UBC is proud to welcome our favorite Project Runway diva from last season, Ms. Korto Momolu. Here are her fun and fabulous answers to THE TEN.
UBC: FIRST OF ALL, WE ADORED YOU ON “PROJECT RUNWAY” AND ROOTED FOR YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. HOW WAS THE EXPERIENCE AS YOUR ENTRY INTO THE NATIONAL FASHION SPOTLIGHT, AND WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN?
KM: The exposure was truly the prize. After the dust
settles it's easy to look at the negative aspects but you move past
that and see all the advantages and opportunities the show provides
for you. I was truly blessed to be in the top 2 and now fan
favorite. I would do it all over again knowing the outcome,
overnight the world knows the great designer that I am! And my
talents have been exposed...any up and coming, young designer’s
UBC: DESCRIBE THE MOMENT YOU WALKED OUT ON THE RUNWAY TO INTRODUCE YOUR DESIGNS AT BRYANT PARK DURING NEW YORK FASHION WEEK? IT IS THE DREAM OF MANY DESIGNERS. WHAT DID IT FEEL LIKE?
KM: It was like heaven. When I came out I said to myself, "Girl you've won, you did it!" to see my family there rooting and so happy for me, it was a dream for real. Every designer should experience that big tent show. It is very expensive to show at that level so I am grateful for the opportunity to say I did it. It's my only memory of PR that I still replay in my mind very often.
UBC: HOW DID YOUR JOURNEY AS A DESIGNER BEGIN? TAKE US TO THE BEGINNING.
KM: I started early in my life as an artist. I always had love for the arts. Going into design came in my senior year of high school. I was encouraged by my art teach to pursue it and I did. I went to design school in Canada and practiced my craft years after school. I did many fashion shows, styled shoots...you name it and I did it to become the designer I am today.
UBC: HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT THE MOST VISIBLE BLACK WOMAN ON THE PLANET, MICHELLE OBAMA, AND HER STYLE?
KM: I love that Michelle has her own sense of style and doesn't care what the media thinks. I would love to dress her and know I will since she has given many up and coming designers a chance.
UBC: THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE A LINE IN HIS HONOR. IF YOU COULD CREATE ONE PIECE FOR THE FIRST LADY, MICHELLE OBAMA, WHAT WOULD YOU CREATE FOR HER?
KM: I would create a sleek silhouette sheath dress in a sharp vivid color. Pairing it with a fitted, print jacket. Probably a fuchsia, teal or jade, something that really compliments her cocoa skin. I think she has great arms and I love how she’s not afraid to stir things up a bit by showing them off. Definitely have to give her one of my coveted one-of-a- kind necklaces.
UBC: WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES A BLACK DESIGNER DIFFERENT, IF ANYTHING?
KM: I think we definitely have to fight for our place on 7th Avenue. The industry doesn’t see many of us as high fashion. We're always having to prove ourselves. It’s a tougher battle but I am proud to say that those that came before me, I am grateful. and those that will come after, I am continuing to help pave that road in concrete!
UBC: DID YOU FACE ANY CHALLENGES WITH YOUR TRANSITION FROM CLOTHING DESIGN TO JEWELRY DESIGN?
KM: No, I have always had a love for being creative. I just learned to make jewelry like 3 years ago. I loved it and perfected it. Now I make beautiful items that I never found when I was searching. When there's a need I don't complain I see what I can do to fill the gap. I love big, chunky jewelry. And it seems like from the response to the new line, so do many others.
UBC: WE READ ABOUT A DEAL YOU’VE MADE WITH DILLARD’S DEPARTMENT STORE. FILL US IN!
KM: Well I’ve been friends with Jamie Davidson of Tre Vero for a while and he's been very supportive and instrumental im making this deal a reality. Tre Vero has a very established handbag line at Dillard’s. Jamie has brought me on as a guest designer to design a line that reflects the Tre Vero motto but with a Korto Momolu signature look. It is a great collection. We are all very excited about this venture. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a great relationship between the 3 companies. I will definitely send you some pics of the line once it’s available.
UBC: WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO DESIGNERS OF COLOR TRYING TO BREAK INTO THE FASHION WORLD?
KM: Be true to who you are and know your design esthetic. If you know who you are, it’s hard for anyone to come in and shake that. Always know that you must keep growing, this is what will give you longevity.
UBC: WHAT TYPE OF IMPACT ARE YOU HOPING TO MAKE IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY? IN THE WORLD?
KM: I want to leave behind a legacy that many can celebrate and be inspired by. I am more than a clothing designer; I never let myself fall perfectly into a box. At the end of the day I want to be known as a respected, talented African woman, that didn't let the tragedies of life hinder her success. Dream it, speak it, achieve it.