It began on a whim. Orea Guthrie, working on an interior design job with her partner Johanna Hickey, saw an ad on Craig’s List seeking contestants for the emerging designer competition at Charleston Fashion Week. As a former fashion and photography major at Savannah College of Art and Design, Orea had imagined one day having her own fashion line, and, with Johanna, they put together an entry.
They didn’t know what they were getting into. Immersed in the world of interior design, Charleston Fashion Week, now in its ninth year, had never crossed either woman’s radar. But out of around 200 entries, 20 semifinalists were chosen, and Orea and Johanna were among them.