Marathon Music Works
Thursday, November 16th, 2017

The inaugural NFA Honors was held at Marathon Music Works on Thursday, November 16th, 2017. This arts-immersive event honored fashion industry advocates and entrepreneurs through a public and peer voted awards ceremony featuring:

      VIP Cocktail Experience
      Interactive red carpet entrance
      Intentionally curated local art experience
      Musical performance
      Immersive video installation
      Beautiful plated three-course dinner
      Dancing the night away


2017 NFA Honors Award Winners


NFA Emerging Talent Award Winner


Taylor Gilkey of Gilkey Co.

Gilkey Co. is a farm to closet, luxury leather handbag brand.  All of our bags are made to stand the test of time and have been created with passion and influenced by heritage.  Our bags are handcrafted in the US with ethically sourced materials.  We are timeless, not trendy and believe that everyone is one of a kind, just like our bags. 

Taylor Gilkey is a farmer's daughter who has been raised on hard work and perseverance.   She is also the daughter of a creative, quick witted mother who taught her the importance of creativity and staying true to herself.  Gilkey Co. is a reflection of who she is, where she came from and is filling the gap of what she sees missing in the fashion industry.  #FARMTOCLOSET. 


Womenswear Designer of the Year Award Winner


Ashley Balding of Ona Rex

Ona Rex was established in 2014 and seeks to provide unique, luxurious garments to the bold, independent woman. Saturated colors, rich textures, and careful silhouettes invoke a sense of serene strength amidst the chaos of the modern world. Ona Rex is designed and produced in-house in Nashville, Tennessee.

Ashley Balding received her fashion education at O'More College of Design.  Amidst working for companies such as Otis James and Ceri Hoover post-graduation, Balding began her own endeavor with a purposeful path of creating fearless garments for fearless women.  


Menswear Designer of the Year Award Winner


Eric Bornhop of Eric Adler Clothing

Specializing in tastefully bold menswear, Eric Adler Clothing launched at Nashville Fashion Week 2014. The following year NFW awarded Eric Adler the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund. Since then Eric has been designing small collections and tailoring garments for musicians, statesmen, and gents from Nashville and beyond interested in high quality clothing of all kinds.

After graduating high school, Eric Adler Bornhop attended Emory University where he got earned a degree in Psychology and a minor in Spanish that took him to abroad Spain. While teaching English abroad, he was inspired to return home and pursue a career in Fashion. After an apprenticeship at Manuel Couture Eric debuted his first menswear collection at Nashville Fashion week in 2014. Since then he has been designing and tailoring garments for his men’s fashion line Eric Adler Clothing.


Accessory Designer of the Year Award Winner


Ceri Hoover of Ceri Hoover

Ceri Hoover is a premium leather accessories company founded in 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. We use materials sourced from the world’s finest leather purveyors and employ American artisans to handcraft our bags and shoes to the exacting specifications of our company’s namesake founder and creative director. Simple but never plain, Ceri Hoover bags are of exceptional quality and feature exquisite detailing and timeless design.

Ceri is originally from the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It’s a place of sea oats and wild horses and driftwood, pebbly sand and salted air. It’s an aesthetic—natural and unpretentious and on the edge of things—that has always stuck with her. Ceri launched her brand in 2013 and opened her flagship in 2016.


Fashion Insider Award Winner

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Libby Callaway of The Callaway

The Callaway is a boutique communications agency in Nashville that helps creative companies tell their stories and stake a claim in the luxury marketplace. We specialize in content creation; marketing and media strategy; and PR and communications. Our clients range from fashion brands, beauty companies and upscale retailers to hospitality entities including restaurants and hotels.Libby Callaway is the founder of The Callaway, a communications company based in Nashville that provides marketing and PR support for creative companies. She is the former media director for Imogene + Willie and marketing director for Billy Reid. As a fashion editor and journalist, Libby has contributed to some of the country’s most widely regarded magazines and newspapers, including the New York Post, where she was employed as a writer and editor from 1997 to 2004. As a freelance fashion and style writer, she has penned stories for publications including Elle, the New York Times’ T magazine,, Travel + Leisure and Glamour, where she was a fashion advice columnist in 2005 and 2006. A former wardrobe stylist and vintage clothing dealer, Libby is a noted secondhand shopping expert, and her unique personal style and professional advice on the subject has been featured in InStyle, Elle, Lucky, Us Weekly, Nylon, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and, and NBC’s The Today Show.


Triple Bottom Line Award (Social, Environmental and Financial) Winner


Liz Pape of Elizabeth Suzann

Elizabeth Suzann is a women’s clothing label that believes in mindful, careful consumption, in reducing waste, and in creating long-lasting garments that serve many needs so you can buy fewer of them. We cut and sew all of our garments locally in our Nashville design studio using only the highest quality, natural fiber cloth. Our studio strives to create thoughtful, well-designed, and long-lasting garments by ultimately creating seasonless pieces that can be worn a myriad of ways. It is our hope that by producing and consuming mindfully, we can focus on craftsmanship, reduce waste, and create truly impeccable clothing for the discerning customer.

"I’m Liz, the designer and founder of Elizabeth Suzann. I live here in Nashville, TN with my husband (and business partner) and our two dachshunds, Odie and Oscar. I studied Art History and Political Science in college, and I graduated with a liberal arts degree from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL. During our first year in Nashville, I started selling the clothing I'd sewn as a hobby here and there - and the snowball was off and rolling! I fine tuned and polished my philosophy about building an intentional wardrobe after I had started selling at craft fairs and on Etsy. I then developed a real business model and set goals about eight months into it. Elizabeth Suzann has growninto something I am so proud of, and we just celebrated our fourth birthday this summer!"


Art and Commerce Award Winner

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Third Man Records

Physically established in Nashville in 2009, Third Man Records is an independent record label, store front and multipurpose venue started by Jack White. Although originally started as a space to store tour gear and re-issue White Stripes vinyl that were returning to White’s ownership, it has since snowballed into a 30-person operation, complete with marketing, IT, graphic design, global distribution, shipping and subscription services all operating within steps of each other. As of 2015, a second location in White’s hometown of Detroit opened with an additional 35 employees overseeing a storefront and, most notably, a brand new vinyl pressing plant which directly addresses the recent vinyl boom with a maximum output up of 5,000 high-quality vinyl records per day. 


Founder's Award Winner

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Steve Rendle of VF Corporation

Steve Rendle is President & Chief Executive Officer at VF Corporation, a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, footwear, and accessories. VF had 2015 revenues of $12.4 billion and is the owner of a portfolio of iconic brands including The North Face®, Vans®, Timberland®, Wrangler®, and Lee®. He is a member of VF’s Board of Directors.

Rendle has more than 30 years of experience in the specialty outdoor and action sports industry, including 16 years at VF where his successful, value-creating career has comprised executive-level positions at both the brand and corporate levels.

Prior to being appointed CEO in January 2017, Rendle served as President & COO overseeing all of VF’s business coalitions worldwide: Outdoor & Action Sports, Jeanswear, Imagewear, and Sportswear. He was also responsible for VF’s global Supply Chain and Direct-to-Consumer platforms.

Rendle serves on the Board of Directors of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) as well as the Board of Directors of Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, Inc. (AFFOA), an organization working to enable a manufacturing-based approach to transforming traditional fibers, yarns, and fabrics into highly sophisticated, integrated, and networked devices and systems. He is a founding board member of the Outdoor Industry's Outdoor Foundation. He has also served in an advisory capacity to Bainbridge Graduate Institute and provided insight into its creation of an M.B.A. program concentration focused on sustainability. Rendle was honored with The Mountain Institute's annual Exemplary Corporate Stewardship of Mountains award in 2007.


Photo Galleries


Nashville Smile Bar Photo Booth


NFA Honors Gallery by Eden Fletcher


NFA Honors photo Gallery by Zachary Gray


Thank You to Our
2017 NFA Honors Sponsors


Title Sponsors


hospitality Sponsors


Media Sponsors




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