Stylish Inspiration: Kayne Gillaspie of Johnathan Kayne

Johnathan “Kayne” Gillaspie is the President and Creative Director of Johnathan Kayne. Born and raised in Nashville, TN, he became enamored by fashion by watching his favorite country music legends perform and walk the red carpet. Two stints on Project Runway (season 3 in 2006 and All Stars season 2 in 2012) plus appearances on ABC, Bravo, E!, NBC, TLC and The Style Network have earned him celebrity designer status and a roster of star clients. Heidi Klum dubbed him a “genius designer” and Michael Kors lauded him as “a designer who knows how to make clothes and fit a woman’s body.” Stars across the entertainment spectrum including Jennifer Lopez, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Kelly Pickler, Tanya Tucker, Lee Brice, Rascal Flatts and his favorite country legend Dolly Parton have worn his designs. He is a magna cum laude graduate of The Fashion Institute of Technology.

Kayne showcases gowns in his Johnathan Kayne showroom

We caught up with Kayne as he prepared his largest Fall collection to date for the April 2017 VOW | New World of Bridal Market.

Tell us about your creative process.

When I design, I really think about the woman. In social occasion, it is so important to know your customer. Where is she going? What is she thinking? What does she want to look like and how does she want to feel?

If my customer is wearing a social occasion gown, it’s because this is an important day or evening for her.  We have the girl who has been nominated for the Homecoming Court, the woman hosting a gala and the pageant contestant who has a shot at the title. Or maybe it’s her first time wearing gown.

I keep all of this in mind and once I see fabrics, I put everything into place.

What is the design cycle?  

I start on the Fall collection right after the Spring show closes. For this collection, I started earlier than ever – I actually spent 200 percent more time on it!

In October, I created the sketches for the gowns and sent them and my mood boards to my factory.

In January, I went to the factory to see how everything was coming together.

We received the samples in March. We photographed them and prepped them to show to our buyers at Market.

Where do you see social occasion fashion going?

The biggest shift is in the new generation. Designers have to have something new and innovative to keep them interested. Social media shows consumers something beautiful and inspirational all the time, so we have to keep up.

We stick to our guns by creating the sexy gowns that we are known for, while innovating the construction. For example, one of our new gowns has a hidden zipper in the plunge that makes it versatile and work for multiple women. We also have convertible pieces that can change up the look of the gown so it can be worn multiple times while looking fresh and new.

What are your three tips for success for social occasion retailers?

  1. Look at the girl’s body and how she is built. Know your gowns’ construction so you can make recommendations that will flatter her the most.
  2. Talk to the customer and see what her vision is for her gown. Ask what she is dead set on and what can be compromised. Then go the extra mile to get her exactly what she wants.
  3. Do it with grace and be good to people. Truly be humble and thank your customers for their business. Do it with a smile.

Johnathan Kayne is located on Building 3, Floor 10-E332.

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles “10 Under 40”

Each year, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles announces their list of the 10 tastemakers under 40 who are redefining local style. Want to know who makes the 10 Under 40 list for 2013? This year’s class will be presented at AmericasMart Atlanta on Saturday, January 12 at 10 a.m. in Building 1, Floor 14 Seminar Room.

Want to know what’s happening with previous 10 Under 40 tastemakers?

gene_kansasGene Kansas was featured in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ inaugural “10 Under 40 Class” in 2006 (back then it was “20 Under 40”), for his commercial real estate endeavors. His thoughtful, design-driven projects had an impact on how Atlantans live, work and play. What’s he been up to since then? For starters, he was recently recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in their annual “40 Under 40” class for 2012. And, perhaps most notably, Kansas is the host of “Sidewalk Radio” on AM 1690 WMLB, “The Voice of the Arts.”  The show is a 25-program that focuses on art, architecture, design, development and preservation in Atlanta. To meet members of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ 10 Under 40 Class of 2013, visit AmericasMart on January 12.

October Market Off to a Great Start

OctshowThe October Atlanta Apparel Market threw open the doors on Thursday and welcomed retailers from around the nation. This Market retailers are looking for immediate fall and the hottest trends and lines for Spring.

The energy at Market was high on day one with exciting events and the opening day of the new swim and resort category called SPLASH on floor 3.

The Daily Strut, which takes place everyday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., has highlighted the styles retailers can find right now during Market.

Plus, the Friday night hit, the Style Runway fashion show, drew crowds from every floor of the building. Everyoneoctshow gathered in the atrium on floor 2 to watch the show featuring Montreal Collections. And, Montreal Collections featured one of their hottest designers, Samuel Dong. Samuel Dong presented 30 outfits from his Spring 2011 collection, followed by other Montreal lines. For the show’s grand finale, other Atlanta Apparel exhibitors and designers showed their lines and collections after the debut of Montreal Collections.

And, there’s still more to come. It’s only day two of Market! Be sure to experience all at the last Market of the year!

Dimond Lighting Brightens Home Accessory Offerings at AmericasMart


Dimond Lighting is set for its grand opening at the July Market. Dimond, which has secured nearly 1,600 sq. ft. of space on Floor 12 in Building 1(12-C-7) as a permanent showroom, becomes one of the many showrooms in the HOME center that spotlights premium portable lamps, lighting and accessories for the home.

Vice president of Dimond, John Haste, believes the new showroom at AmericasMart is a strategic and necessary move for expanding this division of ELK Lighting. “We are a strong division under a well-known parent company, and are moving in the right direction to continue this growth,” says Haste. “AmericasMart offers one of the world’s largest destinations for home product, providing a unique platform for us to showcase our growing product collection.”

Additionally Dimond will now have the opportunity to be open daily between Markets, gaining further exposure to designers and retailers that need to buy outside of the set Market dates.

For more information about Dimond Lighting click here.

To View the Full announcement click here.

6th Annual Designers Luncheon: Exclusively Here this July

Luncheon2AmericasMart Atlanta is teaming up with ASID, IFDA, IDS and Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles to host “Tools for Making Money in a Rising Economy” during the July Market.

Meet top designer associations, connect with professional contacts and peers and establish new relationships all in one day. Throughout the day experts will be discussing enlightening strategies to increase your clientele, including:
*Ways to increase online visibility through social media;
*Marketing with precision color visuals;
*Capitalizing on the design industry’s booming new business.

Also at Market, IDS National President, Margi Kyle, will be speaking on ways to wow clients.Luncheon1

The 6th Annual Designers Summer Luncheon is full of inspiring tools for making money and building business.  Lunch will be provided by AmericasMart, and guests will be able to shop the Buildings throughout Market.

Friday, July 16
Building 1, Floor 14
9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

RSVP is preferred, please contact Tasha Robinson, 404.220.2435 or

Inspired Interiors with Suzanne Kasler

KaslerCelebrated designer Suzanne Kasler is back this July to give a behind-the-scenes look at her intuitive design process. Kasler’s style incorporates a fresh mix of continental flavor and classic style, emphasizing light, scale and architectural elements of space to create interiors reflective of her clients’ personalities and lifestyles. Kasler explains how time and place inspire each of her projects. You’ll want to learn about her unique process to create interiors with timeless quality and comfortable sophistication.  Kasler will share her design ideas on Friday, July 16 in Building 1, Floor 4, Room 4-B-1. A book signing of Kasler’s book, Inspired Interiors, immediately follows in the Safavieh Showroom, 5-A-2.

More details on this home décor event can be found here.

Happy Chic with Jonathan Adler: Staying Trendy and True to You

JonathanAdler2Get decorating tips and ideas from the lead judge on Bravo’s “Top Design” when AmericasMart welcomes Jonathan Adler, home décor designer and author of “My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living” to the July Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market.

Adler’s design company is dedicated to bringing style, craft, joy and a general feeling of grooviness to any home. Additionally, Adler’s 12 company operated stores have grown to become an internationally recognized home and gift-oriented lifestyle showcase offering decorative objects, tabletop collections, bedding, bath accessories, candles, furniture, rugs, pillows and lighting. Learn how to keep up with new market trends while staying true to your original point of view. You can find Adler on Friday, July 16 at 2 -3 p.m. in Building 1, Floor 14, Room 14-D-9.