Belk Welcomes New Trend & Fashion V.P. Cynthia Washburn-Nester

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We’ll always hold a special place in our hearts for former Belk Fashion Director, Arlene Goldstein. The down-to-earth expert’s retirement earlier this year, however, left a void within the Charlotte-based retailer’s corporate structure. As of now, a new V.P. has stepped in to lead Belk’s “Modern Southern Style” strategy.

Announced last week, Cynthia Washburn-Nester (pictured above) is Belk’s new Vice President of Trend Merchandising and Fashion Direction. Most recently, she held the position of Vice President and Creative Director of women’s apparel for Global Brands Group. The industry veteran is also an alum of JCPenney, Charming Shoppes/Petite Sophisticate, and Liz Claiborne.

In her new position, Washburn-Nester will provide fashion direction, as well as trend leadership, to guide the selection within all 300 stores in Belk’s 16-state footprint. This is of special interest to the Metroplex, given our massive Belk flagship at Galleria Dallas. Following its debut in March 2014, the store has become a popular destination for local shoppers, as well as a frequent event hotspot.

“I was impressed by the unique mix of private and national brands we have [at Belk],” said Washburn-Nester upon the announcement of her new post. “It’s rare to see that kind of variety in department stores. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with all areas of the business – Women’s, Men’s, Kids and Home.”

Of course, we’re especially in tune with the fashion aspect of her focus. On the personal side, Washburn-Nester describes her style as “updated classic.” She notes go-to items from her own closet including a navy blazer, crisp white shirt, and dark skinny jeans. When it comes to trends, however, this newcomer highlights something to suit all styles.

For the holiday season, Washburn-Nester picks Victorian and Bohemian blouses, lace-up booties, and blanket-style wraps and ponchos to wear and give. Coming up in the spring, she predicts a predominance of feminine silhouettes. Keep your eye on florals, head-to-toe white, a continuation of the fringe trend, and accessories in abundance from Belk in the new year.

In closing, a warm welcome to Washburn-Nester from all of us at DFW Style Daily. While no local visits are currently on the agenda, our fingers are crossed for a Dallas appearance in 2016. All images courtesy of Belk and TruePoint Communications.

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