Raleigh designer wins Southern Designer Showcase

CorrespondentJune 19, 2013 

Belk recently announced the winners of its second annual Southern Designer Showcase competition, and once again, a Triangle designer was selected to have her collection sold in Belk stores.

Raleigh designer Elle Parkinson’s Rosie Olive children’s collection was one of 13 winners of the department store’s designer competition. Parkinson and Rhonda Wyman of Asheville were the only North Carolina-based winners, chosen from a pool of designers that numbered more than 300.

Parkinson's children’s line began with a few outfits for her daughter, Olive, the brand’s namesake. Once other moms began asking where she’d bought Olive’s outfits, Parkinson realized she had the potential for a business.

“I started by thinking about what I wanted as a parent in clothing, so I tried to make pieces in the collection that can grow with the child,” she says. “So, a dress for a toddler can be worn as a shirt as the child grows, and so on.”

Parkinson created nine pieces for the competition, designing her own fabric with the help of Durham’s Spoonflower.

“I wanted something new and fresh that people had not seen,” she says. “I stopped going to stores for 4 1/2 months because I didn’t want anything clouding my judgment. I wanted to create something as unique and original as possible.”

Winning the competition has been surreal for Parkinson, who will have her designs sold in Belk stores across the Southeast and on

“My first shopping memory is going to Belk and having my parents buy me Sam & Libby shoes,” she says. “To have my clothes go in Belk stores – it’s just a wild dream come true. And it’s pretty cool to be able to set that example for my daughter and other moms that you can make your dreams come true.”

A Pulitzer for Durham

Durham got a little brighter this week with the opening of the new Lilly Pulitzer store in the Streets at Southpoint. The shop offers women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, along with accessories and gifts in the label’s signature vivid prints. Through Sunday, and during the June 29 grand opening celebration, shoppers will receive a free gift with purchases. The grand opening event will also feature a live painting demonstration and giveaways.

Bullish on fashion

Northgate Mall will host the Bull City Empowerment Community Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the mall’s center court. A fashion show will feature clothing from mall stores and styling by Endivo Hair Gallery. Motivational speaker Rhonda Nails will address the crowd and there will be musical performances by area artists, including singers Anne Marie Fox and Ricco Barrino, brother of Fantasia Barrino. Admission is free.

Care for your hair

The Natural Hair Care Expo tour rolls into Raleigh this weekend for its North Carolina stop. Natural hair care professionals and vendors will share styling advice and techniques; author Ma’at em Maakheru will conduct a class on self-discovery for women; and a number of musical acts, such as Lions, Abyss, Bubsy Millions and others, will perform. Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. For more information, and to buy tickets, visit

Curls Night Out

Fresh from a trip to New York City to study at the DevaCurl Academy, Sam and Bill’s stylists will host a Curls Night Out party from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday to showcase new techniques for cutting and coloring curly hair. Attendees will learn new tricks for styling their curly hair and enjoy refreshments, discounts and giveaways. Admission is free, but reservations are required. To RSVP, call 919-832-6393.

Send Stylin’ tips and news to

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service