RunWay Underground [the Evolution...] Fashion Production Group, Network, Publishing and Academy is a full service, one-stop multi-faceted fashion production company that includes an in-house model agency and coaching services, a fashion incubator, apparel workroom-studio and a fashion publication.
RunWay Underground was established in 2008 as a response to Afrikan/Black designers having minimal inclusion or being left out of fashion shows, events and editorial features and ads in Austin's fashion scene and publications. This exclusion also extended to Black models, hair styles, make up artisans, photographers and stylist. Very rarely, if at all, are Black models featured in high fashion runway shows or in fashion print ads in Austin or most national and international runway shows or ad campaigns at the rate models of non-Afrikan/Black models. The same is often true for photographers, stylists makeup artists and hair stylists of Afrikan ascent. To address this exclusion, in 2011 RWU presented a series of launch shows and events at various locations along Congress Avenue in downtown Austin; as well as an in-store show at Rack Room Shoes in the Southpark Meadows Shopping Center. Each year RWU will present more unique, surprising, exciting and bigger events and projects to showcase Austin's best emerging and established Afrikan/Black designers, models and other industry professionals.
Each year RWU presents unique, surprising, exciting and bigger events and projects to showcase Austin's best emerging and established Afrikan/Black designers, models and other industry professionals. Two signature events for our 2015 season was being commissioned by Austin's Capital Metro Transit Store company to design and create a window display featuring our NTUMA'PA Paper Dolls installation. The first in the country for a city's public transportation system. will be the soft launch of Jisé Fashion Journal, Austin's first conscious Afrikan Diaspora fashion, arts, beauty and lifestyle print publication this winter. Also, in 2015 RWU launched Austin's first annual International Afrikan Fashion Week events 27-30 August. For more information and to register as a featured designer for i-AFW/A:2018 click here.
We also want to use our fashion events and resources as a platform to bring conscious awareness and aid to critical cultural and social conditions facing Afrikan people (especially women and children) throughout the Afrikan Diaspora and the "organic" groups and programs that support them. Some of the causes we want to bring attention to at/through our events and partner organizations:
- RWU's NTUMA'PA Apparel Production Skills Boot Camp Workshops,
- Ka-Aso Afrikan Women's Textile Guild and Studio Program
- Youth & Teen Fashion Design Mentoring Program and Fashion Incubator,
- Local holistic health organizations and programs
- RWU's Sumptuous Sanctuaries - Awareness and Prevention of Violence Against Diaspora Afrikan Women Initiative
- Diverse Arts Culture Works
- Local breast and women's cancers awareness programs
RWU is committed to supporting, sustaining and evolving the careers, endeavors and voices of our members, in-house designers, models and Afrikan/Black fashion industry professionals who come across our path. RWU also provides fashion shows production, model coaching and choreography, photo shoots, styling services and look book design/production services (and more) for designers and projects outside of RWU and for all ethnicities
RWU FASHION SHOW-EVENT PRODUCTION
RunWay Underground offers customizable all inclusive and a la carte fashion show and event production and coordinating services for anyone in the fashion industry or needing fashion related events and needs. We also offer studio and location photo shoot services. Our goal is to provide the highest level of services to our clients to ensure successful, professional quality events, projects and memorable fashion experiences for our client's guests and consumers.
RWU Fashion Show Production Services:
- Show and event consultation
- Show and installation design
- Budget consultation and preparation
- Securing and coordinating designers
- Show staging and choreography
- Securing client and event liability insurance coverage
- Fashion styling
- Model casting, coaching and direction
- Makeup and Hair Stylist teams
- Back stage management
- Front house management
- Hostesses, MC's and concierges
- Still photography
- Video production and editing
- Access to RWU in-house small event venue space
- Securing larger/other venues
- Contract negotiation with venues, caterers, event personnel
- Securing releases for photo and video usage
- Lighting and technical coordination
- Sound and sound engineer
- Security personnel
- Program book, look-book and poster/flier layout and printing design and production
- PR coordination and press release distribution
- Publicity/media relations
- Calendar listings
- Press and media invites
- Internet presence and content creation
- Hiring guest presenters and performers
- Handling city code compliance
- Guest invitations and check-in lists
- After-parties, mixers and VIP lounges
- VIP and guest transportation
N T U M A ' P A
In March 2012, RunWay Underground launched NTUMA'PA, our new textile and apparel production studio and sourcing services to provide support to our member and in-house designers as well as to other Austin designers and textile product retailers. This textile studio and apparel production workroom and sourcing service component of RWU is being staffed and managed by our growing team of expert and highly skilled textile and apparel technicians (stitchers, pattern makers,...) and hand-work artisans each with 10 to 50 years of experience behind them to assist our clients, in-house and local designers with creating sample pieces and small production runs of their collections and apparel products. This service is essential to the sustainability, success and sanity of any designer/label because we — designers can't [always] do it all.
RWU's vision for NTUMA'PA: Textile Studio and Apparel Production Workroom, Apparel and Atelier Training Program and Sourcing Services is to:
- Connect area designers and labels with experienced local artisan producers.
- Build a platform and model that will establish a garment and textile manufacturing industry in Austin where there currently isn't one to create non-traditional trade skill jobs; especially for the women and mothers of Austin's local Black, Diaspora Caribbean and Afrikan legal immigrant and refugee communities who have sewing, textile and other creative talents.
- We want these talented women (and men) to utilize as well as perpetuate their artistic cultural traditions to enhance western/modern sewing and garment construction techniques as a means to provide for themselves and their families.
- Provide training in certain garment manufacturing techniques to increase our production staff and contractors' skill sets.
Of course, production staff positions will be open to men and other cultural/ethnic artistic traditions to create and maintain new jobs in Austin and provide our designers and clients with a vast range of unique and quality services.
We feel that NTUMA'PA is a much needed service and new component of RWU will not only begin to finally meet the increasing high demand for apparel production by Austin's numerous professional fashion and accessories designers and sparse apparel manufacturing industry in Austin, and Central Texas. We know it will also balloon into a major resource for alternative jobs for Austin's talented and many under served residents.
If you are a designer or label in need of patterns makers, expert sewing/apparel technicians to make your samples or small production runs (up to 50 of the same garments/pieces) and/or for detail hand needlework (i.e. embroidery, beading, finish work, crochet, knitting, applique...). RWU's NTUMA'PA Production Workroom Program will facilitate connecting Austin and TX designers, labels and textile product retailers with sourcing their apparel needs with our textile and apparel production staff and contractors.
We also offer assistance with identifying other qualified manufacturing sources (i.e. shoe manufactures, wholesale textile and sourcing su (notions) suppliers and US, Afrika and India, machine/equipment sources, repair and maintenance...) and consultation services for start-up designers for a nominal fee of $75. This consultation includes the initial consultation appointment, a list of qualified production facilities for each category of merchandise you are manufacturing, a list of wholesalers and other support resources and a follow up appointment to fine tune the sourcing lists received from us.
NTUMA'PA sample and pattern making and apparel construction fees will be based on the individual project's level of complexity, quantities being produced and materials being used. Our in-house/staff and contract sewers, pattern makers, textile and hand work artisans do not work from home, off site or go to our clients studios/workrooms. All textile production and apparel construction is done on site in our production studios and workroom by our in-house/staff and contract artisans. This is necessary to maintain a high level of quality control; to ensure that deadlines are met; cohesive and clear communications; concise billing, and for convenience. Clients are welcome and encouraged to visit our workroom during any phase of the apparel production process of their orders.
Our NTUMA'PA Textile and Apparel Production Studio will begin setting appointments for [free] production consultations regarding your apparel production needs in May for orders/projects starting in July we will begin accepting Sourcing consultations in May.
Please contact us at 512.650.8281 to set up in person appointments for Sourcing Consultations and production assessments. Email us for a Sourcing Registration Form at [email protected] (please put "NTUMA'PA Sourcing" in the subject line).
NTUMA'PA Textile Lab and Apparel Tech Production Team Opportunities:
We are always interested in adding talented and experienced textile and apparel artisans to our production team. Experienced and expert sewers, pattern makers, graders, hand stitchers, cutters and hand needlework artisans may submit their contact information and qualifications via our online registration form on our "Designer Registry" page (click here). Please include additional information about yourself and your experience in the "Additional Information" field on the form. Or submit the following via email: A brief bio or resume of your sewing/textile training, work/project experience, area(s) of expertise and interest, three industry or client references as well as three examples of your work (i.e. website links or JPG, PNG or PDF attachments only).
All potential production team applicants:
- Must be available to work in our production workroom on a full or part-time schedule
- Must speak and read fluent English (and/or French)
- Have a minimum of 10 years of professional textile and/or apparel production experience in your area of interest/expertise
- Apprentice level team members must apply through our Apprentice Tech program and have a minimum of three years of practical production, design and/or management experience.
[NTUMA'PA means, "Special made/high quality clothe" or "A thing — garment made very well" in Twi/Akan - Ghana, West Afrika]
Help RunWay Underground fulfill our mission and reach our goals by staying in touch, referring Afrikan/Black designers to our Registry page and spreading the word about us and the wonderfully exciting things we have coming up for our 2013 season.
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