Northwest Arkansas Fashion Scene // NWAFW Spring 2019
If you have been following my Instagram, well then you know that last week I was in Bentonville Arkanas for NWA Fashion Week. I met Robin Wallis Atkinson the CEO + Creative Director of NWA Fashion Week at Runway Tulsa last fall and was so happy to make the connection. She was dressed so fabulously so I actually asked if I could snap her photo for my blog feature. I had no idea who she was at the time.
When I was asked to travel in for the NWAFW Spring shows, of course, I said OUI! When and where?! How could I possibly miss this event with 24 designers, 19 commercial brands, 250 models, 30+ makeup artists, 25+ hair stylists and other creative professionals?!
For those who aren’t familiar, NWA Fashion Week is a project of the non-profit organization The Arkansas Arts and Fashion Forum, with a mission to highlight fashion trends, support local brands, to provide a creative outlet for designers, and to celebrate Northwest Arkansas’ fashion culture. In recent years, NWA Fashion Week has focused on putting on two events each year in Northwest Arkansas – a spring show in Bentonville, and a fall show in Fayetteville.
This season was one of many firsts including the first-ever runway show for Walmart Private Label brands, an Activewear show and a Bridal Event!
And I am so excited to share some of my fave designers with you from the Spring shows so let’s do that now!
The show kicked off Thursday and I had to chose between Active and Bridal. I of course chose Active because I love activewear and am always looking for fresh new brands and ways to bring in a bit of a causal element to my wardrobe. I live in Tulsa and everyone is super causal on a day to day basis-so different from my Dallas lifestyle.
Lin and I arrived to the venue Record an hour before the show to enjoy some special VIP perks. (no lines for cocktails,(loved the special event cocktail named the DonaTequila Versace) and complimentary food in the swanky lounge) The whole venue had such a fantastic vibe. You have to watch my coverage from the whole event which you can find here. I was not able to get many photos because I was in the second row but I was able to get a lot of video coverage for you..even taking you to the after party and to some other dreamy places we visited while in NWA. And yes, there were bicycles on the runway and awesome yoga poses. And my favorite part was seeing all different body types represented on the runway, and not only did we see a wide range of sizes but also ages.
My absolute favorite show was from Rapha- founded by Simon Mottram in London in 2004. They make the finest cycling clothing and organize rides and events for passionate cyclists around the world. I am already on a waitlist for some cycling shoes and just cannot even stand it because I want them right now!! I also really loved 22nd Element and the show ELXR Yoga Lounge put on featuring Lululemon.
On Friday night we returned to Record for The Ready-To-Wear shows! This event focused on fashion-forward commercial vendors with a local footprint and designers that feature apparel for your everyday lifestyle. NWA is becoming an important cultural destination for art, culture, and fashion. Celebrating the businesses that help support this cultural growth is what NWAFW x Ready to Wear was all about - showing their fashion forward boutiques, commercial partners, and designers for the every day. And swoon..I loved so many looks from the night and the best part was they are all shoppable. You just have to see my stories from all of it!
I am so blown away with the whole experience and look forward to the fall shows!
My key takeaways from my first NWAFW:
Northwest Arkansas knows what they’re doing. Highly impressed with not only the designers but the production of the show as well. Seamless transitions, great organization, stunning venues.
Bentonville has the NICEST people!!! I met so many fabulous and friendly bloggers, news anchors, and everyone on Robin’s team was just so hospitable! So much thanks to Rachel Fox for everything!!!
All in all, I highly recommend attending if you have the chance. Tickets go on sale ahead of time to the general public so anyone can go!
Thank you so much for having me and sponsoring my trip NWAFW + Visit Bentonville.