Local fashion designer Nikki Butler attends Atlanta show

ATLANTA – Nikki Butler of Williamstown experienced the nightmarish traffic conditions in Atlanta this week, caused by a rare snowstorm.

Butler, a fashion designer, and her husband, Buddy, drove to Atlanta Tuesday where she is exhibiting her accessory line at the Atlanta Apparel Inside Show in the AmericasMart downtown.

In an email, Nikki said the two inches of snow caused chaos in the Atlanta area. The roads were a sheet of ice and abandoned cars were everywhere.

“It took us about two hours to travel 20 blocks (in Atlanta), but the rest of the drive was uneventful,” she said.

Traffic at the show picked up Friday as the weather got warmer, she said. “I’ve made more contacts with stores in North Carolina and South Carolina,” she said. “Buyers have responded well.”

Day one at the Atlanta Apparel Inside Show, for wholesale buyers only, got off to a slow start, Butler said. According to show personnel, the number of buyers was down considerably because of Atlanta’s extreme weather, she said.

Show personnel were optimistic that attendance at the show would increase with the 60-degree temperatures this weekend.

Despite the cold and snowy weather, Butler said she made contacts with clothing and accessories buyers in Kentucky, North Carolina and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Butler said she met talented designers in booths surrounding her and participated in the “Emerging Designers” fashion show.

Her trip was sponsored in part by the Tamarack Foundation’s WV to Urban Markets program. The program has assisted Butler with her booth fee and a pre-show postcard mailing.

Butler has been invited to participate in Knoxville Fashion Week in February.

Butler is handling all of the production in-house for her line as well as doing freelance graphic design work. She has added the following retailers: the Parkersburg Art Center and the Bellini Beauty Bar in Morgantown.

Butler has narrowed her fashion line down to the clutch purses and infinity scarves, which have been her best sellers.

She took an online class last fall to hone in on her own unique style – which led to this new collection for Spring/Summer 2014, Butler said.

“It is very feminine and bright with touches of floral sketches, lace and filigree with a rustic patina – and I even added a touch of sparkle with a pearl brooch on every purse. I’m using an entirely new silky faille fabric this year. It drapes beautifully and really showcases the bright colors.”