Exclusive Interview With Three Winning Fashion Designers

Belk Southern Designer Showcase Competition Winners Reveal Inspiration and Vision

I had the great opportunity, during Charleston Fashion Week 2014, to spend a little bit of time with three winning designers of the 2013 Belk Southern Designer Showcase Competition and ask them a few questions about their collections. Each conversation was truly inspiring and revealed wonderful things not only about their collections and clothing lines, but also about the designers themselves.
Each and every designer I interviewed was very open, friendly, eager to share their vision and focus of their collections and the source of their inspiration. Without further ado, here are the designers…

Regina White - designer bags

Regina White

Regina White‘s label, Cristina Bijou, features a classic line of handbags, purses, travel bags, and clutches. The clean line makes them timeless accessories while the lush jewel tone leather makes them bold yet playful and fun. Watch Regina White talking about her designs:

AnnaBelle LaRoque, a native southern fashion designer from Charleston, was present at Charleston Fashion Week 2014 displaying a colorful and fun s/s 2014 collection. Her designs fit perfectly the Southern style: they add a classy note to modern trends. Fun and playful, AnnaBelle’s clothing line “LaRoque” is a good fit for every woman’s style.

LaRoque line clothing


Q: What is the main focus of your collection?
A: I’ve been designing for 8 years and my main focus of the LaRoque collection for Belk is the Southern modern style. You will see that some of the pieces are more Southern and some are modern, to create a vision for a broader audience.
Q: What inspired you for this season?
A: I grew up in Charleston so I grew up around a lot of color and architecture. While working on the Belk collection, I went back to my southern roots to bring back the vibrant colors of my youth.
Q: What type of woman do you see wearing your designs?
A: I see women who not necessarily look to be stylish but are attracted more to something that matches their lifestyle, a beautiful dress they will wear to a garden party or to church or to market on a Saturday morning. My collection suggests something that any woman would wear to dress for the most moments of her life.

AAnnaBelle LaRoque -Emanuela-Necul

AnnaBelle & I

Anne Hughes Windmueller – a jewelry designer who was among the 13 winner designers of the Southern Designer Showcase Competition for Belk. Her “Anne Belen” jewelry line includes necklaces and dazzling earrings whose Italian influence amazed me most.

Anne Hughes Windmueller- jewelry designer

Anne Hughes Windmueller

Q: What inspired the design of your collection?
A: My collection was inspired by the time I spent in Italy. I studied fine jewelery making in Florence, Italy. I felt a really need to create jewelry that incorporate several different elements: high-quality materials, boho aesthethic, and the most importantly – the craftmanship. Every single piece of my jewelry was made here in United States on James Island by myself using all the bench jeweler techniques I’ve learned in Italy: lost-wax casting, metalsmithing, stone setting . Each piece of my jewelry collection is handcrafted and hand-tooled versus being mass produced or fabricated on a grand scale.
Q:What would you recommend from your collection to women who spend the vacation at the beach for a show or going out with friends?
A: I would definitely recommend the agate jewelry, Brazilian agate earrings. They are wonderful for summer and the stones come in beautiful hues of fuchsia, blues and blacks. The earrings are effortlessly chic and you can find the right color to fit any dress or hair color and skin tone. If it’s only one piece of jewelry it would definitely be the black agates, which are complemented with 14k gold fill. They could be wear with a strap of dress, with your favorite pop of color. In the summer time you don’t want a lot of fuss, you want to go with your natural look and these black agates add a little bit of sophistication and a little bit of a finished product because they have some finished elements to them.
Q: Where can we find your jewelery designs?
A: You can find them in selected Belk stores, on Belk.com, and on my website.

Anne Hughes Windmuelle - jewlery collection

Gemstone necklace


Emanuela Neculai is a fashionista with European background, currently living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA. As a teenager Emanuela has been influenced by the Eastern European culture and fashion trends. The European elegant style has left a strong mark on her taste and preferences. Follow Emanuela on Google+

    Find more about me on:
  • googleplus
  • facebook
  • pinterest
  • twitter
  • youtube

Leave a Reply