Liberian Fashion Designer: Korto Momolu, 'Project Runway' Star Brings African Inspired Designs to the World
Korto Momolu is a fashion designer who was the first-runner-up and was voted “fan favorite” on the fifth season of the then-Bravo TV show “Project Runway.”
Known for designs inspired by her West African heritage, Momolu studied fashion at the Parsons School of Design in New York, and designed women’s wear and accessories in Arkansas before earning her spot on “Runway.”
Korto Momolu is making history … in fashion, by bringing the vibrant colors and prints reminiscent of her Liberian background to mainstream runways. She has shown her collections during New York Fashion Week, and in addition to her line of clothing, designed two lines of eco-friendly fine jewelry. Momolu has shown her designs at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art and has been named New York Magazine’s top five designers to watch.
Samples from Korto Momolu's Collections
What’s next for Korto?
Korto Momolu continues to design and show her own clothing and jewelry and is fast becoming an internationally-known designer in her own right. She recently debuted her Spring 2012 collection at the NY Fame Show.
In her own words…
“The challenges are countless. As an independent designer, there will always be obstacles in your way, from financial-investment opportunities to manufacturing issues,” Momolu told TheRoot. “It’s a struggle, but when I read the feedback from fans and supporters all over the world, it motivates me to keep pushing — no matter what.”
A little-known fact about Korto …
Momolu was born and raised in Monrovia, Liberia. She and her family left the country when a civil war broke out in 1990, moving to Canada. In Canada, Momolu studied fashion design at the L’Academies des Couturiers Design Institute in Ottawa, Ontario before moving to Arkansas.
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THEGRIO’S Q & A WITH KORTO MOMOLU
Q: What’s next in this chapter of your life?
A: Expanding on the Korto Momolu brand, which means getting the designs in stores and high-end boutiques both nationally and internationally.
Q: What’s a fact about you that many people don’t know?
A: I’m a great cook and performed with an Africa Dance Troop.
Q: What’s your favorite quote?
A: “Dream, Believe, Have Faith, Repeat.”
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
A: Life experiences and my surroundings.
Q: Who are/were your mentors?
A: Donna Karan, Bryon Lars, Valentino.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to achieve their dreams?
A: Get up and GO!