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Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum Relocation

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum Relocates Headquarters to CACHE’s Springdale Creative Hub

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum (AAFF) today (Oct. 17th, 2020) announced the move of its headquarters and operations to the new Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange (CACHE) creative hub in Springdale — the former home of Arts Center of the Ozarks.

With support from the Tyson Family Foundation, CACHE took on operations of the collaborative arts space in early September with the goal of expanding equity, inclusion and expression across all artistic disciplines and Northwest Arkansas communities.

“CACHE is excited to have AAFF as the first anchor tenant occupying the space,” said Allyson Esposito, CACHE executive director. “AAFF has developed long lasting and deep connections with both the local Marshallese and Latinx communities in downtown Springdale. AAFF’s presence in such a historically important location provides the opportunity to expand these relationships and provides room to foster inclusive and culturally responsive creative programming in the new location.”

AAFF’s sewn goods production and administrative staff of seven will also headquarter out of the space. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, AAFF has largely pivoted its programming to focus on micro-batch sewn goods manufacturing, having made and donated over 10,000 fabric face masks for the local community. The accompanying #GetYourMaskOn social media campaign reached over 40,000 Arkansans and is one of the first public service campaigns launched to promote the importance of face masks use in the state. Click here to read the full press release!

We are thrilled to announce that Bruce Davis, designer, and creator of 22nd Element will be the inaugural Designer in Residence for our new program EMERGE. Read our most recent press release below to learn more about the program and the designer!

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum (AAFF) is thrilled to debut details for EMERGE, a newly developed designer residency program established to both further develop talent in the area, as well as attract visionaries from other regions to collaborate, train, and learn from the regional creative community. This project will kick off its inaugural season this Fall 2020. EMERGE, presented by AAFF, unveils its new brand identity, featuring the logo included in the image above, created as a visual representation of the rising talent participating in this incredible program. This curriculum will strive to build an ongoing platform to grow local and regional talent through collaboration and mentorship from industry experts in fashion, sustainability, manufacturing, and creative design.


EMERGE will engage one experienced Designer In Residence, as well as a select group of local designers – referred to as the Designer Cohort, to support the growth of the existing local talent, foster creative production, and contribute industry knowledge to the local community. AAFF and EMERGE are thrilled to announce Bruce Davis, Designer and Creator of 22nd Element as the Designer in Residence for the Fall 2020 season.


Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Bruce draws inspiration for his brand from the periodic table, and the 22nd element – Titanium, which he describes as a “strong and lustrous metal”, qualities he identifies with in relation to his collection. According to Bruce, 22nd Element is built on the idea of creating a fresh perspective on the future of apparel, creating “ready-to-wear with a mixture of both edge and class. The clothes that I make are genderless and inclusive. I take pride in knowing that I engineered clothes based on embracing individuality.”


Bruce believes that fashion should always go beyond turning heads, that it is about manifesting your true self. Four years into his design career, he is continuing to learn the art of fashion and design. Bruce is determined to continue to give the world the look of his most precious element, Titanium.


AAFF and EMERGE are now seeking applicants to apply for the Designer Cohort Portion of the program. 10 Arkansas-based designers will have the opportunity to participate in workshops, collaborations, and attend talks with Visiting Mentors and Bruce Davis, the Fall 2020 Designers in Residence. These 10 designers will receive a material budget to help with the creation of a program inspired project made while in collaboration with the Designer in Residence. Applications for the EMERGE program will be due at Midnight/CST on Tuesday, August 25th. To apply or to learn more about our Designer in Residence please follow this link: https://bit.ly/2DtzvAH

Upcoming Programming

In Conversation: Denise Incandela

On September 22nd at 1:00 PM CDT the Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum team will be hosting a virtual discussion with visionary retail executive Denise Incandela. Denise will provide her insight on how the fashion industry has changed over the past 20 years and where she sees it heading in the future. Attendees will also hear her insight into how COVID-19 has impacted the fashion industry.

RSVP via this link: https://bit.ly/3lmSTRf

In Conversation: Brittany Allen

Join the Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum team on September 23rd at 5:30 PM CST for a virtual discussion with fashion designer and previous Project Runway contestant, Brittany Allen. The AAFF team will discuss Brittany’s career, inspirations, and her experience on and after the hit T.V. show Project Runway. AAFF will also be taking a trip back down memory lane and talk to Brittany about her experience participating in Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week.

RSVP via this link: https://rb.gy/dx2pfk

Unpacking Beyonce’s Black Is King

On October 14th at 6:00 PM join Fashion Designer Korto Momolu and University of Arkansas Professor Constance Bailey as they have an in-depth virtual conversation regarding symbolism in Beyonce’s Black Is King. The panelists will unpack the film’s fashion, themes, timely relevance, and the use of spiritual and cultural references that are used throughout the African diaspora. 

Dr. Constance Bailey will use her expertise in Black Feminism and Womanist studies, as well as her course curriculum to bring important dialogue to the discussion regarding black love, black women’s coming of age experiences (black girl magic), family relationships and work. Korto Momolu who is a Liberian-born fashion designer and stylist will be able to speak to African iconography that is used throughout the film as well as the impact that fashion plays regarding storytelling throughout Black communities.

RSVP vis this link: https://bit.ly/3hCM2jB

Anti Racism Resource Group!

-To join this Facebook group click here: shorturl.at/gixTV

-Anti-Racism Resource Group is a communal space built in the model of group recovery programs that allow for anonymity, solidarity, and understanding.

-The next group meeting will be Thursday, 8/27/2020 at 7:00 pm!

Good Book Club!

To join this Facebook group click the link here: shorturl.at/bltS8

-Good Stuff 4 Good People has partnered with us to bring you a space where people can read a curated selection of books that will help our community work towards becoming better allies and reach farther levels of understanding.?


-The next meeting will be Tuesday, 8/25/2020 at 7 PM!

Mask Makers Challenge!


OUR MISSION

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum exists to provide educational opportunities and professional support for aspiring avant-garde fashion designers, artists, and other creative professionals who are committed to building a vibrant and inspired creative fashion community in Arkansas. 

  • Student designer showcases
  • Educational and professional development workshops
  • Public speaker series
  • Small batch manufacturing projects

Our goal is to create a self-sustaining fashion industry here in Arkansas and to provide job and creative opportunities to members of our creative community.

Through educational and workshop opportunities, we strive to develop and enhance professional skills and knowledge by working with aspiring designers,  photographers, models, hair stylists, makeup artists, videographers and other creative professionals. 

Designer: Basana Chhetri, Photographer: Sadie Rucker

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GET INVOLVED

Whether you want to support a local designer or become a local designer, we want to hear from you!

 CONTACT AAFF