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High Fashion

From bikers to brides, NWA is stylin’ by Lara Hightower | March 31, 2019 at 1:00 a.m.
Photo by Grace Nast "The Friday show is ready to wear, with a mix of designers and boutiques and commercial brands," says Robin Wallis Atkinson, executive director of Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week April 3-6. "We've got several of the boutiques that we always have coming back, like Lola and Maude, and we've also got Walmart's private label debuting on the runway."

Since rebooting Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week in 2017, executive director Robin Wallis Atkinson has approached each subsequent run with fresh ideas to gain followers and fans for this premier fashion event. For the spring 2019 show, she and her staff have tweaked the schedule a bit to make it more fan friendly: Each night will have a specific theme, including bridal, activewear, avant garde and ready-to-wear.

"We want to make it more cohesive," says Atkinson. "When you buy the ticket, we want you to know what you're signing up for."


NWA Fashion Week

Spring 2019

April 3

7 p.m.

Crystal Bridges

Fashion Industry Pecha Kucha

Lance Cheramie, University of Arkansas

Shaun Cohen, Jordache

Zach Freeze, Walmart, Inc.

Alyssa Bird, Regenerous Designs

April 4

7:15 p.m.

21c Museum Hotel



Joon Briday


She Said Yes


Amy Johnson

Ashley Little

Alicia Crayton

April 4

7 p.m.



22nd Element

Arkie Apparel

Bearded Goat Apparel

BEAT Outdoor Gear


Dig Clothing Co., featuring Livsn

Exlr Yoga Younge, presents lululemon





April 5

7 p.m.



59th and 9th

Dandy Roll



Hubbard Clothing Co.



Terra and Sky

Time and True


Big Sister Apparel

Darcy Apparel


Ruby Ru

April 6

2 p.m.

Haxton Road Studios

In Conversation

Gabrielle Korn, editor in chief, Nylon

7 p.m.


Avant Garde


A’lyece Lenae

Ashton Hall

Basana Chhetri

Bizarre Couture


Ellen Elaine

Nicole Simone

Regenerou Designs, featuring B-Unlimited

Robbie’s Era

Rosie Rose

Samantha’s Garden

The R Gene


NWA Fashion Week

Spring 2019

WHEN — April 3-6

WHERE — Crystal Bridges Museum, 21c Museum Hotel, Record, all in Bentonville

COST — The event at Crystal Bridges is free; tickets for the other events range from $15-$220


Atkinson says this show will have a strong focus on inclusion and diversity, as always.

"That's just naturally in the DNA of the organization," she says. "It's important to me and my team. We want to make sure we're representing as wide of an array of people as we can, and, this year, we're pushing that farther than we have before.

"When most fashion shows are talking about plus-size fashion, they're talking about somewhere between the sizes of 8 and 12 --but that's just middle-of-the-road, average-sized. When we talk about it, we're talking about size 20-plus. We're pushing really hard to spot our blind spot, to see who hasn't been on the runway before, to see who we are missing.

"How far can we push the idea that a fashion show doesn't have to be about the stereotypical tall, thin person but can embrace all people? Everyone is involved in the process of getting themselves dressed every day. We want to show our audiences themselves."

Photo by Grace Nast "Saturday is avant garde, so more designer-focused, boundary-pushing and creative," says Atkinson. "Not necessarily 'everyday outfit' material. If you're looking for a gala dress or really love [high] fashion, avant garde is for you."
Photo by Jessica Summersett "Thursday night's show -- and this is totally new to us -- will be activewear," says Robin Wallis Atkinson, executive director of Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week April 3-6. "It will focus on street wear, athleisure, biking, hiking -- all of the kinds of outdoor, active life activities that are so popular in Arkansas."
Photo by Josua Koerner According to its website, "NWAFW's mission is to highlight fashion trends, burgeoning local brands and up-and-coming designers, to celebrate Northwest Arkansas' growing culture, and raise awareness for our local organizations that are doing incredible things in the world."
Photo by Samantha Tillery "Thursday's bridal event will focus on wedding dresses and the bridal party -- mother of the bride, bridesmaids -- and will be a mix of commercial and designer," says Atkinson.

NAN What's Up on 03/31/2019

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