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Fashion Week adds $3.5 million to Charleston economy, up 20%

Charleston Fashion Week added $3.5 million to the local economy this year, an increase of 20 percent over 2014.

Organizers of the event, sponsored by Baker Motor Company in the spring, announced Thursday attendance grew to more than 7,500, a new record.

The five-day event also boosted the local economy, according to Wayne Smith of the College of Charleston.

Baker Motor Company Charleston Fashion Week added $3.5 million to the local economy this year, up 20 percent over last year.photo: long formal dress

According to the college’s findings, total expenditure per out-of-town attendee averaged $1,900; the event drew more than 275 million media impressions including TV, print, radio and online; its social media reach was more than 6.5 million; and 85 percent of those sampled said they would return next year.

Since the event in March, eight of the participating models have signed with national model agencies, including Directions USA, Elite Direct, Elite NYC and Wilhelmina Miami.

“We are thrilled with the continued success of Baker Motor Company Charleston Fashion Week and the recent survey results reinforce the growing economic impact of the event,” said Jed Drew, president of Gulfstream Communications, which owns and produces Charleston Fashion Week.

Dates for the 2016 event will be announced later this summer.

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