River Region Fashion Week is the largest beauty, talent and fashion expo in central Alabama dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion for aspiring models and emerging designers throughout the Southeast. It is a partnership between Community Partners, Corporate Sponsors, Transitions Technical College, Inc; President Kay Thompson and Designer Perry Varner. The template models New York Fashion Week, where we feature the best beauty brands, fashion designers, salon professionals and industry professionals in the area. A week designed around networking while showcasing selected talent twice a year in the River Region will bring positive exposure to the ever-evolving talent in Alabama.
Designer Perry Varner is an American artistic producer, designer and author whose has been profiled in more than 4O media features from the Montgomery Advertiser to the Birmingham News. His two decades of work in fashion are mostly centered in cultivating the aesthetics of emerging black designers and aspiring models; through his Style Experience brand in Montgomery, Birmingham and Atlanta. He credits himself for working with hundreds of creatives over the years. This serial entrepreneur and small business owner, elevated to teaching artists at the Harlem Children's Zone in NYC teaching fashion at Promise Academy; under the leadership of Dr. Geoffrey Canada. He spent years many years in this role and shortly thereafter, he inked a book deal as the author of the Perfect Pair; a book about the beautifully complex relationship between the American Fashion Industry and people of color. After returning home to Alabama, he helped to evolve the Birmingham, Alabama fashion scene by creating BirminGLAM. The largest awareness fashion show in Birmingham and was Creative Director of the annual Black Student Awareness Committee Fashion Show at the University of Alabama, Birmingham for the past few years under the leadership of Sharifa Wip. He's currently the Customer Experience Manager for Nordstrom in the Birmingham market. He hopes to inspire the next generation of Alabama talent and culture creators as the Co- Founder of River Region Fashion Week.
His fashion influences includes André Leon Talley, Bethanne Hardison, Virgil Abloh, Pyer Moss, Dapper Dan and Sean Diddy Combs.
Koniqueka R. Thompson
She is fearless, fashion forward and business savvy. Armed with countless certifications, 3 college degrees and an uncanny ability to “always make things work,” President Koniqueka R. Thompson continues to solidify her mark in the beauty industry every day. A native of Montgomery, she opened her first salon just 2 short months after becoming licensed and still continues to practice her craft 21 years later. In 2005, she traveled to Europe to gain exposure and knowledge out of deference for her love of hair styling and fashion. Shortly thereafter, she would become a featured stylist and contributor for Style Experience Montgomery and Birmingham and other fashion productions. After earning her Cosmetology Instructor license in 2008, she focused her sites on platform artistry and product education becoming an educator for McBride Research Laboratories. She became one of the first African American stylists to work at the prestigious Doug's II Salon Spa in Montgomery, where she gained extensive training in multiple advanced hair color techniques for all ethnicities. She founded Transitions Technical College, Inc. in 2015, opening the doors with 5 students and 1 instructor, herself. In less than 8 years, she has amassed a staff and faculty of 8 and enrolled over 375 students. In 2022, her Homage 2 Beauty hair and skincare line launched to rave reviews. She is currently preparing to open the Transitions Center, a "professionals only" business complex centered on providing thriving, young, licensed beauty industry professionals a place to start and grow their businesses. She credits Madam CJ Walker for inspiring her to be a trendsetter and as a Co-Founder of River Region Fashion Week, she's excited to see the impact this event will make for future industry professionals.
It's more than a Fashion Show...
The RRFW team places a strong emphasis on the development and education of emerging fashion designers, fashion stylists, fashion consultants, beauty brands, jewelry designers, make-up artists, hair stylists, visual artists and fashion photographers from around the South; while fostering engagement with community partners, beauty and luxury brands to utilize fashion as a vehicle for change, diversity, visibility and inclusion in Alabama and surrounding states. Advocating for measurable change in the American fashion industry. Achieving equity and full parity will take time and require an investment from all of us.