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Meet The African Designer: Korto Momolu

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Korto Momolu (pronounced Cut • Toe – Mo • Mo • Lu) is a Fashion Designer and Stylist. Since being voted First runner-up and fan favourite on Project Runway season 5, Korto Momolu has put African inspired fashion on the map.

According to her website, “After Project Runway, November 13th was named Korto Momolu Day in Little Rock, Arkansas”, (which was then her hometown). Although she was born in Monrovia, Liberia, her family immigrated to Ontario, Canada in 1990 due to the political unrest in her country.

That move earmarked the beginning of more boundaries she would break in the future as one of the most innovative African Fashion Designers on the scene. In 2009 Korto Momolu made her debut into the international catwalk with her spring collection during the New York Fashion Week.

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Korto Momolu designs during the season finale of Project Runway during New York Fashion Week September 2008.

Korto Momolu designs during the season finale of Project Runway during New York Fashion Week September 2008.

In an interview with Essence.com, Korto talked about how being on Project Runway affected her. According to her, “It opened up doors that would have otherwise been closed. I learned on the show that the judges don’t have the last word. God does. What’s meant for me, nobody can take away. They actually pushed me to work harder to show them that I do have the number one spot. Nothing is going to stop me from fulfilling my dreams.”

Before her major breakthrough, Korto was creating womenswear and accessories and proceeded to graduate from Parsons School of Design in New York. Married and mothering a young daughter, Korto worked hard to balance family life while following her dream.

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Korto Mololu Spring 2014 Collection at New York Fashion Week

During her November 2013 appearance in the Project Runway follow up of Project Runway All Stars: Season 3, Korto thrilled her fans by tweeting news about the pregnancy of her unborn son, Cameron. She disclosed the news using a colourful clip art video featuring herself, husband and daughter with Beyonce Knowles background music.

Korto recently launched her Enchanted Fantasy “Good versus Evil” spring 2014 collection. In the collection, she reflects her love for her African roots and African chic along with elaborate accessories. This collection along with many others was showcased at the New York Fashion Week and was a breathtaking mix of bright pastel colours as well as vibrant animal blue prints and dark black with chunky gold Egyptian inspired headpieces.

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Korto Mololu Spring 2014 Collection at New York Fashion Week

Korto Mololu Spring 2014 Collection at New York Fashion Week

It was elegant and yet cutting edge at the same time. There were also some sheer camisole tops and champagne coloured evening gowns with charming clutch purses to match. Some critics present, such as B.E.T called her “a force to be reckoned with” and said her collection was “anything but boring”.

Korto added further in her Essence interview, “As a woman I am the minority in a game where a majority of designers are male. I’m even more of a minority because I am Black. We can’t really name 10 female African American Designers. I hope my story will encourage many young design students to keep on keeping on. It can happen, don’t give up. We have a voice and we need to be heard!”

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Korto Mololu Spring 2014 Collection at New York Fashion Week

Korto Mololu Spring 2014 Collection at New York Fashion Week

Korto has featured in many different magazines and T.V shows, as well as independent fashion events. She has graced the cover of Ladybrille magazine, and appeared in Essence , L.A Times, Washington Times and Kouture magazine, just to name a few. Television shows such as, The Monique Show and B.E.T have also hosted her as did CNN African Voices. For more information on purchase points of her collection, go to her website.

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Korto Momolu Spring 2013 Collection

Korto Momolu Spring 2013 Collection

About Fashionista Musa

Fashionista Musa is a freelance fashion designer, editor and stylist with a serious passion for fashion. She conducts interviews with fashion trendsetters as well as writes fashion related articles for AfroCosmopolitan.

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