Thursday, June 24, 2010

RUNWAY AFRICA @ Epic - Saturday, July 17th

EVK, J & A Productions and Ignite Models Inc. Present..


Saturday, July 17th, 2010 @ Epic Event Center

 African Themed Runway Show Featuring

International & Local Designers Including:

 Project Runway Season 5 First Runner Up KORTO MOMOLU


Mami Afrika

Clad Nine/Nairobi Wear


Mekdi Design

Ariel Simone

 With special guest CHRISTOPHER STRAUB

Project Runway Season 6 Finalist

Live Neo-Soul/R&B Performance by Kenya’s


 Ignite Models, Evolution Hair Experience, HMStyling

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn (June 15, 2010) - EVK, J & A Productions and Ignite Models present RUNWAY AFRICA, a high-energy, African-themed runway show featuring International and local designers, including Project Runway Season 5 First Runner Up Korto Momolu along with very special guest - MN’s own Christopher Straub, a Finalist on Project Runway Season 6. Many of the fashions seen in the runway show will feature variations on the African khanga - a simple piece of  brightly colored rectangular cloth that is wrapped around the body, commonly seen on women in villages and towns across East Africa. RUNWAY AFRICA will take place on Saturday, July 17th at Epic Event Center in downtown Minneapolis.

“We are thrilled to once again bring these extremely talented designers from around the world together in Minnesota for an evening focused on bold African design. We based this event on the success of last year’s first African Show Collective during New York Fashion Week and look forward to introducing more people to the brilliant and versatile khangas worn in Africa,” said Lynn Owino of EVK presents. EVK is committed to creating a platform for young and rising fashion designers with a special focus on contemporary African-themed fashion. This platform will allow these designers to elevate the African experience onto the international stage.

One of the most enthralling young designers for RUNWAY AFRICA is Project Runway Season 5 First Runner-Up and Fan Favorite Korto Momolu. Originally from Liberia, Korto moved to Canada to attend fashion school. After school, she moved outside of Little Rock, Arkansas, where she now resides with her husband and daughter. Drawing from her African roots, Korto infuses tribal details into her classic designs. She is inspired by rich fabrics and textures and says her designs are intended for real, full-figured women. In her spare time, Korto works as a freelance fashion photographer, dances in an African dance troupe and does African hair braiding and makeup.  For more on Korto Momolu, please visit:

RUNWAY AFRICA organizers are elated to be working with African design team Lalesso - launched in Cape Town 2005 by Olivia Kennaway and Alice Heusser. The inspiration behind the brand came from a holiday to Olivia’s home country Kenya where the pair traveled to the remote Island of Lamu off the coast of Kenya. The traditional attire of the local women in these coastal regions is the captivatingly beautiful khanga or lesso; its intrinsic patterns and vibrant colors were the inspiration for the birth of the Lalesso brand. The pair felt it was necessary to involve a socially responsible method of manufacturing and so set up their own workshop in Diani Beach, Kenya and have created the first globally recognized eco and ethical clothing production unit in East Africa. Their main goal is to try and improve the quality of living of those employed and after just 4 years, the change in their lives directly, as well as the indirect impact on their families, is clearly visible. For more on Lalesso, please visit

Other exuberant young designers showing bold, colorful pieces in RUNWAY AFRICA include:

*Mami Afrika (Los Angeles, CA): Designer Wawi Amasha wants to change the way people think about African fashion, offering designs that still represent the African tradition but with a modern twist. These designs are fun, funky, and fabulous. They are to be enjoyed by women from all walks of life, especially those not afraid of color.

*Clad Nine/Nairobi Wear (St. Cloud, MN): Clad Nine Clothing is an urban fashion clothing line, with sophisticated apparel for the modern man, and lady. They are "The New Phase of Urban Fashion" with "A Royal Touch."

*Modahnik, (Chicago, IL): Kahindo Mateene, the Designer behind Modahnik, believes in making women look and feel their best in figure enhancing original designs made by beautiful strong women. Kahindo was born and raised all across Africa, which gave her a deep-rooted love for the continent that she calls home. Her fashion sense emerged not only from her surroundings and travels, but also from the very stylish colorful beautiful designs her late Mother wore during the 70s.

*Mekdi Design: Ethiopian Designer, Mekdes Tefera Taye designed her first collection and held her first show at the age of 14. She has participated in more then 30 different fashion shows and has shown her collections to raise awareness for different humanitarian causes including child orphans of HIV, Ethiopian Women Association, International peace day and more. She designed garments for Miss Ethiopia world (2007/2009) and the Miss tourism Ethiopia 2008 top 20 contestants. Most recently she worked as the costume designer for Ethiopia’s biggest movie “The Return of Grace” which involved designing 1061 items of clothing. The movie is expected to premiere in the coming year.

*Ariel Simone. (Minneapolis, MN)

Gorgeous Ignite Models will exhibit each of the designers’ vibrant creations in a high-impact runway show. Evolution Hair Experience and local freelance make-up artists will provide all hair and make-up for the show. The lead stylist will be Hollie Mae of HMStyling. Kenyan neo-soul/R&B artist Mercy Myra will perform live. For more on Mercy Myra, please visit:

 RUNWAY AFRICA will go from 9:00 PM - 12:00 AM with the fashion show starting promptly at 10:00 pm and take place at Epic Event Center, located at 110 North 5th Street in downtown Minneapolis. There will be an after-party upstairs in the 110 Lounge of Epic from 12:00 - 2:00 AM where the DJ will keep the party going all night long.

Tickets for RUNWAY AFRICA will be $20 in advance for General Admission, $35 in advance for a VIP seat along the runway. Day of show, prices will be $25 General Admission, $50 VIP. Tickets are available online at: &

For more on RUNWAY AFRICA, please contact Natalie Auger, VimLab Promotions, 612.229.8522,,


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