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Runway Liberia 2016 Honorees

Runway Liberia honorees ceremony recognizes the outstanding contributions made to Liberian Fashion by individuals from all areas of the industry and related arts, with honors being given for design excellence in womenswear, menswear, and accessories as well as extraordinary accomplishments in journalism, creative vision, and lifetime achievement.

Legend of Liberian Fashion

The world of fashion is what attracted Abraham Pelham at an early age, who came to the upper echelons of it on a path that took him from his native country of Liberia to New York City and now finally to Paris, where he has made a name for himself as one the most unique and creative talents to come along in years.


“Growing up in West Africa presents a lot of challenges, and when I had polio at the age of two there were only a couple of choices for a kid like that, either stay at home or be out on the street,” Pelham says. “But I decided at an early age that I was going to make a life for myself and be the best at whatever I would do.”


Luckily, Pelham had a mother that was a major source of inspiration for him. “I learned a lot of things artistically from my Mother,” he says. “She was my inspiration, and as she and other women in the area were able to travel and bring back western clothing to Liberia, I learned how to make handmade clothes in western styles. There was just something very exciting about taking the fabric and transforming it into something stylish and pretty and I knew at an early age that this was something that I was going to do.”


Despite his being confined to a wheelchair, Pelham began some exploratory travelling through connections with Liberia’s diplomatic corps. “I don’t believe there are obstacles in life,” he says. “I think there are just difficulties that have to be gone around or overcome.” This statement that I love so much is indeed very interesting and unique to hear expressed so clearly from an artist as talented as Pelham. Right in this belief lies his enormous success with the determination that is an element in all megastars’ life. We sometimes make the mistake of looking in from the outside and imagine a life of glamour, happiness, ease and champagne with strawberries every day for those rich and famous. Yet, the most horrendous difficulties are overcome by those who triumph over all “obstacles,” because as Abraham says these are only challenges and once viewed as such your entire thinking has changed right there. And that thinking is all you need to succeed!His travels finally brought him to New York and Pelham submitted some of his design sketches to the Fashion Institute of Technology, which recognized his talent and accepted him as a student.“I got a lot of exposure in New York and was able to work with a lot of talented people,” Abraham recalls. “I was also able to develop a clientele there, through the international community at the UN. A lot of the wives of the diplomats became clients.”

Source: Adrienne Papp

Queen of Liberian Accessories & Fabrics
Abraham Pelha

I'm a NABLAA is a new name for Creative Hands owned by Dolly Barnes, inspired by my creative family and friends of painters, photographer, jewelry and home décor designers, “country cloth” and raffia weavers, natural tie/dye producers, and quilters, whose works will be presented to you. These works – jewelry, handmade textile products and artistic expressions in other medium – are offered to heighten your eclectic sense of beauty for yourself, your home environment and as gifts.


Many of you who visit our website will remember our works under its former name, Creative Hands, based in Washington, DC during the mid-1990’s to 2009, where we created one-of-a-kind accessories for women, men, weddings and the home at retail, and for wholesale customers, Nordstrom, Essence by Mail catalog, Museum of African Art gift store, to name a few.


During a recent five year absence from Creative Hands, I fulfilled my dream to work in Liberia with UNESCO to research the feasibility of Liberian handmade textiles for economic viability after its civil war, and to work with artisans in weaving, quilt making, natural dyeing, and raffia weaving in a training of trainers program. My most thrilling project there entailed managing an arts and crafts training project in Grand Cavalla, Maryland County, a village surrounded by the beautiful savannah landscape, Atlantic Ocean and the Cavalla River, which divides Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire. While in Washington, DC, I will continue to maintain a nurturing and supporting relationship with these artisans, women and young men, as they develop their crafts. At the appropriate time, more of their stories and products will be identified and offered here..

Abraham Designs
Dolly Designs
Lewina's Work
Celebrity Make up Artist & Hairstylist

Lewina is the most sort out celebrity hair & make up artists in the industry. Her client list includes but not limited to:


David Guetta

Will Packer

Al Sharpton

Michelle Williams

Kenya Moore

Kat Graham


Bravo TV

Wal-Mart Inc.





CW Network


BET Network

Curl Box


Tarloh's Work
Hairstylist/Salon Owner

Tarloh has been doing hair for over 20+ years. She is a graduate from

the prestious St. Teresa Covent Catholic School in Liberia. Upon her graduation from St. Teresa she pursued her love for hair by graduating from Christine Valmy Institute of Cosmetology in Houston, Texas.


Tarloh currently owns Tarloh's Hair & Fashion Gallery in College Park, Maryland. Tarloh's Hair & Fashion Gallery is a Top Notch Hair Salon and Barber shop, a In house Fashion, Beauty and Make up artist. Ankara Fabrics and beauty accessories on sale all year long

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