Chattanooga Fashion Expo “The Journey” Recap

  • Saturday, February 17, 2024

Chattanooga Fashion Expo delivered another year of multiple events with a diverse slate of nine runway shows, educational workshops, mentorship opportunities, industry panels, parties, curated shopping events and more.

“We are so excited about the impact we made in the regional creative community this year with the events and the number of artists we were able to support," said Shanna Forrestall, CFE founder. "Not only were we able to provide a showcasing platform for many artists, we were also able to encourage, educate and empower many local young artists and we look forward to the fruit of that investment in the future of fashion that will blossom from our work.”

The event provided a platform for designers and models from the region and highlighted key designers from Chattanooga, Knoxville, Atlanta, Nashville, Savannah, Augusta, Montgomery and more. This year’s theme was The Journey and the first day's focus was on education. The schedule included a full day of workshops, professional presentations and interactive education. Then concluded with an industry panel of regional professionals sharing insights about their personal “fashion industry journey”.

“The show was a great reimagining of the CFE experience presented in a more intimate and cozy
setting, and resulting in more networking between designers, the audience and the vendors. We
were very pleased with the new format,” said Kandyce Hudson, CFE event coordinator and owner
of InKandycence Sewing Studio.

A few key highlights from the Main Expo on the next day included an opening showcase by jewelry designer Gemstone Drippin out of Atlanta whose powerful and intentional designs set the tone for a unique show packed full of diversity, creativity and passion.

Chattanooga based model Brittany Moss, who was launched from the CFE stage in Year 1, was named the CFE Top Model with an overwhelming support of votes from the audience and judges. She has grown up on the CFE stage over the past three years, performing in various shows as model, dancer, actress and fire performer.

"Brittany Moss, the epitome of elegance and grace, claims the title of Chattanooga Fashion Expo's
model winner," said Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds, the dean of fashion. "Her signature walk exudes professionalism, while her contagious zeal for life illuminates the runway. A true embodiment of style and poise.” -

Felina Martin of Pajoma Na was awarded CFE Design (Collection) Winner. She is an artist turned designer and her artwork inspired by Chattanooga’s diversity, has evolved into a collection that is magnetic, multi functional, elegant, and intentional.

“Felina Martin’s line was fresh, modern and distinctive," said Kandyce Hudson, InKandycence. "She has a signature style present in all her pieces that make them a fresh addition to many wardrobes, and suitable for day and night wear. “

"Felina Martin, of Pamoja Na, the triumphant design winner of Chattanooga Fashion Expo, beautifully intertwines their passion for art and fashion," said Dr. Hammonds. "Their creations vividly represent the vibrant pulse of the NOW in fashion, showcasing innovation and style.”

The events concluded with a carefully curated experience by Chef Jaguar Rotan at the Walden Peak Farm on Signal Mountain above the city. Chef Jaguar created a sensory experience that included live fairies, musical performances by Nashville based artists Adam Burch and Fiona Maura, multiple sets by DJ Jeramy Shamaz of Creative Culture Chatt and also included vegan sushi served nyotaimori style on live models, and other culinary delights.

CFE continues to evolve as a community and volunteer based event, but Founder and Creative Producer Ms. Forrestall sees big changes in the near future.

“This has been such a labor of love and has often come at a large personal cost, but I’ve really enjoyed seeing the powerful creatives in our area and working directly with them. We will definitely be implementing major changes into what we do and how we utilize this platform. My goal from the beginning has been to learn more about fashion myself, to support fashion industry creatives and to connect film/fashion and music in my area. We’ve done this. And now I’m looking to see how this will evolve as I move back towards the industry I started in (film). We’ll be announcing big changes this year after I am able to secure partnerships to determine if and how CFE will continue. We are
everlastingly grateful to the ones who have made CFE possible."

Learn more about CFE at

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