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For years, Atlanta has served as a launching pad for emerging fashion designers to develop their skills in our stylish city and then move on to share that work with the rest of the world. However, with a focus on the arts and fashion events like RAGTRADE ATLANTA, our city has become a designer destination.

Ragtrade Atlanta workshop

RAGTRADE ATLANTA’s runway show is the big event of the season. However, the organization provides year-round events promoting educational endeavors and panel discussions. For example, we at StyleBlueprint served on this discussion about “The Future of Fashion and Marketing and PR” that took place earlier this year.

The award-winning fashion organization works to partner and promote emerging fashion designers throughout the year, culminating with their premier runway show — taking place on October 5, 2016, and presented by The Lincoln Motor Company. This year’s event, its third, will have a shop-able runway featuring fall/winter 2016 pieces from a curated group of designers that includes Apoteca, Onyii & Co and William Malcolm Luxe Collection.

The other three designers who are part of the event have strong Atlanta roots. They are Cease & Desist, Natt Taylor and Sylvia Mollie. Though we’re super excited to see all the looks rock the runway, we get a little giddy when it comes to supporting our hometown heroes. Take a look at the three Atlanta-based designers/labels getting noticed from fashion lovers around the country.

Cease & Desist 

Established in 2012, Cease & Desist is a lifestyle brand inspired by the seemingly opposite combination of tough, raw street culture and the glitz and glamor of high-end fashion. Fred Foster is the 31-year-old creative director and co-founder of the brand who linked his fashion-forward approach to streetwear with a minimalistic edge.

Fred Foster Cease & Desist

Fred Foster of Cease & Desist | Image: RAGTRADE ATLANTA

Cease & Desist is a cool approach to streetwear with a tough perspective and a defiant trend that still maintains the highest quality of detail. In fact, according to the label, Cease & Desist “has become the staple of the self-dubbed ‘Runway Rebels.'” It has gained a loyal following from regular folks, as well as music industry celebrities like Mike WILL Made-It, Miley Cyrus and Future. In fact, Fred is also the creative behind rapper Future’s Freebandz clothing line.

The Cease & Desist showroom is located near Grant Park and the line can be found in various retailers, including Atlanta hot spots Wish and A Ma Maniere.

Cease & Desist

We love with this olive green long jacket because of the unusual length and cool zipper detailing. Image: Cease & Desist

Natt Taylor

New Jersey-born Natt Taylor discovered her talent for sewing and styling as a young high school student. Though she spent a few years in the corporate world after graduating Morris Brown College with a degree in accounting, she realized creativity was at the core of her calling and she embarked on her entrepreneurial adventures into fashion. After spending time back East in 2004 and working closely with R&B vocalist Keyshia Cole, her designs began to gain popularity and Destini — now Natt Taylor Collections — was born.

Natt Taylor

Natt Taylor of Natt Taylor | Image: RAGTRADE ATLANTA

Natt relocated to Atlanta and her sophisticated women’s wear line, anchored by her signature high-waist pant with bow, started gaining a huge following. The Natt Taylor line celebrates the natural feminine form with bold colors and subtle details, transitioning between day and night looks.

Besides popularity with celebrities and stylish women throughout Atlanta and the rest of the region, Natt earned a following with the critics, as well. She received the 2015 Emerging Fashion Designer Award from the City of Atlanta and was recently named Jezebel Magazine‘s 2016 Best Fashion Designer.

Natt Taylor peplum top

How cute is this peplum top?! You can totally dress it up or dress it down. Image: Natt Taylor

Sylvia Mollie

Sylvia Mollie is a ready-to-wear women’s clothing line “designed for classy women seeking an edgy look and conservative appeal.” Kenya Freeman leads the design and vision behind the Sylvia Mollie brand, launched and based in Atlanta. The line focuses on timeless, classic cool that withstands the trends that ebb and flow over time.

Kenya Freeman Sylvia Mollie

Kenya Freeman of Sylvia Mollie | Image: RAGTRADE ATLANTA

Sylvia Mollie runs the gamut of wardrobe staples that every woman should make sure her closet holds: tailored pants, blouses, skirts and jackets. In 2015, the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs awarded the Emerging Fashion Designer Grant to the clothing line; in the same year, they received Designer of the Year from Kontrol Magazine.

RELATED: Angela Watts: FACES of Atlanta

Sylvia Mollie

A fun, cropped look from Sylvia Mollie Spring/Summer 2016 collection | Image: RAGTRADE ATLANTA

According to RAGTRADE ATLANTA, Atlanta is a key gateway for emerging designers to position their brands globally. That’s why RAGTRADE is so crucial for developing talent and spreading the word about who will be the next big thing. Ticket holders are treated to a pop-up shopping event before the runway event begins, having the opportunity to buy and wear the gorgeous pieces designed by the talented artists featured at RAGTRADE.

For more information about RAGTRADE ATLANTA and how to get tickets, visit the official website.


Check out what else is going on this month in our fair city by reading October’s “Happenings” now!

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