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Fashion Friday: Tom Tom Mixer for Cville Creatives


The Cville fashion community is inspiring and aspiring, from boutiques and designers, to stylists and jewelers. Tom Tom Fest hopes to bring together this thriving community at the Fall Block Party’s Creative Mixer.

“Fashion, style, and self-expression are at the core of what makes Charlottesville special, and what Tom Tom strives to celebrate,” said Tom Tom Fest marketing representative Carolyn Zelikow in an email. “This is an eclectic place, where people can take pride in being different.”

Tonight, from 7-8:30pm in Studio 10 at the McGuffey Art Center, connect with local designers, stylists, and artists of all kinds, including Tom Tom partners Rebekah Graves of Rebekah Graves Light Sculptures, Jessica Lee of willow knows, and Mai-Vi Nguyen, President of the Futures in Fashion Association at the University of Virginia (FIFA). Other local representatives include Suz Somersall, also known as KiraKira, and The Scout Guide Charlottesville.

“Tom Tom connects and empowers the art community in three ways,” explained Zelikow. “First, it offers a lot of free, public events – last spring we hosted 116 speakers, 75 concerts, and were the platform for the creation of 5 large-scale public art projects. Second, we create opportunities for artists to sell their work if they choose, and for pioneers to find funding and mentorship for their ideas. Last spring, over 60 artists had vending opportunities at the Festival, and we hosted competitions that resulted in over half a million dollars of investment being offered to local startups. Finally, we invite everyone in the community to participate, pitch ideas and host partner events. In keeping with our understanding of our programming as crowd-sourced, we worked with 338 community organizations and ventures last year.”

“We wrap a lot of specific, positive interactions for artists and creative people within the aegis of a big, fun party that asks Charlottesville: What do you want to be?” added Zelikow.

The Creative Mixer’s partnership with FIFA embraces the Tom Tom mission by supporting University students with the backing of the Charlottesville community.

“I am impressed by FIFA, because these kids, who are incredibly high achievers, who are working for national PR and fashion companies in New York during summers and breaks, they really see the value of what designers in Charlottesville are doing,” added Zelikow. “They are eager to connect with working artists and entrepreneurs, and to see what it looks like to carve out a living as a creative person after graduation.”

FIFA is “a fashion community that helps jump-start careers in the industry.” President Mai-Vi Nguyen shared all about her passion for fashion and for FIFA’s work with students and the local and national fashion community in a Q&A with Niche. Read the Q&A with Mai-Vi »

“We have been fortunate enough to work with many talented Darden and UVA undergrad interns at Suz Somersall over the past couple of years,” explained local jeweler Suz Somersall in an email. “Many of our undergrad interns are FIFA members and have been such an asset to our company. They are all motivated, smart, beautiful, and fashionable women!”

Read the Q&A with Suz Somersall, and be sure to catch the grand opening of the Suz Somersall store at Stonefield in mid-October!


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