NWAFW Boutique Casting Call

– Antonella Kinder
– Featured Photo: Shelby Seaber + NWAFW 

The official NWA Fashion Week casting call for the Fall 2018 Boutique Runway shows (September 20th – 22nd) is set for this Sunday, August 26th at Drake Field from 2pm – 5pm. (casting call tickets here)

Read on for casting call info and an interview with NWA Fashion Week CEO/Creative Director, Robin Wallis Atkinson, where we talk do’s and don’ts for NWAFW hopeful’s and how NWAFW is working to promote diversity in the fall shows.


Casting Call Requirements & Info

NWAFW participating boutiques will be at the casting call to watch NWAFW hopeful’s walk-the-catwalk and to select models for their own, unique runway shows.

Models are required to wear a fitted black/white shirt, jeans and heels (ladies) or dress shoes (gents).

Plan to arrive based on the first letter of your last name and don’t forget to snag your casting call ticket:
A – I: 2pm
J – Q: 3pm
R – Z: 4pm

Casting Call Do’s & Don’ts + Diversity in NWAFW Fall Shows, Interview Featuring Robin Wallis Atkinson


MGM: The boutique casting call is this Sunday and I know we’d like to see more diversity and fresh faces this season. With boutique owners and designers casting their own models, how realistic is it for new models, or models of varying sizes/color, to be cast in the runway show this season?

Robin Wallis Atkinson: Extremely realistic! First of all, we know what our boutiques and designers are casting for, and usually we make sure there are at least 2-3 shows that are specifically looking for plus sized or body diversity. Then it really comes down to confidence and attitude on the runway. If you [walk] like you belong on that runway, a designer can work with your dimensions to achieve the perfect look rather than have a garment already pre-made for someone who may be more of a standard sample size.

We get [it] all the time – people telling us that they weren’t necessarily looking for any one thing, and then their [model] selections are all over the map in terms of look, shape, size, etc. because the designer or boutique started to get excited about the possibilities.

MGM: How do you and the NWAFW team work to ensure diversity in the runway shows?

Robin Wallis Atkinson: We do a few things to make sure that we are showcasing a diverse range of models and casting for inclusivity. First, it has to do with who even gets invited to [showcase their designs] at the show. When we screen our designers and boutiques for the runway, we ask what kinds of efforts they make in their day-to-day marketing or business practice that focuses on diversity and inclusion. Telling us you want to work with plus size models, or telling us that you work hard to showcase women of all sizes, shapes and colors is a huge positive for us.

When the actual casting happens, we tell all boutiques and designers to select twice as many models as they need for their show. As we’re casting we watch. Did everyone pick the same model? One model can’t be in every show. Did they pick a diverse group?

Usually everyone is really great about this because we tell them that this is what we’re looking for, but sometimes someone will turn in a show and it’s just too homogeneous. We’ll go back [to the designer or boutique] and ask how we can help diversify, or suggest different selections that would be a better representation of more women/men.

MGM: Casting calls can be intimidating for the little babes new to fashion week and runway work. Any advice for those auditioning?

Robin Wallis Atkinson: First, follow the rules on wardrobe. That’s my biggest thing. If you aren’t wearing what we asked, we know you aren’t paying attention. If we say wear heels and you wear wedges, we’re thinking about what other instructions you might not follow. We ask models to wear fitted jeans and white/black fitted top with heels or dress shoes.

In terms of your walk, just have faith in your ability to do it!

The more confident you are, the more you’ll throw those shoulders back and get into it. Know you look good, know you belong there, know you’ve got what it takes – because the deal is, you totally do. Whatever you’re insecure about is probably the thing that makes you unique.

Know that we support you, we’re here to pep talk, train and help you do the very best you can.


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