Always the link between organizations, enterprises, and talent, Katya Akuma steps in as Fashion Director of MoMA PopRally x The Bronx.
The appointment to the role comes after her track record in connecting talent through the Council for Fashion and Social Change (CFSC).
Founder of CFSC, Akuma is on a mission to inspire the fashion industry to engage in projects that have a positive social impact on communities, the nonprofit organization focuses on creating impact through design. Creating meaningful opportunities, CFSC facilitates the partnership between new talent and established enterprises, allowing them to team up to develop collections for a collective social cause.
MoMa PopRally x The Bronz
As Fashion Director for MoMA PopRally x The Bronx, Akuma selected emerging fashion designers for “Beauteous”, delegating the talent space at the Andrew Freedom Home. The third edition of MoMa PopRally x New York, a creative journey across the city, stopped at the Bronx to explore local art, music, and film. “Beauteous” is a cooperative platform designed to engage artists, institutional partners, and the community locally to explore historical, contemporary, and future forecasting of the value of the Bronx. An immersive event, “Beauteous” is an interactive play, an exploratory conversation about perception and community telling a story of the future through visual arts. Exploring the issues reflecting the cultural evolution of the Bronx through theatrical, musical performances and art installations, the artists engaged the audience as characters, guiding viewers during the investigative journey through art.
A cultural space of artists
The Andrew Freedman Home (AFH) is a contemporary cultural space of artists, originally started as an artists collective for Bronx-based artists, AFH is now structured as an Artist Residency, Incubator, and Artisan Space. Artists transformed the front lawn and first floor of the AFH where viewers visited five locations filled with artwork and artists creating their own unique experience. During the theatrical presentation of artwork, artists were given the space to create an artistically immersive experience addressing key themes within today’s society through performance art, spoken word, and fashion.
The artists made mixed media, installations, and performances at the intersection of wearable art, performance art, and media art. Akuma hand-selected graduate designers, shortlisting the artists to form a collective to represent the Bronx series. Akuma made the selection based on emerging fashion talent, innovation, and social impact.
Dedication to social impact
Among the fashion graduates selected were, Alexandra Riddle, Subin Hahn, and Jiwei Wu whose dedication to social impact within their arts was prominent and purposeful. Alexandra Riddle was selected for showing strict utilization of only sustainable materials, her collection consists of only all-natural fibers without plastics or synthetics. Subin Hahn was selected for his design dedication to providing equality for Gender Fluid Wear in the industry, he challenges traditional men’s and unisex fashion aesthetics. Jiwei Wu was selected as her work revolves around using design to connect cultures while promoting positive change and innovation.
Akuma worked to present immersive multimedia and interdisciplinary presentation of international and Bronx-based artists.
Together with AFH incubator programs; Akuma integrates the disciplines of collaborative engagement, design, and systems to co-create robust actions centered on addressing complex social challenges and promoting an ecosystem of transformative change.