2015 Winner: Shan Latris
Shan Latris is a rising fashion designer from Alabama. Entering such a fast and challenging field of study, with no prior experience, was an act of faith accompanied by a childhood dream. After less than a year of sewing experience, Shan Latris applied to compete in Birmingham Fashion Week’s 2012 Emerging Designer Competition. She was accepted and ultimately chosen as a Top 10 Finalist. Given such an honor amongst competitors with greater experience than she, she describes that moment as “an humbling and exciting experience.” In 2015, Shan Latris returned to compete again and was crowned Birmingham Fashion Week's Top Emerging Designer Winner!
Shan Latris has a diverse design aesthetic and loves to take her styles to the edge. With such strong versatility, you never know what side of her she will give you through fashion. She is a young woman that cannot be defined or fashionably confined. Most importantly to Shan Latris, her ultimate purpose for her brand is to promote unity, loyalty, and philanthropy among young women. She looks to the future with excitement as she makes plans to bring this purpose into full harvest. Stay on the lookout for this Emerging Designer as she ignites the fashion industry with her unique, sassy style and hip, southern charm.
2014 WINNER: LAUREN LEDFORD
Lauren Ledford was born in Austin, TX, raised in Birmingham, AL, and studied Apparel Design at Auburn University. Since earning BFW’s Emerging Designer 2014 title, Lauren has been pursuing a design career in one of the fashion capitals of the world, New York City. After graduating in spring 2014, she held internships with Miu Miu and Sally LaPointe, free-lanced with fashion companies such as Moda Operandi, and is now working with designer Hilton Hollis. She plans to one day develop her own business and finds inspiration from her experiences to design for her label. With an acknowledged appreciation of what’s surrounding her, Lauren likes to visually juxtapose her designs to emphasize an otherwise subtle counter culture in the South. “ My designs are centered around empowering the modern, style savvy woman. For me, structure should accentuate femininity instead of it becoming its “ball & chain.” My passion lies in working with high end apparel or accessories, so the number one thing I continuously keep in my mind is quality. I aim to design fashion forward pieces without ever compromising the standard or craftsmanship at which it will be produced.”
2013 WINNER: ELIZABETH SINGLETON
Elizabeth Singleton is a designer born in Pensacola, FL, and raised in Birmingham, AL. She is known for her classic, structured, high-quality designs with unique intricate details. Since she held an internship with Twinkle by Wenlan in New York and graduated from the University of Alabama in 2012, Elizabeth has been challenging herself by taking on various projects, researching trends for her upcoming collections, and entering design competitions. After earning BFW’s Emerging Designer 2013 title, Elizabeth interned with one of her mentors and the founder of Birmingham Fashion Week, Heidi Elnora. She is now interning at Rebecca Minkoff in New York for even more experience in one of the hubs of fashion. She plans to pursue her career even further by developing her business.”I love what I do! I draw my inspiration from artwork, architecture, history, literature, and nature. With each design, I believe the origin of my ideas can be identified, but it is always combined with my own chic and modern twist to create a look that you have never seen. I design for the independent young woman of today whose style is effortless, sophisticated, and unique. She does not necessarily follow every trend in fashion, and only wears what flatters her figure. She is always well put together, and her peers admire her for her style.”
2012 WINNER: MANDI FAULK
Mandi Faulk grew up in Oxford, Alabama with a niche in fashion that pushed her to study Apparel & Textile Design at The University of Alabama. Since winning BFW in 2012, Mandi has been preparing a spring collection and planning a move to Atlanta to pursue her fashion design career after graduation in December 2012. “My foundation for design is to be innovative and fresh by using a commixture of fashion-forward styles. I constantly seek inspiration, whether it’s obtained through architecture, nature, textures, or timeless icons. My dreams have been crucially beneficial as an element of inspiration and manifestation. I like the idea of embracing the beauty of grunge while preserving the sexy, urban sophistication of today’s modern woman. The woman I design for is chic, trendy, and appreciates a fresh dynamic esthetic. I want my customer to feel confident, strong, and beautiful while she makes it look easily natural to others.”
2011 WINNER: WILLIAM BRADLEY
William Bradley stands for creating timeless designs through innovation, quality, and juxtaposition. After growing up in the small town of Chatom, Alabama, William attended The University of Alabama and held an internship with Karen Kane, Inc in Los Angeles. After graduation in December 2011, he has plans of moving to New York to pursue a career in fashion design. “I see myself as your all-American kind of guy with a distinct taste and love for design. I draw inspiration from historical icons and architecture along with the reoccurring beauty of nature. I believe my designs are infused with nuanced sophistication and elements of strength and posterity, while remaining wearable and relatable. My customer wants the finer side of American designer wear, but with a slight European twist. He’s strong; she’s sophisticated, and together want to take over the world.”