CHARLOTTE, N.C. Charlotte-based Belk is giving young designers a chance to sell their work at a department store, and well-known fashionista Cynthia Rowley visited the store to help debut the Southern Design Showcase.

It's not every day you try on a dress and run into the designer. But that s what customers got Thursday night during Girls Night Out at Belk.

Cynthia Rowley was at the Charlotte-based department store to debut her new line Cynthia .

I didn t have that much experience in this part of the country but I really wanted to learn about the lifestyle here, Rowley said.

What has Rowley learned about southern women?

Definitely more color! In New York, the joke, black is the new black, is not a joke.

Young designer Jazsalyn McNeil agrees it s all about color.

Everything that s super bright with bold prints, she said.

The 21-year-old was at Belk to debut her own line.

As a college student, she is one of 15 winners in Belk s first-ever Southern Design Showcase.

It s basically like seeing your dreams come alive, McNeil expressed.

The contest winners designs are now on sale alongside veterans like Cynthia Rowley.

Arlene Goldstein is vice president of fashion design and helped organize the contest.

It s just amazing talent-- some unknowns, some barely known and a few that have been in business for awhile but really haven t been in the department store. So it s just been amazing-- an amazing journey.

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