Emily Bargeron will be taking her own Savannah style to the masses this spring when her curated collection with Belk department stores launches Thursday. Bargeron, a local clothing designer, owns Mamie Ruth boutique.
She is one of four winners of Belk’s 2016 Southern Designers Showcase, an annual competition that draws hundreds of applicants. For the last year, Bargeron has participated in a product development experience learning the ropes of production from start to finish.
“It’s really, really exciting just to get that recognition. It’s also really great that Belk does that and supports smaller designers,” she said of the win.
Bargeron began selling and distributing wholesale out of her apartment about six years ago, but soon demand grew and she eventually settled into her boutique at 107 West Liberty St., about three years ago.
“I didn’t really have a retail aspect (at the apartment), but in the summer we would leave the door open and we’d have people come in thinking we were a store,” she said.
“So I knew we needed to get a retail store. It just made sense.”
The 15-piece spring collection, which is exclusive to nine Belk locations around the southeast including the Savannah location at Oglethorpe Mall, features graphic t-shirts, dresses, skirts and shorts all designed by Bargeron and manufactured locally. The entire collection is also available online at Belk.com.
“Our style is obviously very colorful, very bohemian and the (Belk) collection is really targeted toward their customer, who is a little more sophisticated and southern,” Bargeron said of the collection, which features floral prints, pom-pom trimmed shorts and flowy off the shoulder tops.
“… It’s also very versatile for a young customer, but also something that her mom could also wear paired with jeans or tights.”
Bargeron said the Savannah store has already gotten in two shipments and she hopes to continue to work with Belk after the spring collection wraps up.
“Hopefully it’ll sell out… and hopefully we’ll have a new collection in there depending on how well it goes,” she said.
On Thursday night Bargeron will officially launch the collection with a celebration at the Oglethorpe Mall Belk location complete with a wine bar, photo both and a do-it-yourself flower crown station to complete the bohemian feel.
“It’ll be a really fun event,” she said.
“… This is definitely our biggest collaboration and I hope it grows into a partnership and I continue to work along with them. They’ve been so great to work with.”
If you go
What: Mamie Ruth + Belk launch party
When: Tomorrow, March 9 from 5-8:30 p.m.
Where: Belk, Oglethorpe Mall, 7804 Abercorn St.