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 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. A​AFF and EMERGE are thrilled to announce Bruce Davis, Designer and Creator of 2​2nd 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 D​esigner 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 25t​ h​. To apply or to learn more about our D​ esigner in Residence​ please follow the link provided here:

For more information please Contact:

Katie Marquess
Director of Special Initiatives Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum

Robin Atkinson
Chief Executive Officer Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum

About AAFF: Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum is a 501c3 Non-profit organization dedicated to educational programming and creative support in the mission of fostering the growth of the fashion industry in Arkansas.

Learn more about Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum, the non-profit’s mission, and educational programming at​ w​

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