Quynh was born in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, and was influenced by French, Chinese, American, and Southeast Asian culture. With an educational background in architecture, Quynh finished school and soon discovered a passion for silk fabric made with hand embroidery.
Wanting silk to be worn in daily life, she started her business in a silk village just north of Vietnam. Focusing largely on natural fabric and sustainable fashion, she made silk, cotton voile, and linen with unique hand embroidery in order to create something special and flattering for fashion lovers. Soon, her little boutique was adored by expats, expanding to serve
wholesale customers overseas. Since then, her boutique LeChat Studio has been featured in magazines, on TV shows, and in fashion shows. LeChat Studio was named among the top 5 most interesting boutique shops in Vietnam.
Our Designer Cohort is made of 5 up-and-coming designers from the Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. Their participation in the EMERGE program consists of one on one sessions with Designer in Residence, Brandy Lee, as well as group sessions every month with the Emerge Mentors. They participated in group critique sessions, as well as marketing training, and brand consultation. Their final project is an entrepreneurial project pitch in the Fall of 2021 to determine whether their collections are viable for manufacturing.
Shelby Fleming (She/Her) holds a BFA in Studio Art from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville and an MFA from the University of Arkansas School of Art. Fleming’s artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as the CICA Museum, South Korea, the International Sculpture Conference, and Art Saint Louis. Fleming’s studio practice is cross-disciplinary with a focus on sculpture, installation, and performance art. Her most recent artwork focuses on how bodies occupy space physically and psychologically.
Our cultures’ roots influence our lives, and our experiences shape the way we see today’s world. My journey in fashion has been an exciting expedition. The hustle to be a creative entrepreneur and a mother has been bittersweet. Hi, I’m Sindhu Varagani; I’m an Indian origin fashion designer based out of Arkansas and here’s a bit about me and my brainchild ETHWES.I knew I had to create something unique that would involve innovation, as my software engineer side sought to do more, much as the technology of today is obsolete tomorrow. The ETHWES philosophy towards modernism creates a sense of versatility in its fusion wear collection. The new purpose in fashion, adaptive utility, points to a whole new way to create durable, fashionable apparel that functions well in the office, for pleasure, and anywhere in between.
Label: Romee The Brand
Romee The Brand is a collection of event wear, bridal and bridesmaid gowns, veils and accessories. This clothing label by Amy Leuenhagen strives to inspire women to romanticize their life. Her designs indulge in life’s magical moments with something uniquely beautiful to wear. Amy is passionate about designing formal occasion pieces that enhance the overall aesthetics of an event, with thoughtful attention to every detail. Amy received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Apparel and Textile Design at Michigan State University in 2019. Amy is based in Southern California.
Elizabeth’s goals are to grow as a person and a designer. She is also inspired by nature, beauty, fabrics, and art. In her career she remains curious and excited about her future, while being constantly driven by her love of God, people, and design.
Jarressa Stephanie Johnson was born August 6 1984 in Freeport, Grand Bahama and was raised in South Andros. Her interest in fashion design began at the age of 17/18. After visiting clothing stores and not being able to find clothes that fit she realized that making her own just made sense. She began turning her challenge into purpose by teaching herself how to cut and sew garments that were tailored to her body type. For 16 years she taught herself how to make clothes, jewelry and bags, and it has been a very personal and intentional journey for Jaressa.
In 2005 She initially started her business but failed from lack of resources and research in 2010.
She restarted her business in 2016 with new tools and knowledge
In 2008 she participated in her first fashion show.
October 2017 – She was in Bahamas Fashion Week working with Jaamal Ferguson on his swimwear line.
April 2018 – Her clothes were featured in Miasma Fashion Show with Delano Marc.
October 2018 – She hosted her own Fashion Show in Oasis with Vernique Chandler at the National Art Gallery.
April 2019 Transforming spaces at the Doonkalik studio gallery -Straw work
March 5,2020 Fenix art gallery-Sewn in: A contemporary look at fiber art
October 2020 Transforming spaces at the Doonkalik studio gallery- Plastik
Our program mentors are carefully vetted, interviewed and selected based on a number of criteria including their industry expertise, career experience, willingness to collaborate and enthusiasm for teaching. During the selection process we mindfully consider the educational needs of our designers, evaluating what areas they seek to grow and refine and do our best to match their needs with the right mentors.
Over 30+ years of experience in the Apparel and Textile industry; 15 years in the Walmart Headquarters established in various management positions for apparel and home textiles sourcing, technical design, quality control, safety and compliance, reverse logistics, and supply chain optimization. Planned and successfully instituted various apparel manufacturing projects in Europe, Australia, Indonesia, East and Central Africa, as well as the region of Southern Africa. Created thousands of jobs in the apparel/textile industry over the past 15+ years. Have traveled extensively in Asia and Southeast Asian (e.g., Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, etc.) Europe, Central America, Africa, and the Middle East to identify appropriate supplies for reputed retailers such as Marks and Spencer and Walmart. Responsible for supplier evaluation along the lines of capacity, capability, training, and quality certification.
Stephanie Funk is a member of McGraw Realtors Bentonville office. Stephanie has lived in Northwest Arkansas for over twelve years and has grown a successful real estate career over the past two years. An expert marketer, she founded a successful start-up and was the Vice President of Strategy and Engagement for Metova, Inc in the Fayetteville area. Stephanie is originally from Little Rock and moved to northwest Arkansas with her husband in 2008. She started a blog called Evolved Mommy, which grew popular and led to an opportunity with Acumen Brands to develop the company’s social media presence. In 2014 Stephanie founded Acorn, a company which uses social media influencers to build brand awareness. Additional Honors: 40 Under 40 Arkansas 40 Under 40 NW Arkansas Stevie Awards Female Entrepreneur of the Year - 10 or Less Employees - Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations, Bronze Stevie Awards Startup of the Year - Business Services Industries, Bronze Stevie Awards Consumer Advertising or Marketing Campaign of the Year, Bronze CEO Forum Member Forbes Agency Council Member Entrepreneur and Female Entrepreneur of the Year Nominee - Bentonville / Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce Stephanie’s unique expertise in the fields of advertising, public relations, large-scale human resources, blogging, and e-commerce creates a wonderful scope of knowledge sure to benefit the home buyers and sellers she serves. Whether buying or selling, she has the knowledge and experience to guide you to a successful closing.
Rinat Brodach founded RINAT BRODACH in New York City in 2014 after attending the Academy of Art in San Francisco and The Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in Paris. The brand’s combination of a high-fashion sensibility with accessible and inclusive design has led to praise in publications including Elle, WWD, Vogue, ID Magazine, Forbes, and Ynet. Rinat greatly expanded her global visibility and customer base as a featured contestant on the first season of the Amazon Prime fashion competition show “Making The Cut,” which premiered in March 2020 and resulted in a collaboration with Puma. In addition to selling directly to consumers at rinatbrodach.com, Instagram, and Facebook, RINAT BRODACH has been stocked in NYC, Tokyo, London, and San Francisco.
Michelle Tolini Finamore is a Fashion and Design Historian and is curating the forthcoming exhibition Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour which opens at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in September of 2022. As the Penny Vinik Curator of Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston she curated Gender Bending Fashion, #techstyle, Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen, Think Pink and Jewelry by Artists. Exhibitions at other institutions include Cocktail Culture at the Norton Museum of Art and research for Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While in New York City, she was also a fashion specialist at Sotheby’s auction house where she helped organize themed sales of vintage fashion. She has written numerous books and articles for both the scholarly and popular press on topics as varied as fashion in silent film, menswear, contemporary fashion, sustainability, studio jewelry, and food history. Hollywood Before Glamour (Palgrave, 2013) was the first book to explore fashion in American silent film. Other publications include Gaetano Savini: The Man Who Was Brioni (Assouline, 2015) and Jewelry by Artists: In the Studio, 1940-2000 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2010) and articles for European Drama and Performance Studies, Modern Magazine, Fashion Theory, Architecture Boston, and Gastronomica. She has lectured at venues in Europe and America and has taught courses on fashion/design/film history at the Rhode Island School of Design, Massachusetts College of Art, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Michelle holds a Ph.D. from Bard College and an M.A. from the Fashion Institute of Technology