Designers, start your engines. Charleston Fashion Week 2010 is currently recruiting designers from across the Southeast for the Emerging Designer Competition.

If you’ve been living under a rock, you may be surprised that all of the 2008 Emerging Designer finalists were asked to audition for season 6 of Project Runway — Carol Hannah Whitfield actually made it onto the show, and has yet to hear “auf wiedersehen” (knock on wood). The winner of the 2009 Emerging Designer Competition Marysia Reeves has gone on to win acclaim at Fashion Week SWIM in Miami, and we hear she was recently picked up by a major retailer (details to come). So placing in this competition is no small feat.

Designers must fall into at least one of these categories: They must currently design for own label/company and have done so for less than two years, they must currently design fashions as a hobby/part-time job/on the side, and/or they must currently study fashion design. Designer must be a resident of Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia. Designer must be 18 years of age or older, or have parental/guardian permission to apply.

Eight designers will be chosen as semifinalists to show their full collections on March 16. After that, three finalists will be given a design challenge and asked to create a garment(s) to present on the runway Saturday night. They will have three days to complete their challenge.

All entries are due Oct. 23.