Phenomenal Women

Published on July 31st, 2011 | by thevyne


Woman to Watch: Korto Momolu

Name: Korto Momolu (pronounced “Cut–Toe”)

Birthplace: Liberia, West Africa

Currently Living:  Arkansas

Childhood: Korto and her family left their native Liberia when she was four years old for her parents to get an education in the US. They returned to Liberia, but there was unrest in the education system. As a result, her parents sent Korto and her siblings to Canada to attend boarding school, where they later joined their children after the civil war in Liberia began.

Occupation: Fashion, handbag and jewelry designer

Claim to Fame: Project Runway Season 5 runner up

Education: Studied fashion design at the L’Academies des Couturiers Design Institute in Ottawa, Ontario and Parsons School of Design in New York City

Family Life: Married with a daughter

Current Projects: A handbag and jewelry line in partnership with Dillard’s (in 70+ stores nationwide).

Fashion Designer Inspirations: Byron Lars and Donna Karan

Her Design Aesthetic: “Afro-chic.” Dramatic designs with African influences for “real” women.

Giving Back: Appointed as a “Goodwill Ambassador” for the Tigerlily Foundation in May 2010. The Tigerlily Foundation is a breast cancer organization providing services to young women.

Check out one of her recent collections at the Arise Magazine Fashion Week in Lagos, Nigeria earlier this year here.


In 2008 after becoming the Project Runway runner up, Korto told Entertainment Weekly: “Being second isn’t the worst thing. There are a lot of people that came in second, third, fourth, and fifth. Look at Jennifer Hudson… The sky is the limit for me. I really do feel like I have a future in fashion.”

On living the “American Dream”: “Even though it’s not my country, I’m living the American dream. I’m proving that anyone can come here and do what they want to do. You just have to believe it and push for it.”

Learn more about Korto on this segment of CNN’s “African Voices”:


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