PROGRAMS

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

In 2018 Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum (AAFF) launched a year long Educational Pilot Program made possible by a generous grant from the Walton Family Foundation. This year of programming has focused on developing opportunities for those interested in the synthesis of fashion and art to learn professional skills towards the goal of incubating a true fashion industry in Arkansas

AAFF’s Educational Pilot Program includes three main areas of programming:

  • Student Designer Showcases
    • The Student Designer Showcases focused on working directly with college students, as well as those enrolled in workshops with AAFF, to develop wearable art for the runway. Students from the University of Arkansas, Arkansas Fashion School, and NWA Community College were involved in the creative production Arkansas’ largest fashion event, NWA Fashion Week in both Fall 2018 and Spring 2019.
    • Projects included a runway show with workshop participants from the Arkansas Coalition of the Marshallese; a runway show with workshop participants from Stitches, a Latinx art collective based at the Teen Action Support Center in Springdale, AR; a collaborative cotton-based fashion project from the University of Arkansas’ Apparel Merchandising and Product Development program; and full runway shows from students from Little Rock’s Arkansas Fashion School
  • Educational and Professional Development Workshops
    • AAFF Hosted workshops across the spectrum of professionalization for participants eager to get involved in the growing fashion community. Workshops ranged from Beginners Sewing, to Model Bootcamps, Hair and Makeup Best Practices for Diversity and Inclusion, to Product Development and the Power of an Item.
    • The workshop series was extremely successful and highly adaptive to the demands of the community. Workshops will continued to be developed into late 2019 and 2020. If you are interested in hosting a workshop or participating in future workshops, please contact us at contact@arkansasfashion.org to learn more!
  • Public Speaker Series
    • Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum brought in speakers from different parts of the fashion industry to present public presentations on the state of fashion in Arkansas and the potential for growth here. Speakers included:
      • Korto Momolu, Project Runway Alumni
      • Linda Rowe Thomas, Motivational Speaker and Couture Designer
      • Gabrielle Korn, Editor and Chief of Nylon Media
      • Lance Charamie, Professor at University of Arkansas and Sustainability Expert
      • Alyssa Bird, Jewelry Designer and Sustainable Fashion Advocate

See more about our Educational Programming on our Program Archives Page



RUNWAY GRANTS

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum provides funding for designers based in the state of Arkansas to participate in fashion events throughout the year. Through a partnership with NWA Fashion Week, AAFF offers Runway Grants to creative and avant garde designers to showcase their designs during NWA Fashion Week in the Spring and Fall. Designers apply directly to Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum and are chosen by our selection committee. Runway grants covers the cost associated with purchasing runway time during NWA Fashion Week, including promotional, photographic and video services.

Application for NWA Fashion Week Fall 2019



MENTORSHIPS

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum works to create opportunities for aspiring young talent to work next to professionals in many fields related to art and fashion. Whether it is backstage at a fashion show, behind the camera at an editorial photoshoot, or in the board room, we strive to create spaces for young talent to learn from the best in the field.

Learn More



EMERGING DESIGNER AWARD

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum awards one designer annually with the the Emerging Designer Award during the NWA Fashion Week Fall Shows that take place in Fayetteville.

The following criteria apply in order for a designer to be eligible to receive the AAFF Emerging Designer Award:

  • Designer must be accepted to show at NWA Fashion Week
  • Must be based in Arkansas
  • Designer must create and show an original collection (collection must consist of at least 75% originally concepted garments, upcycled or repurposed garments are not eligible)
  • Designer is only eligible to win once per year
  • Only eligible if it is the designer’s first time to show at NWA Fashion Week AND/OR the designer is in their first three years of fashion design for runway.

Recipient of the Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum Emerging Designer Award will receive:

  • A gift card for fabric provided to use in the production of a new collection.
  • Automatic acceptance into the following season of NWA Fashion Week.



FASHION INCUBATOR AWARD

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum awards one designer annually with the Fashion Incubator Award during the NWA Fashion Week Fall Shows that take place in Fayetteville.

The following criteria apply in order for a designer to be eligible to receive the AAFF Fashion Incubator Award:

  • Designer must be accepted to show at NWA Fashion Week
  • Must be based in Arkansas
  • Designer must create and show an original collection (collection must consist of at least 75% originally concepted garments, upcycled or repurposed garments are not eligible)
  • Designer is only eligible to win once per year
  • Designer must have shown at one previous NWA Fashion Week

Recipient of the Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum Fashion Incubator Award will receive:

  • Fashion editorial produced by NWAFW and Arkansas Fashion Productions.
  • Fashion business and branding consulting package from a local agency professionals working in collaboration with Graphic Design students from the UofA. This package consists of a mentoring and business development program tailored to the specific designer. You will also receive a brand development package including a new logo if desired.

IDLE CLASS MAGAZINE

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum (AAFF) has recently announced their new position as the publisher of The Idle Class Magazine.

The Idle Class has been Arkansas’ only arts magazine since 2013, publishing quarterly editions on topics such as photography, storytelling, food, music, collecting and more. Focusing on the best undiscovered talent for poetry, prose, cinema, sound and more, The Idle Class has been a leader in the field for highlighting and supporting artistic talent from across the state.

Learn more at http://idleclassmag.com/