MADE IN AFRICA WEEK 2017: Fashion Designers



Inspired by his father and America’s hip-hop culture, Alhassan Toure started designing at the tender age of ten. Although at 10yrs old it seems to be a very young age, his artistry and ingenuity surpassed that of regular ten-year-olds. Motivated by his father who was also a designer, Toure had aspirations of making it big in the fashion industry. Toure's parents are from North-West Africa Mali, however he was born in Ghana. At a very early age he was inspired by the hip-hop culture in America for his designs. Toure always knew that he wanted to be a major figure in the fashion industry and hoped that one day he would be able to design for some of his idols. Luckily for him it happened. After moving to the United States from Ghana, Toure got his big break while working in Harlem as a Tailor at a local clothing store. It was there he met all the rappers and the one who gave him his ticket to success. After meeting Raekwon, they hit it off and from that moment his career was about to skyrocket.

Toure designed and styled Raekwon. Being very impress by Toure's work, Raekwon introduced Toure to many other celebrities. As a result of meeting Raekwon, Toure had the opportunity to design for many celebrities and music videos. He has designed for the likes of LL Cool J and his BET's comedy awards performance, Ying Yang twins and their BET awards performance, Raekwon's "The Hood" video, Jadakiss' "Knock Yourself Out" video, Young Jeezy's "Survivor" video and Jeezy's last five videos, and the list goes on and on. Toure thanks Raekwon with all his heart for helping him break into the fashion industry. He sees Raekwon as his best friend and brother and he will never forget what Raekwon has done for him.

As a result of his rising success in the Fashion Industry, Alhassan felt like it was only necessary that he launched his own clothing line, which he decided to name "Toure Designs". TOURE DESIGNS has been launched over two years now and is a major success in the Fashion Industry. Toure's clothing can be found at his Showroom Address which is located in the Garment District at 247 W 37th St NYC. Toure is not only going to stop at having his showroom he is working on distribution for the whole state of New York, later expand nationwide and worldwide.

 Alhassan Toure (center) flanked by models

Alhassan Toure (center) flanked by models


Hello, World!

IQTEST-Melissa Lockwood

IQTEST-Melissa Lockwood Spring Summer 2018 Collection name: “Combined Minds”. Clothing design: Melissa Lockwood Fabric Design: Amaya Torres(art), Melissa Lockwood (layout). Melissa a NY-based designer dove into fashion design at a time when mass produced clothing is the norm and left over cuttings usually end up in landfills. Lockwood is taking an environmental and socially aware stand, utilizing what is commonly seen as waste and turning it into stylish, of-the-moment fashion pieces. In “Combined Minds” you will see zero waste garments made with reclaimed and custom fabrics.






Marlene Kougblenou was born in Libreville Gabon on Febuary 27, 1980. Her parents were both science and math professor. After they both retired,
they both want into business, ( real estate, import-export and restaurent). Since she was ten years old, Marlene always dream of becoming a fashion
     Growing up life was pretty fair for Marlene. Born in libreville Marlene is the second of four brother and sisters. Marlene father's was not really
in support of her career choice in the beginning because at that time in Africa, it was difficult for artist to make ends meet. Marlene was a really stuborn
child, she will manage to hide to draw and any time she get to play with her dolls, she will make them clothes and styles their hair. Marlene fathre's began  
to notice her talent and accepted to help her achieve her dreams in on condition, she has to graduate from high school. After her high school graduation, with
the full support of her parents, Marlene moved to America to follow her dream.
     September, 2008, Marlene get her Associate Degree from the Institute of Art but had to go back home because of her immmigration status, and came back in 2010
to finally get her Bachelor degree on July 2016.
     Marlene named her clothing brand (MADIARE K) after her beautiful daugther and K is just the first initial of her last name (KOUGBLENOU). Her target customer
are woman from any ages that just want to feel beautiful and powerfull.
  Marlene Kougblenou acheivment school awards:
  Winter 2016 best of the quarter for protfolio ll
  Winter 2016 best of the quarter for specialized pattern making
  Fall 2015 best of the quarter for protfolio l
  Summer 2016 best of the quarter for tailoring
  Summer 2016 best of the quarter for advence pattermaking
  Winter 2014 best of the quarter for technical design
   Intern with Priscilla Costa Bridal
   Fashion shows:
   Institute of Art september 2016
   Subaru Cherry blossom Festival spring 2016
   Breast Cancer Hard rock cafe spring 2016


MRO Palace motto is Blending Color, Culture and Texture as one. MRO Palace Inc is high fashion designer with an African Flare. We Specialize in customize design made for each individual. We have been in business since 1995. Any style you see can be customize with design, color and texture. Pick your design, send us your preference and we get your special outfit ready for the occassion. We design from your regular everyday wear to sophisticated wedding apparel. The concept for each of our outfit is inspired by the continent of Africa.  You can also shop our store for your designer brands for shoes, jewelry and other items. Our prices are very reasonable.