Member's Newsletter April 2011 

Save the Date! A Royal Accessories Event
Enjoy an intimate high tea gathering, while meeting and learning from experts on millinery, jewelry and other accessories that complete any outfit. These are pieces that transform a wardrobe into a timeless and beautiful one.

Sunday, May 1, 2011
The Thoroughbred Club at The Charleston Place Hotel

Only 50 tickets available so click here to buy now

Member Administration
FGI Charleston is on the lookout for volunteers in the following areas. If you are interested in participating in one of our committees (programming, advertising,  PR, membership or web), or can help in the following positions, or you know someone who would be, interested in working with us voluntarily, please contact

FGI Event Photographer
FGI Event Videographer
FGI Intern
Regional Director's Assistant

Member Resources –
News, Tools & Events

NEWS - Fall 2011 Trends Emerge from New York & Paris Fashion Weeks - The strongest trends to emerge on Fall 2011 Fashion Week runways included:

1) Less is More: chic, minimalist pieces kept it pure and simple.

2) Go Dotty: polka dots are this season's stripes, small and large.

3) The Swinging 60's: vibrant shades, tunics & pants and beehives galore.

4) Floor-Length Duster Coats are essential thanks to Bill Blass, Rodarte and Michael Kors.

5) Keep it Kinky: high necks, patent leather and bondage straps turn on the sex appeal.

6) Tartan Plaid: designers looked to Scotland's prints for inspiration

7) Crisp Tailoring: mens wear, tuxedo details, clean lines & geometric prints add a touch of class.

8) Go Goth with long silhouettes, feathers and dramatic layering. High slits are great for long hemlines.

9) A Different Silhouette with volume arrives with capes, ponchos and peplum detail.

10) Go Glam: deep luxe velvet, shimmer and shine make dressed up daywear irresistable this Fall.

Festival of Houses & Gardens

Now through April 16
This 64 year old festival from the Historic Charleston Foundation, provides entry into 150 private homes, gardens, churches and  other historic buildings, tours historic   neighbor-hoods, has period concerts, and a luncheon lecture series. A not-to- miss event for both designers and enthusiasts alike! Tickets at

The Kiawah Art & House Tour

April 8 2-6pm

Explore 5 incredible homes decorated in every kind of style from contemporary to traditional Lowcountry. View their vast art collections, breathtaking vistas and architecture. Tickets include light refreshments and serve as an admission pass to the Gibbes Museum, which benefits. Tickets:

Charleston Eco Fashion Event

April 22, 7pm
Michael Mitchell Gallery

Applauding eco-conscious efforts of local designers, this event features runway shows by Rachel Gordon, Caroline Baker Maude and Natasha Shamdasani- Madan (FGI member), shopping including jewelry by Fernanda Sullivan (FGI member), chocolate and wine. A portion of ticket sales benefit Fields to Families. Produced by Katie Kern's (FGI member) Circa PR & Tout Models & Talent. Tickets available for sale at


Atlanta Apparel Market
Atlanta GA
Now to April 4

Intertextile Home Textiles Market
Shanghai CHINA
April 2- 4

Chicago IL
April 2-5

Chicago IL
April 4-5

Lineapelle (Leather/Accessories)
Bologna ITALY
April 6-8

Vancouver Fashion Week
Vancouver CANADA
April 6-11

Oroarezzo (Gold, Silver & Fine Jewelry)
Arezzo ITALY
April 9-12

Luggage, Leathergoods, Handbags and Accessories Show
Toronto CANADA
April 10-12

Milan Intl Furniture Design Fair
April 12-17

POS (Shoe Trade Fair)
Pirmasens GERMANY
April 19-20

Contact the Board
Tel: 843 696 2688

Rosanna Krekel
Regional Director

Anna Lassiter

Sarah Digangi

Marshall Simon
Membership Director

Katie Kern
Public Relations Director

Robert Butt
Advertising Director

Natasha Shamdasani Madan
Technology Director

Linda Burnside
Co-Program Director

Michael Mitchell
Co-Program Director

In this Issue
Regional Director's Note
What We Have Been Up To
Featured Member
FGI in the News
Event Recap
What We Heard
Regional Director's Note

Welcome to our first Fashion Group International® of Charleston, Inc Newsletter. We hope this provides you with news and insights between our events. We rely upon all of you to tell us what you would like to hear more about - trends, topics, FGI members, etc. This is YOUR newsletter. It is just one of the many tools and resources being a member of FGI offers you. You can read more about the benefits in this newsletter or log on to

When we launched in Charleston, we shared our three goals for the region. They are:
1) build the businesses of our members and develop their careers
2) bring unique programming and speakers/industry experts to Charleston
3) put a spotlight on our beautiful city as a Fashion Capital

So much has happened in our short life in this region with so much ahead. Let me recap a few of these happenings for you:

1) We have achieved over half our membership goal after our first event and will be sharing a profile/success story of our members in our newsletter and online. See the profile of Margaret Hansen in this newsletter. Our members who are approved before the end of May will be listed in the Global Fashion Group International Directory that reaches over 5,000 industry professionals in 36 regions around the globe.

2) On the programming front, our launch event was on February 8th. We hosted the Spring/Summer Trend Presentation and you can read all about it in the event recap section, as well as in the press links in this newsletter. We have five more events this year in the accessories, beauty, home and retail arena, as well as another international trend presentation event.

3) We will be launching an advertising campaign for the group in print and online for the second half of this year.

In closing, I would like to thank our board - it is because of their tireless efforts that we can bring this organization to Charleston and to our active members. Without you, there would be no FGI of Charleston.

Finally, I would like to thank our wonderful sponsors who support our events - Social, Gwynn's of Mount Pleasant, Laura Mercier, Charleston Style & Design Magazine and Spectra Integration. I encourage members to support the businesses that support us.

I look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at an upcoming event!

Fashionably yours,

Rosanna Krekel
What We Have Been Up To

We’ve been very busy introducing the Fashion Group International (R) to Charleston.  Aside from all the the great press we have received, we have also hosted and participated in events around town in order to inform the community what FGI is all about. 

Last November, we held a membership drive at the Michael Mitchell Gallery with food and wine from Social Wine Bar.  Following a brief Fashion Group International video with clips from "The Night of Stars" (FGI's Oscar Night). Charleston’s Regional Director Rosanna Krekel gave an overview of the organization’s mission and goals for the region.  In attendance were local retailers, fashion designers, interior designers, as well as members from media publications.

In January, board members hosted a membership drive in Columbia, at the home of Shelvie Belser.  Many bloggers, photographers, designers, and retailers braved the snow to learn more about the organization and excitement built about bringing industry professionals together between the two cities.

In February, Rosanna was invited to speak at Pecha Kucha 9, a forum for ideas on design, architecture and overall creativity, and an event that originated in Japan. She spoke to a sold out crowd about how FGI came to Charleston and the process we have gone through to found the organization. 

Each of these events have been greatly successful in raising awareness of the organization as well as recruiting new members to the group.

Featured Member - Margaret Hansen, Ecolibrio

It all started with a small bag of electrical cables that Margaret Hansen's husband had lying around. After making beaded jewelry for a decade, experimenting with ordinary old wires presented a new challenge, especially without any books or training on technique. She started experimenting with wires the company where she worked was throwing out, developed her own techniques and created a collection of unique recycled jewelry and handbags. And Ecolibrio was born.

With her husband encouraging her to turn Ecolibrio from a hobby to a career, Margaret entered a recycled wire handbag into a local competition and came in second place. That victory gave her the confidence to take the plunge, despite her lack of business experience. Her love for working with an unexplored media kept her going strong, and Ecolibrio's first collection made its debut at Charleston Fashion Week 2010. The reception it received led Margaret to enter an Ecolibrio handbag at the Independent Handbag Designer Awards™, a competition that receives over 900 applicants worldwide. Once again, her work was recognized - she placed in the top 5 for Best Green Handbag, beating international designers with art degrees, training, mentors and full-fledged businesses with 200 employees and design staff. Ever humble, Margaret sought advice from anyone willing to offer it, learned a great deal and came out of the whole experience with the realization that Ecolibrio had a special niche and a talent worth pursuing.

There are two kinds of Ecolibrio women - those in their early 20s and those over 40 - but both have the confidence to define their own style. The company is also making headway with men who are enthusiastic about Margaret's work. Ecolibrio presently sells the distinctive collection at local events, a few boutiques including ONE Boutique in Downtown Charleston and online at Margaret's goals for Ecolibrio are to grow the brand domestically and then reach Europe and Asia. She says, "'I feel encouraged to achieve this as FGI member because of the opportunity to connect with fashion industry professionals globally and the help in planning my future in fashion".

If you know of a store that would be perfect for the Ecolibrio collection, Margaret would love to hear from you. She also welcomes comments, questions, advice and critique of her work. Contact her at and visit for the full collection.

FGI in the News

Since our launch, FGI Charleston has been receiving a great deal of attention from the Press. See our latest coverage below:

Charleston Scene, Feb. 16 2011
"Pecha Kucha - Ninth installment features 10 local speakers representing a diverse array of creative professions"

VENT Magazine Blog, Feb. 2011
"Trending at 35 Prioleau"

Charleston City Paper, Feb. 9 2011
"Parliament announces ninth Pecha Kucha lineup"

Charleston City Paper, Feb. 8 2011
"Spring/Summer 2011 Collections Video Presentation" 

CHARLIE Magazine, Feb. 2011
"Fashion Group International" Blog, Jan 2011
"Fashion Insights from Fashion Insiders: Rosanna Krekel”

SG *Fashion Fix* Blog, Jan 2011
“FGI Summer Collections Video Presentation”

The Digitel Charleston, Jan 2011 
"Fashion Group International of Charleston presents a night of fashion, film and discussion"

Live 5 News, Jan 2011
“Best of Shows Spring/Summer 2011 RTW Collections Trend Overview”

Charleston Scene, Dec 2010
“Fashion Year in Review”

LowCountry Biz SC, Nov 2010
"The Fashion Group International® of Charleston, Inc. Comes to Charleston, SC"

Charleston City Paper, Nov 2010
“Fashion Group International lands in Charleston”

The Post and Courier, Nov 2010
“Memos & Distinctions”

Event Recap - 2011 Spring/Summer Collections Presentation

The Fashion Group International (R) of Charleston officially launched it’s Charleston region with the celebrated first programming event, Best Of Shows" Spring/Summer 2011.  The event, held at the Harbour Club on February 8th, featured a video presentation of the Ready-to-Wear Collections from Paris, Milan, London & New York. 

Before the video presentation and panelist discussion, guests met, mingled,and greeted causing this FGI member to feel “the wedding effect” with so many amazing people to speak to, and not enough time.  As VENT Magazine features editor, Christine Felipe recently wrote of the event in their online publication, “Guests roamed freely, clutching mimosas and martinis and dressed  à propos to the occasion”. 

With the wrap of the video, panelists - including local accessories designer Mary Norton (one of FGI's Rising Stars); Laura Mercier global make-up artist, Jodi Riley; Taylor Ware, Area Director of Louis Vuitton; and Krekel herself, having served under a number of renown magazine titles, among them Life & Style Weekly, Rolling Stone, and Glamour - chatted fashion and beauty, important industry trends and their personal faves for the season. 

Topics up for discussion included what was happening in fashion print publishing, digital media and current market issues, in effect achieving our goal of creating an environment to support and promote the business of fashion by providing a platform for such discussions and an environment that brought industry professional from all tiers together.

What We Heard

Each month, we'll feature the questions we're asked most often by our members and the things we've heard you say. If you'd like to submit a question or testimonial for inclusion in this section, we'd love to hear from you. Please email

Q: What charity does FGI benefit?
A: FGI benefits FGI, since it is a global, non-profit  501(c)(6) with a region in Charleston, South Carolina. All proceeds from events, ticket sales and donations enable us to organize, sponsor and promote educational, fashion-related programming for our members' benefit, and attract the right caliber of speakers, panelists and industry experts that are necessary. It also allows us to sponsor public service activities in which the fashion industry works to serve relevant community needs and concerns. All members of our Board and Committees work on a voluntary basis in addition to their regular jobs and are not financially compensated for their time, efforts or expertise.

Q: How does being an FGI member benefit me or my business?
Becoming an FGI member is an important step in reaffirming your commitment to your career in the fashion industry, as it can help you in so many amazing ways. However, there are four main benefits you can expect to receive. First, membership to our exclusive fashion association enables you to network with other industry professionals in the fashion, retail, accessories, interior and beauty industries. This can present you and your business with new ideas currently being employed in other segments which you can successfully use to enhance your own business. You will also gain insightful and timely exposure to global industry trends through our exclusive programming, bulletins, facebook posts and this newsletter. This knowledge can be instrumental in assisting your planning and forecasting for the year, and serves as a valuable business tool. In addition, while we will always provide you with local exposure, FGI affords you and your company a chance to be a part of the global happenings in the fashion world - this takes your business to a stage that is larger than Charleston and surrounding markets and catapults you into a worldwide arena. And finally, you have a worldwide network of associates to count on and do business with - these 5000 members in 36 regions around the world can become an integral part of your company as sourcing partners, clients or partners. All in all, once you have actively participated as a member, you will find countless opportunities to learn and grow your business, and take it to a whole new level.



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