The Beastie Within: A senior fashion design student presents her collection in Knoxville


Models wearing Savannah Fender's Beastie Collection during Knoxville Fashion Week. Photo by Joshua Winstead.


Sarah Church models the Beastie Collection by SavFen. Photo by Aimee Borovich and Stephanie Page.

Senior fashion design student, Savannah Fender, unveiled her first fall 2015 collection at Knoxville Fashion Week, March 3-5, in Tennessee.

Her collection, Beastie, is from her fashion line SavFen. William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” was her inspiration as well as the combination of outdoor elements with the beauty of diversity.

Fender used the novel as a reference along with the beauty of nature to inspire her textures. She also wanted to draw from her time spent in New Zealand, where she went during the fall of her junior year.

“I wanted to create a very outdoorsy collection, but still have it translate into an urban setting,” Fender said, “It’s a great collection to mix and match; easy to wear and very versatile.”

“Beastie combines the softness of our innocence with the fear we all face,” Fender said. “With a mixture of rough edges and simple silhouettes, SavFen creates a collection that is ready for a hike through the Appalachian Mountains or a night in the urban jungle.” The beast is within all of SavFen’s Beastie garments.


Savannah Fender with model Sarah Churchduring their Low Country fashion shoot.

Fender worked on her Beastie collection for the last five to six months. After sending pictures of her collection to the Fashion Week coordinators, they invited her to attend Knoxville’s Fashion Week.

“I told them where I was from and what I was working on and sent them some pictures. They said they would love to have me!” Fender said. She had also emphasized her student status and that she was seeking to gain exposure for her work.

Fender’s pictures were taken during a photo shoot in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. With the support of her parents and friends, they traveled to South Carolina on a Friday. They spent Saturday at Fort Fremont and Hunting Island. Then they awoke early Sunday to do a sunrise shoot on the beach.

Fender’s friends helped her with the photos. Her past roommate Sarah Church modeled the collection. Britney Sumrell was the makeup and hair artist, and Aimee Borovich and Stephanie Page were the photographers.

According to Fender, keeping calm was the biggest challenge with participating in a fashion week. She said unveiling her collection was a hectic experience but worth it overall.

“I was nervous making sure all of my models were happy because I knew if they didn't like what they were wearing, it would show,” Fender said, “So I had to make sure all 13 of them liked what they were wearing.”

After Fender graduates in May, she plans to attend graduate school in hopes of completing an M.S. in textiles. She has applied to North Carolina State and is currently waiting to hear back from them regarding her acceptance.

After graduate school, Fender would like to work on the manufacturing side of the fashion industry, helping set up overseas plants and one day bringing textile plants back to the U.S.

For those interested in seeing SavFen’s Beastie collection, they are part of Fashion Fete March 28 in the Bondurant Auditorium in Preston Hall. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Fender’ work is also available online at

Mar 26, 2015
Sabrina Anderson