The Skandalaris Center decided to walk the runway with some of St. Louis-owned fashion brands. The third Summer with Skandy event was created by the St. Louis Entrepreneurial Fellows Angel Huang, Eliana Jenkins, and Ulrica Wu. These Fellows explored fashion-focused entrepreneurship, featuring four St. Louis entrepreneurs. The event started with a hands-on fashion show where audience members were put into groups and assigned to create a new and refreshed look that tells a story using secondhand clothing. Each team then modeled their new looks in a one-of-a-kind fashion show, which was judged by panelist members. The winner was based on brand, originality, model energy, resourcefulness, attention to detail, and presentation.
After the show concluded, a panel began speaking on their experiences breaking into the fashion world of entrepreneurship, and the many lessons they learned along the way. The panel consisted of the following:
Ronke is the founder of korédé, a company that supports ambitious mothers, and the SVP of communications strategy at Wells Fargo Advisors. Her passion for entrepreneurship began in the early years in America, witnessing firsthand the necessary hustle to make it as an immigrant. Ronke founded korédé out of her personal need for beauty and functionality to coexist harmoniously. korédé, meaning “bring goodness”, began as a genuine leather handbag brand designed for today’s mothers and pivoted to focus on helping ambitious mothers reach their goals.
Lisa is the founder of Lux & Nyx, a company empowering women with multifunctional bags that help them make a difference in the world. This is not merely a bag company: it’s a brand that provides functional tools to women climbing the leadership ladder that helps enable their success in the world. Lux & Nyx is a company run by women for women, supporting female-focused non-profits.
Audra Danielle Noyes
Audra is the Founder CEO & Creative Director of AUDRA, a globally validated womenswear brand. She personally trained under top names in luxury fashion from New York City to Paris, including Alber Elbaz at LANVIN, John Galliano, and Ralph Lauren. Audra launched her namesake brand during Paris Fashion Week in 2014. Since then, she has led the operations and development of AUDRA; producing 14 collections and gaining global validation and distribution.
Jimmy founded and now runs The Normal Brand with his two brothers. The Normal Brand started by the brothers in their parents’ basement because they wanted a better every day shirt. Normal for them is something you can wear from the city to the country and everywhere in between. They create craft casual wear and accessories with understated – but significant – style for everyday people.
Proceeding the panel, attendees had the opportunity to hear from Mary Ruppert-Stroescu, a Sam Fox School for Design and Visual Arts professor, as she presented her thoughts and research on reimagine textile production by upcycling all textile waste. Dr. Ruppert-Stroescu’s current research focuses on the study and application of creativity, particularly through the exploration of sustainable fashion design and production and wearable electronic textile-based sensing systems that address issues of health and well-being.
The Skandalaris Center will continue its Summer with Skandy event series until August 3, with different themes and guest speakers each week. To stay up-to-date on all events, go to www.skandalaris.wustl.edu/events.