As cannabis continues to be medically and recreationally legalized across the country, the variety of pot-related products offered to consumers is growing, too. When Women Grow — an organization that promotes women’s leadership in the cannabis business — asked designer and Little Rock resident Korto Momolu to create a weed-inspired clothing collection for its leadership summit in June, Momolu knew she wanted to work with the company to “change the narrative” about who leads, and benefits from, the cannabis industry.
Momolu, 44, said the capsule collection she designed for the summit sold out quickly, and an investor at the event offered to sponsor Women Grow and Momolu to design a bigger collection for New York Fashion Week. The designer had less than a month to create 28 looks made up of more than 40 individual pieces, a process made more difficult by Momolu’s arthritis in her right arm.
“[The pain] was challenging, but it was almost like I needed it to happen, because I started thinking about all the people that are on medicinal cannabis, and this is what they go through,” Momolu said. “I think I needed to go through that to understand, ‘Who am I doing this for? Who’s the face of this?’ Because that’s what the whole point was: to change the narrative of who is benefiting from this. It’s not about sitting around and just leisurely smoking pot, it’s about people who really are going through way worse pain than I was.”
For the Fashion Week collection, Momolu wanted to work with sustainable fabrics, including hemp, which is a Cannabis strain often used in fiber and paper making. Momolu said she had difficulty finding hemp for sale at a reasonable price in the United States, so she used a vendor in Thailand who sold strips of the fabric that the designer then ripped apart and reconstructed to create her own fabrics for the collection. Momolu said she may “revisit” the process of making hemp more affordable and widely available in the U.S., as she said the texture of the “gorgeous” fabric reminded her of African textiles. Momolu also used burlap fabric — also called “jute” — as well as linen and cork to bring an earthy element to the collection. She then combined these with other fabrics, including organza and taffeta, to make the pieces look “rich and elegant.”
Published: October 01, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News