Nashville, Tennessee is the center of the music industry where budding artists and professional musicians alike often share the same stage. It’s a place that fosters support for the arts, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that a collaborative and highly creative fashion community has been quickly growing in the heart of this city.

PopNod and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Leah Edwards have recently launched Good City Guide, beginning with Music City itself. The following helps discover several innovative makers and designers that are the soul of Nashville, along with products that have global impact. Here are the top 11 picks of cultural trailblazers and local pioneers that are shifting the way we do and think in the city of music:

I wore a pale yellow sleeveless floor-length gown with a beaded bodice.  My braces sparkled, and my hair was in a French braid.  My curled bangs were plastered with so much hairspray I was terrified someone would light a candle next to me and I’d instantly go up in flames.

This was my initiation into the world of being a bridesmaid. My mom was getting remarried and asked me to be her maid of honor. I don’t think I did any of the things a maid of honor is supposed to do. But I wore that yellow dress with conviction and stood proudly next to her on a rainy day in March in a tiny Dallas church with emerald green carpet.

A few weekends ago I was a bridesmaid for the 17th time. When I tell people how many weddings I’ve been in, the response I usually get is, “You’re like that girl in 27 Dresses.”  Outwardly, I laugh, but inwardly pray I meet someone well before being a bridesmaid that many times.

How many of us have stood in front of an overflowing closet and said, “I have nothing to wear”? We scan the closet and it seems like none of our clothes go together and half of them went out of style last week. We wonder how we keep buying new clothes all the time, and yet we still feel unhappy with our wardrobe.

A glassware company that produces striking hand blown carafes and glasses, Bib & Sola offers a stylish and conscious alternative to plastic bottles. The brand’s founder, Kira Heuer, is adamant about reducing plastic waste and providing clean water solutions. Through Bib & Sola’s colorful pieces, she aims to do both, believing that their beauty has more power to inspire education and change than anything else — a concept she calls, “Aesthetic Activism.”

We recently had the chance to connect with Kira and learn more about Bib & Sola’s story, its Aesthetic Activism campaign, and the difference that using glass instead of plastic can make.

In March of 2015 fashion designer Eileen Fisher launched Vision 2020, a plan to achieve 100% sustainability in her clothing lines within five years. Her courageous ranks have since been joined by notable brands around the world; councils on ethical fashion convene in all corners of the globe to discuss progress, changes and breakthroughs.

And it’s undoubtedly a bold move to begin such a transformation from the top down. But for other designers, this ethical pursuit has been a grassroots passion influencing every stage of production. Tine Mollatt, founder of byTiMo and visionary for conscious consumerism, has sought after a holistic approach to design since 2004. Detailing each element from material sourcing to employee relations and buyer experience, byTimo crafts a uniquely tailored mission that’s deeply rooted in integrity.

With spring just around the corner, everyone’s looking for those perfect airy pieces that will sway in the light breeze. With a collection that is just that, Laili Lau‘s latest work has been influenced by the contrast of nature and modernity that she’s experienced in her home city of Caracas, Venezuela.

The young designer continues to incorporate her love for adventure into her feminine designs to create collections that embody her personality and lifestyle. We were fortunate enough to get the chance to interview Laili and discuss what’s inspired her to pursue fashion design and are excited to share her story with you, below.

I pledge allegiance to the products of the United Stated of America. And to the fashion for which it stands, one website, under shared accountability, with variety and style for all.

If you are anything like I was when I started working in the retail industry, you don’t spend much time thinking about where your clothes come from. Take a look at that label the next time you’re out shopping. Would it surprise you to learn that 98% of clothing purchased in the U.S. is imported?

Retailers are required to disclose whether a product is Made in the USA, imported or both, and yet this information is often not readily available online or is very hard to find. I created USINMADE, a curated assortment of the best items Made in the USA, because of my frustration at how difficult it was to shop by this very important criteria.

We’re continually impressed at the changes happening within the fashion industry to promote the making, wearing and buying of clothes that help more than they hurt. That’s why we’re so excited to introduce you today to two women doing their part to make our closets better.

Meet Cara Bartlett and Vanessa van Zyl of VETTA, a versatile capsule collection made up of only five pieces that creates 30 different outfits. If you’re curious or overwhelmed by a capsule closet, this is the place to start. We’re sharing more about these designers and how you can preorder one (or all!) of their creations below.

The realm of carefully curated wardrobes is expanding. We’re peeling off from fast fashion indulgences and moving toward an industry that meticulously assembles timeless collections. Where luxury has previously been an exclusive and unattainable ideal, it’s now coming into light as the new standard.

And pioneering this movement is Maria Gangemi, co-founder of M.Gemi footwear. Not only is she continuously on the cutting edge of style, she simultaneously challenges norms of the trade with her commitment to handcrafted excellence. So, today is an introduction to this brand, their process, and what’s being done to #makesomeroom in our closets.

Most of us have taken a look at our closet at some point in time and felt guilt about the amount of clothing we’ve accumulated. Most of us have also acknowledged the need to donate. While it seems easy to simply drop our clothing off at a Salvation Army or Goodwill, what many don’t know is how easily that can actually equate to throwing our clothing away.

Here are the facts about textile waste.

With spring break or summer vacation still weeks — maybe even months — away, chances are high that winter’s rain cloud could be casting just a little too much shade for your liking. How to bring back the sun? While we may not be able to control the weather or the hands of time, we can  control our attitude. And our immediate living and working environments play a major role in determining that.

Right now is the perfect time to add a little spring  to your stuff, and you don’t need to redecorate your entire home to do so. You actually only need four products, and we’re demonstrating which kinds of products below with help of Fab, our newly-discovered go-to for all things inspired, vibrant, and capturing that joie de vivre  we could all use a little more of.

This year for me, less was more when it came to Fashion Week. In previous years, we have run all over town to every show at New York Fashion Week, and it is exhausting, and truthfully, it leaves my mind spinning. Our approach this year was to take on much less and really try to connect with what we were experiencing.

Below are five inspiring ideas from this year’s New York Fashion Week. The idea is to find something easy that the average woman can do to up her style game this year.

Here’s the challenge: This Valentine’s day, celebrate yourself.

I’ve realized that I’m happiest when I am trusting my gut. Loving who I was created to be. Taking risks. Just doing me.

This seems to be the theme for our blog, The Refined Woman, this year too.  We are done playing it safe. We are ready to step into bigger and better — even if it scares us.

Kit and Ace is a technical cashmere company sourcing the softest wool from Mongolia and bridging the gap between luxury and everyday apparel. Co-founder Shannon Wilson envisioned a sophisticated fabric that met the needs of comfort and functionality. Along with her stepson, JJ, Shannon brought her passion to life with expert design, modern creativity, and approachable pieces.

Kit and Ace is more than a brand; it’s a lifestyle celebrating the unique influencers who wear their label. We recently had the splendid opportunity of connecting with Shannon and hearing snippets of Kit and Ace’s history, successes of the present, and innovation for their future.

With a frigid winter this year in California, there’s definitely a need to bundle up and keep warm. The air is brisker and the winds are most definitely stronger.

But before you start whipping out your Big Bear gear, here are some ways to get into the winter spirit without over-doing it. The key is to keep it effortless and west coast weather-appropriate.

Modern Wool is a family-owned company based in southern California. The love and care evident in their products trickles all the way down to the source. Obtaining their gorgeous merino wool from ranches in both Colorado and Wyoming, they create hand-knitted throws, scarves, blankets, and pillow cases, just to name a few.

They also sell their cozy, handmade merino wool yarn, catering to knitting enthusiasts with a taste for the finest materials. So grab a blanket and cozy up as we find out a little bit more about this sheep-friendly enterprise by chatting with Modern Wool’s founder, Zoe Renteria.

If you’ve ever wondered what it was like here at the Darling Magazine headquarters, we’re giving you a sneak peek into our world! But first, we have to admit, it wasn’t always as beautiful and striking as it is now.

Being a start-up company, we have slowly been trying to transform this place over the years into a more appealing work environment, but it inevitably kept falling off of our list of priorities. Fortunately, with the help of interior designer Aubree Holmes and our friends over at Cisco Brothers Furniture – we finally got to give our offices a little bit of a face lift!  And boy, did we need it.

Check out the before and after pictures of our exclusive Darling Magazine office makeover, below!

To say the fashion industry is trend-based is an understatement. Trends come and go – whether clothing styles or “it” girls or even business models – so quickly that it is hard even for people who work in fashion to keep up. The newest trend in the industry, however, may catch some by surprise.

A bit unexpected: The concept of closing the clothing loop through recycling, donation and various other models is now the trend du jour for brands. From bigger retailers such as H&M, Madewell, and Patagonia to newer direct-to-consumer brands such as Reformation, M. Gemi, and yours truly – Cuyana — companies are driving increasing awareness of programs that leverage used clothing  as a source of regeneration and offering rewards to do so.

While I dread the declining temperatures, winter’s arrival sparks the beginning of a new fashion season. Say hello to knee high socks, coats, scarves, turtle necks, alpaca, angora, fur, suede, leather, wool, and the list goes on. ‘Tis the season of layering!

Multiple layers not only keep you warm, but developing an art of layering means more clothing options, accessories, and decisions — essentially emphasizing your personal style.

A great coat is an important winter wardrobe staple.

Redecorating around this time of year can be tricky, and usually when we desire those cozy times at home the most. Yet, as we dash out the door from one event to the next, so does extra sleep, and taking the time to rest can inch ever nearer the bottom of our to-do lists.

So when Darling’s EIC Sarah Dubbeldam was on the hunt for a new mattress, the last thing she expected was to find a company like eve. Currently making its debut in the US from the UK, eve was founded by four friends seeking to reinvent the whole mattress buying process — taking it from something time-consuming and (typically) overwhelming to something fun, encouraging, and, best of all, easy!

Why does eve get our vote for the best way to a better night’s sleep? 

Amra Beganovich and Elma Beganovich are two sisters and digital influencers with a following of 1.5+ million on social media. They have worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, like Make Up For Ever, Dr. Marten’s, Navitas Naturals, and Daniel Wellington.

The girls left their 9-5 jobs, Amra, an economist working on World Bank Projects, and Elma, a Georgetown attorney working in international arbitration, to turn their hobbies into a career. Together they are the founders of, their personal lifestyle blog, and, an invite-only blogging platform dedicated to high quality content.

Both are based in Manhattan, so we caught-up to get an inside scoop into their style secrets, including how to elevate your style while keeping it simple and polished.

A Note From The Editor: We recently had a friend of Darling, Kelsea Olivia, attend the Axis show in New York City. Below she is sharing her recap of the event and some of her favorite brands and designers that she wanted to share with us!

All three days of Axis at Pier 94 in New York City were filled to the brim with meaningful connections, exposure to new and exciting makers, as well as several sneak peeks of spring collections from some well-loved brands.

Throughout the experience, Axis provided the perfect environment to create new and worthwhile relationships — as well as experience the tangible work from a wide range of creative makers of beauty products, home decor and goods, women’s apparel and accessories.

With fall and winter being two seasons very close to each other, it’s nice to have a few pieces of clothing that you can wear during both. Along with those boots that come out every year in October and that fur vest you layer over everything, another item to think about adding to your list of treasured staples is the trench coat.

Not only has it been a classic piece of outerwear for decades, but it’s also extremely flattering and can streamline almost any outfit. Although it was first introduced in its familiar longer length, today’s “trenches” are offered in a wide range of different silhouettes and fabrics.

A Note From The Editor:  We’re back sharing more content from FabFitFun. Today they’re offering up some wisdom on an age-old problem: Having nothing to wear. We like how they keep it simple and stress the importance of taking care of pieces that you already own and encourage you to get a little crafty. For more fashion, health and wellness articles, be sure to pay a visit to their magazine, too! 

We all wish that we had a personal stylist helping us get dressed and shop for outfits for us. However, only the rich and famous get to have a glam squad at their beck and call. Lucky for you we’ve come up with a few ways to make it look like you’re constantly reviving your wardrobe all the time without changing a thing.

Get ready to shop from your own closet.

Tiffany Kunz is an independent jewelry designer based in Los Angeles. She creates works of art with an eco-conscious approach, focusing on using reclaimed metals and hand-making her pieces in downtown Los Angeles.

In a continued effort to bring light to designers producing their pieces domestically, we reached out to Tiffany to learn more about Tiffany Kunz Jewelry and the designer behind the line.

Fall is finally here, and our wardrobe choices are beginning to evolve. Long sleeves, jackets, and trousers will soon replace our tanks, tees, and dresses. With jumpsuits having made a permanent comeback, there’s no doubt we’ll be seeing overalls hit the streets this season, as well. Though birthed as work wear, they’ve made it into almost every denim collection today. Overalls are no longer just a trend, but a classic must-have for fall and winter.

Maybe you’ve never considered yourself as the type to rock this number, but with the garment’s impressive history and aggressive presence in the fashion world, it’s time to start embracing the practicality of this denim onesie. Below, we’re sharing how.

  This post is sponsored by Cotton Incorporated. Find your cotton favorites here.

We all have those classic pieces that can save an outfit (or a mood) in a pinch. Usually made of cotton, they’re versatile, worn-in and hold a prized position on our hangers. It’s always interesting to learn what those items of clothing are for different people, especially when they’re pieces you might not expect, so we thought it’d be fun to visit the closets of a few of our Darling staff members to learn what those can’t-live-without items are … and why.

Spend five minutes reading her blog and Emily Henderson will quickly feel like the best friend you’d want to spend an entire day binge-watching TV and having heartfelt conversations with.

Spend five more minutes reading her blog and you’ll soon scrap that idea in favor of wanting her to come over and redesign every single nook and cranny of your home.

Emily has a level of design genius that’s nothing short of inspiring; she’s able to turn clutter into chic and something generic into something perfectly original. We were fortunate enough to get to spend the day with her earlier this summer shooting for Issue No. 13, and we’re giving you a sneak-peek into her feature (and sharing some of her interior design wisdom) with you, below!

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