With their 125th anniversary fast approaching May 29, Belk is celebrating in a big way.



For more photos from Charleston Fashion Week, go to charlestonscene.com.

Starting with an exclusive in Thursday’s Post and Courier announcing a $10.2 million project to transform the Mount Pleasant Town Centre location into a flagship store, Belk topped the day off as the sole retail runway show on Day 3 of Baker Motor Co. Charleston Fashion Week.

Social media

For the latest on Charleston Fashion Week, follow @ChasScene for live tweets and Charleston Scene’s Facebook page. Follow the Post and Courier on Pinterest for style tips.

“I’m so super-excited for Belk to expand. I think Mount Pleasant is a great market for them,” said designer Molly Stevens, whose ellen & ollie line is carried by Belk. This was the Columbia native’s first visit to Fashion Week.

The addition of The Belk Tent offered attendees the chance to peruse and purchase pieces by some of “the best and brightest Southern designers,” all of whom will be on hand at some point throughout the week.

Adding to the Style Lounge, where Top Cocktail winner Jackson Holland of The Cocktail Club was pouring his Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey concoction named Honey Hole, the extra hour of pre-party fun has rounded out the Fashion Week experience for some.

“I was waiting for my friend, so I decided to do this while I waited. I mean, why not, it is a fashion show after all,” said Arianne Abdur-Rahim, who had her makeup done at the M.A.C. station. “I used to model when I was younger, so revisiting the fashion world is fun.”

Belk’s runway show featured a wide selection from crisp black and white pairings to eyelet dresses, pastels to neon, tribal print to animal print, to camo for the guys. But the standout collection was CYNTHIA by special guest Cynthia Rowley.

Rowley’s collection featured some of the hottest colors (neon pink, blaze orange and cobalt) and trends of the season, includ- ing high-low hemlines, floral- and graphic-print pieces, blazers, maxi dresses and eyelet dresses.

The Emerging Designer Competition: East on Day 3 featured women’s wear offerings from Megan Huntz, Karen Hulse, Monisha Pillai and Kita Nolley, but it was Afriyie Poku’s line, the sole menswear collection in the contest, that swept the awards on Day 3.

With his 18th- and 19th century-inspired Oberima Afriyie line, Poku’s pieces were the definition of solid cut and construction.

Featuring fitted slacks, tailored jackets and slim-fit vests in classic colors with just a little pop of flare, he won both People’s Choice and a spot in Saturday’s finalist finale. Receiving a standing ovation from some in the audience, Poku wiped a tear as he completed his walk down the runway.

Johnson Hartig, co-founder of the Libertine line, ended the night with a dance party as the featured designer. After showing a collection of heavily jeweled pieces, graphic-print coats, tie-dye pants and tops, and fair isle-inspired sweaters, the final look down the runway was a skirt overflowing with tinsel and tassels.

And it was with that party idea in mind that Hartig and the models showing the collection danced down the runway to close the show.