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Fashion Secrets of the South
August 26, 2009
Metropolitan Hotel
51 Lexington

Written and Photographed by Brandie Raasch

Every year Sode Collections brings twenty of the biggest names in southern luxury fashion, jewelry, handbag and footwear to New York for a one-day preview of their winter/spring 2010 collections. At this year's showcase at the Metropolitan Hotel, a common theme emerged: going green is here to stay. Among both the upcoming and established designers, I found a number of reused and recycled items, all repurposed in a unique manner to now serve New York's fashionistas.

Brad Brooks and Christy Brooks of brooksBANG

The newly founded, southern based creative design team of brooksBANG, started by Christy Brooks and Brad Brooks, collects post-consumer goods such as donated clothing or belts to craft their products, Their one-of-a-kind tote bags are eco-friendly as well as fashionable.

Ann Roth Shoe Designs

Adding to the accessories market were a number of jewelry collections and even a custom shoe designer, Ann Roth Shoe Designs. Roth displayed her shoe collection, originally consisting of custom-made espadrilles, but now expanded to include new styles including peep toes and some very classy T-strap heels.

Smartglass, from Atlanta artist Kathleen Plate, is a modern jewelry line which includes necklaces, bracelets and rings, crafted from recycled glass bottle materials.

Jill Zarin of The Real Housewives of New York

These Southern designers are becoming well-known among the well-heeled stars of Hollywood. Jill Zarin of The Real Housewives of New York dropped by to try on some jewels, and several of the showcased Southern creators’ pieces have been featured on TV shows such as Gossip Girl. I overheard one man there on the look out for items for a Demi Lovato show.

After eyeing some very wearable new merchandise, I think my wardrobe could use a little Southern charm.

  Ann Roth Shoe Designs  


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