Project Runway (Season Five) finalist Korto Momolu addressed Emerson students August 30 at new Paramount Mainstage at Emerson’s Paramount Center.
Momolu was the first guest speaker at this year’s week–long Orientation, which includes a variety of welcoming events to acclimate the students to Emerson and Boston.
Born in Liberia, West Africa, Momolu left the country in 1990 due to civil war. She settled in Canada, where she studied fashion design at L'Academies des Couturiers Design Institute in Ottawa, Ontario. After working as an independent fashion designer and continuing her education at Parsons School of Design, Momolu followed her dreams and won a place on the fifth season of Bravo's Project Runway.
Momolu spoke about her journey from Liberia to the Bryant Park stage. She advised new Emerson students not to be swayed by the media. She told the audience that too often young people worry about their weight and appearance because of the media and their peers.
Highlighted as the “fashion designer to watch” by New York Magazine, Momolu has been featured by major international and national media outlets, including the Tom Joyner Morning Show, People Magazine, Soap Opera Digest, Women's Wear Daily, Spirit magazine, TV Guide, The Mo'Nique Show, and many others.
Since the fifth season ended in October 2008, Momolu has formed a partnership with Dillard's Incorporated to design handbags and jewelry. Additionally, she teamed up with Madera Exotic Woods to design a line of fashionable eco-friendly wood jewelry.
In May 2010, she was appointed as a “Goodwill Ambassador” for the Tigerlily Foundation, a breast cancer organization providing assistance to young women.
Momolu will return to the runways of New York on September 12, to unveil the highly anticipated “Korto Momolu 2011 Spring Collection” during New York Fashion Week.