can’t believe Chelsei’s complete look was only $220.

From left: Tara Belle {Northern Lights-Southern Belles} | Arkeedah {It’s Arkeedah} | Cris {Styleanthrophy} | Molly {A Piece of Toast} | Me | Bethany {B Soup} | Chelsie {A Killa Life} | Erika {Fashion Chalet} | Megan {Lush to Blush

Saturday night was the Belk show so we all headed over to the tents cocktails and mingling. If you see me and ask me about this trip, the one thing I will go on and on about is the people involved with the company. Everyone was so welcoming, friendly and great to talk to. It was a cool way to learn more about the way they think about branding and partnerships while sharing our side of things.

Lou What Wear * Stripes * Layers * Spring Outfits_0695The show was a wash of color that epitomized Belk’s motto of Modern Southern Style. The models all looked like they were having a great time which was infectious. Beyond just the Belk show, we got to catch some of the Emerging Designer shows which all got a solid two thumbs up. Especially loved the little boy style in the Preparatoire show. No chance D3 would let me dress him up in that but a mom can dream.

Lou What Wear * Stripes * Layers * Spring Outfits_0693The Trina Turk Team: Claudine, Trina Turk, Lauren 
Lou What Wear * Stripes * Layers * Spring Outfits_0690 Lou What Wear * Stripes * Layers * Spring Outfits_0692Lou What Wear * Stripes * Layers * Spring Outfits_0691

We celebrated the night with some bar hopping with our tour guide Chelsei and finished it with a giant pizza. All in all a solid day.

IMG_20150326_233100The quick trip ended with a round table brunch with the Belk executives who picked our brains on their brand perception, ways to improve their social media presence and other randomness.  I wish it had lasted twice as long because, I think, it was something we all learned a lot from.

friday roundtable

I left with a huge respect for the company and a wish for a Louisville location. Seriously, it would be huge here. It’s not your grandmother’s store anymore. Think brands like French Connection, Kate Spade, Lily Pulitzer, Michael Kors, Trina Turk, MAC and more, more, more. I talked up Derby big time so I’m hoping to do some Derby dress features with them in the coming weeks so stay tuned for more from them.

It was also a lot of fun to spend time with Molly {A Piece of Toast} and Bethany {B Soup}. There wasn’t nearly enough time for all the shopping, eating and exploring so maybe a trip back is in the future.

 

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 All photos by Terrence Edwards and Caroline Tan 

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Belk. All opinions and random thoughts are my own. A big thanks to Nunez PR, Belk, Trina Turk, the Charleston Visitors Bureau and more for an amazing trip.

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mom of three, small business owner. balancing life and style in louisville, ky

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7 Comments

  1. Chelsea wrote:

    What a great group & a fantastic trip! Arlene is just amazing -I could listen to her speak for hours.

    Chelsea
    Haute Child in the City

    Posted 3.27.15 Reply
    • Danielle wrote:

      Right!? I just want to follow her around all day and hear her stories. She is the best!

      Posted 3.30.15 Reply
  2. Jessica wrote:

    I was so glad we got to see you in Charleston! And loving that little printed romper. Looks like you had a super fun week!

    xo Jessica
    http://www.mystylevita.com

    Posted 3.27.15 Reply
    • Danielle wrote:

      I was so pumped to see you guys too! Wish we had more time to hang out AND wish I was able to come to SBS this summer. I’m sure I’ll have major FOMO!

      Posted 3.30.15 Reply
  3. Looks like such a fun trip! Love that romper on you.

    Best,
    Josh – The Kentucky Gent
    http://thekentuckygent.com

    Posted 3.27.15 Reply
    • Danielle wrote:

      Thanks so much Josh!

      Posted 3.30.15 Reply