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fashion

Belmont University

Belmont University announced a plan Tuesday to merge with the Franklin-based O’More College of Design. This upcoming fall, all O’More students will move to Belmont’s campus in Nashville.

 

The plan will unite the two schools’ graphic design programs and sees Belmont taking on three others: interior design, fashion design and fashion merchandising. Belmont President Bob Fisher believes the merger comes at a good time, amid Nashville’s burgeoning fashion industry.

 

Emily Siner / WPLN

The Nashville area is home to a growing number of fashion brands: powerhouses like international footwear company Genesco, small designers like shoemaker Nisolo, distribution warehouses for Gap and Under Armour. On Wednesday, the Nashville Fashion Alliance released a report quantifying the economic impact of these brands at nearly $6 billion.

It's a number that the industry hopes will prove its value — both to the local economy and to designers nationwide.

Emily Siner / WPLN

An oversized warehouse in South Nashville is where Elizabeth Suzann clothing is born: boxy tees, long loose dresses and slouchy silk pants. The color scheme is dependably neutral.

"We use blacks, grays, oatmeals, creams, and then we use very simple silhouettes. We don't use a lot of zippers, any metal, no beading," says founder and designer Elizabeth Pape. She's wearing a slouchy taupe turtleneck as she gives me a tour of the warehouse.