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Established in 2010, the Fashion Forward Student Design Competition was created to recognize student fashion designers of African descent who have distinguished themselves through their academic achievement, talent, creativity, and innovative approach.

NBAF Fashion Forward: A Competition for Student Fashion Designers

NBAF Fashion Forward honorees are selected by a distinguished panel of judges and receive a cash prize of $1,500. The award is open to students of African descent who are:
  • Currently enrolled in an accredited college or university fashion design degree program.
  • A student in good standing in an accredited college or university fashion design program.
  • Possess leadership qualities in their personal life and professional aspirations.
NBAF Fashion Forward honorees will be presented at NBAF's Fine Art + Fashion Benefit in Atlanta, GA. To learn more about the competition, download the Fashion Forward Fact Sheet. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Fashion Forward Coordinator, Page Yang

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2024 Fashion Forward Honorees
Yemisi Sanni (SCAD)
Yemisi Sanni is a senior at Savannah College of Art and Design, studying Fashion Design, Marketing & Management. Her cross-cultural experiences as a transplant from Lagos, Nigeria has inspired many of her fashion ventures and aesthetics. Sanni is driven to collaborate with others in connecting cultures and using fashion as a tool to shape a more creative, sustainable, and inclusive future. She is currently the Designer/Style Artist for Stylenspire, a fashion brand offering a mix of Chic and Afro-Contemporary clothing for women, with a focus on delivering quality and uniqueness.

Kuan Jackson (CAU)
Kuan Jackson is a freshman at Clark Atlanta University, studying Fashion Design & Merchandising. Born and raised in New Orleans, Jackson’s passion for fashion was heavily inspired by the diverse culture and creative energy of his hometown. In 2021, he launched his fashion brand Perfik Circo with a vision to create clothing that combines style, functionality, creativity, and a sense of community. The brand name Perfik Circo carries a powerful message: strive to be Perfik, embracing every member of your Circo. Jackson encourages all leaders, dreamers, and creators to celebrate the process of becoming the best version of themselves.

Previous Fashion Forward Honorees
Yemisi Sanni (SCAD)

Jakarie Whitaker (CAU)

Andrew Gatehi (SCAD)

D’on Lauren Edwards (SCAD)
Yemisi Sanni (SCAD)
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