By Meghan Jackson
King Street was the place to be in Charleston, S.C. on Friday, May 1 (even more so than usual) — specifically Hampden Clothing.
Owner Stacy Smallwood brought New York designers Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty, down South for the debut of their capsule collection, Suno x Hampden, designed exclusively for the store. An event with enough high fashion and notoriety that it could have easily been a part of New York Fashion Week (where Suno's collections typically take the stage), however Smallwood worked hard to make sure it was fun and accessible for fashionistas down South.
“I’ve been carrying (Suno) for about 10 seasons and I’ve had an amazing relationship with them,” Smallwood says. “I wanted to do something unique with them and they kept saying, “I can’t believe we’ve never been to Charleston. I want to come see it.”
And so they did. They came; they saw; they dressed.
Pre-fall and fall pieces were available for pre-sale, while the four exclusive Suno pieces — a stretch silk dress, a longer dress, a top and a skirt, all in a structured cotton fabric — went on sale that evening. Attendees had the rare opportunity to mingle with the designers from 5 - 7 p.m., in addition to shopping Lizzie Fortunato Jewels — who also designed pieces specifically for Hampden, and the boutique's own inventory.
And while there was plenty to shop and awe, it was an event that even those who don’t appreciate fashion could enjoy. Aside from the usual champagne served at fashion shows, Hampden partnered with four local breweries to host tastings throughout the night.
“It’s very them,” Smallwood says of the Suno New York designers. Local beer companies Palmetto Brewing Co., COAST Brewing, Fatty’s Beer Works and Holy City Brewing were all present sampling brews with guests.
Smallwood admits that she prefers to host one grand event a year, rather than multiple mediocre ones. “I think my biggest thing about events is making them worthy of coming to. We’re all busy in this day and age, so I don’t like just having a trunk show and just having some clothes hanging there. It needs to be something more interesting than that.”
And it seems as though with Hampden x Suno she accomplished just that. “That’s definitely something of pride for me, creating a unique experience, and creating a unique item as well!”
Want to get your hands on the new Suno x Hampden exclusive collection? If you're not in Charleston, you can shop the look directly online.