Beyond Fashion

Susan Vogt, Rodes women’s buyer and owner; Angela Allen, Rodes For Her Personal Stylist; and Jodi Sandman, Crescala Fashion Development CEO. Photo by Alexa Pence.

Susan Vogt, Rodes women’s buyer and owner; Angela Allen, Rodes For Her Personal Stylist; and Jodi Sandman, Crescala Fashion Development CEO. Photos by Alexa Pence.

Rodes is used to welcoming some of the most recognizable names in fashion for trunk shows throughout the year. Those brands easily read like a who’s-who of fashion design, but those behind the store are also dedicated to supporting young budding fashion designers who are trying to establish a name for themselves in the competitive industry.

Locally, that means participating in charity fashion shows like KMAC Couture that showcase Louisville’s wealth of creative talent. They also took the spirit of that support to an international level on October 26 and 27 by partnering with Crescala Fashion Development (CFD) for a special showing that proved to feature some of the most promising up-and-coming fashion designers currently exploding onto the scene. The result is what Rodes’ owner Susan Vogt described as “beyond fashion.”

With a mission of providing emerging luxury brands with start-to-finish strategic, aesthetic, branding, sales and structural support, CFD launched in 2011 and has since helped some of the brightest brands in the industry hit their pace in the advanced contemporary and niche accessory genre. What they call their “incubator” concept allows brands to have access to benefits like fit models, brand management and some of the best buyers in the industry – buyers like Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and, of course, Rodes For Her.

As part of this cutting-edge movement, Rodes hosted CFD Founder and CEO Jodi Sandman along with a sampling of work by the international network of fashion innovators that she represents. CFD’s current roster of evening wear and ready-to-wear designers includes Nha Khana, Staci Snider, Landero, Mason-Hosker, Allison Parris and CULTRO. While those brands may not be widely identified currently, they promise to become increasingly recognizable as their talents become ubiquitous on the fashion scene. Sandman, whose fashion career includes work with Polo Ralph Lauren, TSE Cashmere, Tahari / Theory and Escada, acknowledges that hers may be an unconventional approach but explains, “We are predicated on emerging design and will do whatever it takes to make our fleet of emerging designers a success.” That success begins with support from established fashion destinations like Rodes.    

Upon arrival of the garments in the CFD designer collections, Vogt recalls, “I was blown away. I haven’t been this excited about showing a collection in a long time. These are true fashion pioneers.” With a target on designers that strive for refined craftsmanship and unique design aesthetic, a partnership between CFD and Rodes is an absolute fashion match.