Future of fashion? Moving toward ‘limited edition, artisanal’ says panelist

A peek at Brandshop, at LaCa Projects near uptown.
A peek at Brandshop, at LaCa Projects near uptown. HELEN SCHWAB

One-of-a-kind, artisanal clothing made locally is “part of the future of fashion,” a New York boutique owner told a Charlotte crowd Friday at Brandshop.

That’s the name of a popup market open through 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at LaCa Projects, 1429 Bryant St. It aims to show more than two dozen “emerging brands” to area customers, and offered a speaker series Friday, ranging from advice for business owners to how to begin collecting art. (That one featured Charlotte’s Chandra Johnson of SOCO Gallery and Annie Carlano of the Mint Museum.)

“The Future of Fashion” had Charlotte boutique owner Laura Vinroot Poole (Capitol, Poole Shop and men’s Tabor) joined by Stacy Smallwood of Charleston’s Hampden Clothing; Sarah Easley (the New York owner of Kirna Zabate); and Ann Mashburn of the multi-location apparel/accessory/etc. Mashburn. (All are higher-end stores, though the price range for dresses, for example, is mid-hundreds to thousands.)

Easley was answering a question from the notably-well-turned-out crowd: What did panelists think about custom, one-of-a-kind pieces? “The future of fashion is like art – limited edition, very artisanal, locally made... though I’d settle for American.”

Among the emerging brands featured at Brandshop: Charlotte-made jewelry from Twine & Twig and Addison Weeks. (Both are on the Observer’s collection of locally produced goods now on Pinterest:

Other highlights of the “future”: e-commerce, said Poole. Service, said Mashburn and Easley, especially for the luxury customer, and all agreed that “the experience,” whether online or in-person, is increasingly key.