Do You Have What it takes to be a Taste-maker?

Part 1 of a 3 part post 

 If so, this is your weekend to prove it! 

As I sat and lulled over the above stated question, it got me to wondering just what truly is a taste-maker? One can break down the word and tell that it obviously involves making or creating a specific “taste,” but just what type of taste are we discussing and how do we decide that you or I am considered a “taste-maker?” 

Okay, so I’m a writer/editor at heart, which means I typically try to find the listed meaning of a word. One search of “taste-maker,” and I found a great definition.  

Noun, 1. Taste-maker – someone who popularizes a new fashion. Fashion arbiter, trend-setter · role model, model – someone worthy of imitation. 

I absolutely love it! I sat down with “Mr. Taste-maker,” himself, Gary Whitlow, one-fourth of the G2Experience – a promotions and marketing company, who came together with six others to develop “Tastemaker,” a monthly event held in Nashville, Tenn. This month, Whitlow and his crew have created a three-day weekend reminiscent of Atlanta’s recent “LudaDay Weekend” – but focused more on highlighting Nashville, its professionals and growing entertainment industry. 

Just as the definition states, Whitlow along with Deshun Smith, a national photographer who has shot events such as New York Fashion Week and traveled to Paris for shoots, Stacy Murdic, Bryan Roberson and Derrick Sharp, who all work in Healthcare, Gary Steven, an account executive, Derrick Pasley a senior at Middle Tennessee State University and Patrice, who is in Education came together to create a monthly mixer targeting the trendsetters or “taste-maker’s” of Nashville.  

Now I’m sure that was a lot to read, because trust me it was a lot to type – I know. However, when you think about it, putting together an event that will propel Nashville to the upper echelon of nightlife takes the combination of the right team with the right vision and a lot of detail.  

So, for the last year or so, “Tastemaker” has become the staple for professionals who want to go out but don’t want to be caught up in the “club” scene. Held one time per month, on the third Friday, Tastemaker features a new venue each month – typically a lounge or restaurant scene that is an undiscovered gem in the city, generally a sponsored spirit or liquor and a HAUTE deejay. Not like your regular Friday night event, Tastemaker opens its doors at 8 p.m., and tops the night just around midnight – giving you the opportunity to venture off into the city or wind down early.  

Once a month is working, right? So why try something new? Let’s get into this interview with Whitlow to find out.  

I should stop here and say that this is going to be a three-part blog. We will feature excerpts from Whitlow’s interview during the three-day event. We will highlight outfits of course from my closet that gives you examples of what to wear over the weekend. Let’s face it, we are a fashion blog, more so a diary of my wardrobe and my ramblings. This interview and accompanying pictures have really forced me to shop my closet.  

Over the next three days we will break up Whitlow’s interview focusing on key points behind the creation of Tastemaker, the events for the evening and ideas on what to wear! 

Tastemaker “This is the Life,” weekend kicks-off with community service – sorting canned goods for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tenn. Now you all know we are excited about this! As you know, this month is Hunger Action Month and Second Harvest is celebrating with its “30 Ways in 30 Days” campaign. Haute Swapping for a Cause, will be held THIS Saturday in support of Second Harvest and the campaign. We are excited that G2Experince and Tastemaker have joined us in the push to raise awareness for Second Harvest.  


Why did you create Tastemaker? 

My colleagues and I felt there was a void in Nashville nightlife.  Time and time again we would go out and be disappointed.  We felt something was missing and wanted to put together an event that would resonate with TRUE professionals within the Nashville Community.    


Why do you feel that it is important for Nashville to have an event such as Tastemaker? 

Nashville needs Taste Maker because it’s something different.  It’s not the same as going out to other events.  You come to Taste Maker and are confident that it’s going to be a fun and unique experience.   And unlike your typical nightlife event, we party from 7pm-12am, which provides the perfect opportunity for like-minded people to unwind with out the CLUBBY atmosphere.  I think another reason it’s important is because we continuously Champion the success of other individuals and people by highlighting different host every month.    


Why is community service important to promoters/this event?  

We know how fortunate we are, and we also know that change starts with ourselves.  So we always make sure Taste Maker funds are donated to other organizations.   



Today’s events start with the Tastemaker Weekend (TMW) community service at 5 p.m., the Happy Hour at Tayst at 7 p.m., and the official kick-off at Karma Ultra Lounge for Socialite Thursdays in conjunction with TMW. 


So now you ask what to wear??! If you’re like me, you will unfortunately miss community service because of your job, however the Happy Hour gives you enough time to go home and create an outfit that will help you catch the last rays of sun and hot weather in Nashville.  Now Karma is a different story. The Socialite PACKS out every Thursday, which = HAUTE, HAUTE, HAUTE and not in a good way.  This event, you want to wear the least clothes while still being cute and respectable. Check the ideas below! 


The Happy Hour  



Ripped jeans have been around for  some type and in my opinion can be considered an accessory to the outfit. I paired ripped jeans with a cami and striking stilettos with matching jewelry. 


Both the jeans and the cami are Forever 21 

Shoes are Qupid, purchased in Los Angeles 

Jewelry is old. 


This is very laid back with a burst of color, great for a late night Happy Hour. It can also be worn to Karma and would be just as comfortable. 




Option number 1 for The Socialite at Karma shows ALL legs. The outfit is still conservative enough that you won’t be misrepresenting yourself while showing enough skin to stay comfortable in the ensuing heat. 


The dress is also Forever 21 




Option 2 is also great for the Happy Hour and Karma. Ulrike dress #1, not much is showing and is a little more conservative for a restuarant. This dress comes with the attached belt and is similar to a t-shirt style. 


Dress is Forever 21 

Shoes are Aldo 


This post has been dedicated to Forever 21. You have three alternatives for ‘tonights events on a budget! Make sure you slide over to FabGlanceNashville for other alternatives as well!  

For more information, visit 


Part 2, tomorrow! 


Stay Haute!


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