PARK has really proven the power of entrepreneurship and innovation. Founded in 2008 by president Kara Chomistek and vice president Jessie Li, PARK was “inspired by the Los Angeles yard sales held by party photographer, the Cobrasnake. Building off of that idea, Chomistek and Li curated a market at the University of Calgary that allowed approximately 50 designers and artists to sell their products.
Fast forward to nine years later. PARK is now the proud host of several events each year, including PARKLuxe, ticketed runway shows featuring established designer labels like Paul Hardy and Narces, PARKShow, a three-day market, food-truck festival and runway event, and PARKForum, a series of seminars and workshops geared towards educating young creatives.
PARK has been especially incredible for the career of 24-year-old designer Spencer Badu of S.P. Badu, who first began by volunteering for the organization 6 years ago.
Additionally, PARK continues to impress us with their innovative ideas and determination. For example, they are debuting Otahpiaaki x PARK Indigenous Fashion Week, running from Sept. 17 to 23 in partnership with Calgary’s Mount Royal University. This event aims to celebrate indigenous beauty, fashion, and design.
“We definitely don’t claim to be an incubator and we don’t claim to be a fashion week,” Chomistek states. “We are really focusing on providing people with a foundation of support.”
Well done, PARK. We are speechless.
All information and quotes accredited to The Globe and Mail.