IN CONVERSATION & PANELS

6.28.19 DESIGNER POP-UP SHOP AND PANEL

The Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum is pioneering a new way to envision the fashion industry in Arkansas. In June 2019 we hosted a five designer pop-up shop in Downtown Springdale to give our audience an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their favorite designers custom pieces. Following the pop-up shop our CEO, Robin Wallis Atkinson, sat down with the five designers to discuss their practice, the state of the growing fashion industry in Arkansas, and the potential future for micro-batch manufacturing based in our state. Designers A’Lyece Lenae, Sindhu Varagani, Brandy Lee, Alyssa Graves, and Shamirra Clark joined us for this lively and in-depth discussion.

6.6.19 THE STATE OF PHOTOGRAPHY PANEL

The Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum aims to promote inclusion, diversity and change to industry standards by rethinking the process of image production. As content creators, we have a privileged opportunity to change norms through thoughtful content production. Four of the most well respected photographers in the area discussed the importance of image making and the responsibility of being an a creative figure in our community.

Our panel of photographers Brandon WattsJessica WhalenMeredith Mashburn, and Miles Witt Boyer, led by marketing expert Stephanie G Funk, discussed how the photography landscape has changed since the re-emergence of NWA Fashion Week and how their practice has grown or been influenced by their collaborations with it.

They shared insight into the hard work and intellectual processes that have helped them rise to the top of their industry. Additionally, this panel provided insight into how Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum is working with creatives to change the image of Northwest Arkansas.

From Left to Right: Brandon Watts of B. Watts Photography, Jessica Whalen of Jessica Whalen Films, Miles Witt Boyer of Miles Witt Boyer Collective, Stephanie Funk (moderator), & Meredith Mashburn of Meredith Mashbrun Photography

4.6.19 IN CONVERSATION: GABRIELLE KORN

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum partnered with BlakeSt. to host an afternoon with Nylon Editor-in-Chief Gabrielle Korn. The editor shared her journey and led a group exercise in editorial content selection.
Watch the entire event here:

4.3.19 NET IMPACT SUSTAINABILITY PANEL

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum partnered with the University of Arkansas and Crystal Bridges Museum. Net Impact is a nonprofit membership organization for students and professionals interested in programs and networking events centered on topics such as corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, international development, and environmental sustainability. Dr. Lance Cheramie of University of Arkansas, Shaul Cohen of Jordache (NYC), Gerson Fajardo of Walmart, Inc, and Alyssa Bird of Regenerous Designs shared how to make the fashion industry more sustainable in terms of design and product development, manufacturing, retailing, and education.

1.10.19 IN CONVERSATION: LINDA ROWE THOMAS

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum hosted an evening with Designer and Motivational Speaker Linda Rowe Thomas. The designer shared her amazing story as well as one of her most recent collections.
Watch the entire event here:

11.1.18 IN CONVERSATION: KORTO MOMOLU

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum hosted an evening with Project Runway Alumni Korto Momolu. The designer showed a selection of works from a recent collection inspired by her frequent collaborator Michael Knight.
Watch the entire event here:

Korto Momolu (pronounced Cut • Toe – Mo • Mo • Lu) is a Liberian-born fashion designer and stylist is stamping her global brand on fashion-forward women’s wear and accessories. Korto is inspired by her African roots and celebrate the essence of her rich heritage through the use of traditional, luxury fabrics; skins; mixed prints, etc. A graduate of the L’Academies des Couturiers Design Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, Korto also studied at the renowned Parsons School of Design in New York City while working as an independent fashion designer. Prior to arriving in Canada in 1990, Korto and her family had to flee Liberia following a civil war. In 2014, she competed on the third season of Project Runway All Stars and finished in second place. Most recently, Korto unveiled her spring/summer 2019 collection during New York Fashion Week – which was a tribute to her late friend, and former Project Runway All Stars castmate, Mychael Knight, who passed in 2017. Momolu was highlighted as a ‘Top 5 Designers to Watch’ by New York Magazine, and presently makes her home with her husband and two children in Little Rock, Arkansas.

All pictures taken by Joshua Sagar.

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