The owner and designer of Joan's Bridal Couture will feature her eveningwear in an emerging designers competition.

Joan Madison, owner and designer at Joan’s Bridal Couture in Reynoldsburg, heads to Charleston, South Carolina, next week for Lexus Charleston Fashion Week. The annual event, which began in 2007, has grown from 12 runway shows to more than 35, says executive director Naomi Russell.

“The Fashion Village has grown tremendously and sprawls across Marion Square—and across Charleston, with the addition of in-store events,” Russell adds. Fashion Village refers to the 35,000 square feet of tents housing a Style Lounge, fashion displays and interactive elements like makeup touch-ups, as well as the Runway Tent itself.

Madison’s evening formalwear will be part of the Emerging Designer Competition, which showcases looks from 12 designers from across the country from March 13–16.

“Showcasing a selection of emerging talent is something Charleston Fashion Week has fostered for more than a decade,” says Jacqueline Lawrence, executive production director for Charleston Fashion Week. “We launch a nationwide search to find the best emerging talent in the fashion industry. Our panel of prominent judges review all applications and narrow it down to the top emerging designers selected to show their collections.”

Finalists for the emerging designers competition, including Madison, were selected based on their overall concept, garment construction, use of fabric and materials, and use of line, texture and style, says Lawrence.

Madison says her submitted looks are a spin on the eveningwear looks she showed at Fashion Week Columbus last fall.  “The theme is black, gold and ivory—just very royal and very regal,” she explains.

Designers compete for a lunch with Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week and Charleston Fashion Week, in New York City; a mentorship with L2 Apparel and Pauline Sokol Nakios, creative director and owner of Lilla P; a featured presentation at Charleston Fashion Week 2019; a web marketing package from F22 Internet Solutions; and, best of all, a $10,000 cash prize.

When asked what she’d do if she won the grand prize, Madison is quick to correct with “when” she wins, before adding that she’d use the money “to expand my brand. The goal is to produce my merchandise, to get it into nice little boutiques and just to get my name out there.”

Although Madison’s looks at Fashion Week Columbus technically were eveningwear, we were impressed at the gowns’ ability to translate to bridal style. Madison says that same aesthetic will be applicable to her Charleston collection.

Please join us in wishing Madison the best of luck as she competes next week!