Nashville Symphony Names Zang Toi Featured Designer for 15th Anniversary Symphony Fashion Show

Annual event set for Tuesday, April 14, with proceeds to support Symphony’s artistic, education and community programs

Nashville, Tenn. (August 12, 2019) – Barbara Burns and Ashley Rosen, chairmen of the 2020 Symphony Fashion Show, have named Zang Toi as the featured designer for the 15th annual event next spring.

Nashville’s leading runway show, presented through a partnership between the Nashville Symphony and Gus Mayer of Nashville, the 2020 Symphony Fashion Show will take place on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. 

Toi’s Fall 2019 America Collection will also be featured during a Trunk Show hosted by Gus Mayer on August 20-21, 2019. The designer will be in Nashville for the two-day event, and Gus Mayer will donate a portion of sales from the Trunk Show to the Symphony.

"The Symphony Fashion Show has become one of Nashville's most highly-anticipated annual events and a showcase for some of the best and brightest talent from the world of fashion," said Burns and Rosen in a joint statement. "Zang Toi's glamorous designs are the perfect match for the elegance of the Schermerhorn as we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Symphony Fashion Show, and we look forward to welcoming him to Music City in April for what promises to be a dazzling evening." 

Toi’s award-winning, 30-year career has been defined by a tradition of elegant designs and a passion for timeless beauty. Born in the small village of Kuala Krai in Kelantan, Malaysia, he came to New York City at the age of 20 to study at the distinguished Parsons School of Design. In 1989, he opened his atelier – quickly becoming one of the first Asian designers championed by renowned fashion editor Anna Wintour – and also received the prestigious Mouton Cadet Young Designer of the Year award, which annually recognizes the top young fashion designer in the United States. 

Since then, he has dressed Hollywood celebrities such as Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Taylor, Farrah Fawcett, Kristie Alley, Patti LaBelle, Gong Li, Eva Longoria and Heather Graham, and created luxurious looks for philanthropists and royalty, including Melinda Gates and Saudi Princess Haifa Bandar Al Saud. An avid philanthropist himself, Toi has also raised more than $700,000 for the fight against cancer.

In September 2017, Toi opened his flagship boutique in New York, an 800-square-foot space complete with marble floors, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, crystal chandeliers and an oversize French mahogany table refinished with white lacquer and chrome. For more information on Zang Toi, visit his website at

The Symphony Fashion Show is one of the Nashville Symphony’s two major fundraisers each year. Proceeds from the event support the organization’s education and community engagement programs – which annually reach tens of thousands of Middle Tennessee children and adults through free concerts, classroom activities, hands-on instruction and more – as well as helping to sustain the Nashville Symphony’s mission of achieving artistic excellence through outstanding performances, world premieres, commissions and GRAMMY®-winning recordings.

Past designers for the Symphony Fashion Show have included Jason Wu, Zac Posen, Carolina Herrera, Brunello Cucinelli, Christian Siriano, Oscar de la Renta, MARCHESA, Monique Lhuillier, Isaac Mizrahi and Pamella Roland.

The featured entertainer for the event will be announced early next year. Artists who have appeared as the featured entertainer at past events include Lauren Alaina, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini, Sara Evans, The Band Perry and Mandy Barnett.

Tickets for the 2020 Symphony Fashion Show will go on sale in late winter. More information is available at

Zang Toi’s bio and photos are available upon request.