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LRFW impacts local community | Arts & Culture

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LRFW impacts local community
LRFW impacts local community

By Tabitha Cooke

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Little Rock Fashion Week (LRFW) is preparing for another great year and people in the community have the event marked in their calendars.

Every year, LRFW exceeds the expectations of an enjoyable and one-of-a-kind experience that merges designers, models and artists together to connect and establish their brands.

“LRFW is a great platform to allow those seeking careers in the modeling and fashion industry a leg to stand on in hopes of creating or expanding their brand,” said fashion designer, Nichole McGehee, who has been participating in LRFW since 2009. “As for me, LRFW has benefited me in helping to put my brand in the “spotlight” of the media. I feel that being a part of LRFW played a great part of my line becoming known on both a local and national level.”

Nicole McGehee Collection has been featured in numerous fashion shows across the country. It is being sold in boutiques, and in 2013 it was headlined during New York’s Fashion Week. Today, McGehee is one of the most popular and beloved designers in Arkansas. Nicole McGehee Collection will debut its new fall/winter line, along with six other labels at LRFW’s Big Night on July 18, which is taking place downtown on Main Street in what is called the Creative Corridor.

For being recognized as the leader in serving the community, LRFW has received a great deal of interest from the City of Little Rock.

“LRFW brings a little of the big city to Little Rock. It allows us to experience the fashion industry without going to New York or LA,” said City Director Doris Wright. When asked what she thought was unique and different about LRFW from other shows, Director Wright stated, “It allows me to experience what I love, and that is to see the new fashions on display.”

During its fifth annual ceremony, the City of Little Rock’s Major Office proclaimed the third week of July officially Little Rock Fashion Week. Wright presented LRFW’s founder Brandon D. Campbell the certificate.

Since its inception, over 2,250 models have auditioned to be in LRFW with only 599 chosen to walk its exclusive runways. Besides gaining experience, launching their modeling careers and signing with agencies, LRFW’s models compete for the distinction “Model of the Year.”

In May, nearly 300 aspiring models from Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee and Mississippi showed up at the annual model search to compete for the opportunity to show off their runway walks. Only 60 models were chosen and all areas of Arkansas including Jade Viera, who is not new to the fashion industry.

“I have been participating in LRFW since 2013 and every rehearsal, hair, make-up session and show has been nothing but fun and excitement,” she stated. “LRFW has helped me improve as a model professionally.”

Over the past six years, LRFW has increased awareness, potential growth and opportunity for the community. Guests and participants from across the state, country and U.S. migrate to the city every third week in July for LRFW. They stay in hotels, shop at local stores and eat at the restaurants Little Rock has to offer.

“I have learned that there is something for everyone from children, adults and seniors in modeling,” said Mona Meeks, Director of Marketing/Sales for J Kelly Referrals & Information Services. “Each year, there are new and different events that include the entire community.”

LRFW offers the fashion industry a unique perspective and the city should celebrate being diverse through its live entertainment, music and fashion.

“There are a lot of great shows here within the city as well as the state. I can name quite a few that I have been a part of which were all great experiences, but LRFW is one of the shows that spotlights on the “underdogs," said Nicole McGehee.

Founded by Brandon Campbell, a Little Rock native and former Hollywood TV live events producer in 2009, LRFW has featured over 100 fashion lines by emerging and established fashion designers. With 15,000 followers on our social media, over 5,000 e-mail subscribers and an average of over 500,000 page views annually at LittleRockFashionWeek.com, LRFW is one of the most popular fashion experiences in the country.

LRFW 7 is July 13-18 at various venues, leading up to its Big Night showcase on Main Street. Tickets are available now at LittleRockFashionWeek.com.

Sponsorship partners for LRFW 7 include OneofaKind Talent Inc., La Quinta Inn & Suites, Comfort Inn & Suites Presidential, Belk, iME clothing brand, Fricaine, J Kelly Referrals & Information Services, FashionUnited, Club Level, La Opinión Newspaper and the Arkansas Travelers.

To learn more information about LRFW visit LittleRockFashionWeek.com or contact Tabitha Cooke of LRFW Public Relations Department, at (501) 259-2139 or media@littlerockfashionweek.com to schedule an interview. Potential sponsors, vendors and volunteers of LRFW e-mail joinus@littlerockfashionweek.com.