For Immediate Release
June 29, 2020
Contact Information

Angela Courtney

(BPRW) Miami-based Project Runway Designer to Teach Architecture + Design Summer Camp

(Black PR Wire) Arkansas City, Ark. – Alex Foundation in partnership with Friends of John H. Johnson Museum will host its annual architecture + design summer camp for girls July 20-24.   The free virtual summer camp will convene 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. daily.  Enrollment capacity is 25 for girls entering the 7th grade in Chicot and Desha counties in Arkansas.

The weeklong distance learning summer camp will use the John H. Johnson Museum and Educational Center (John H. Johnson Museum) as a backdrop for teaching and learning.  A virtual tour of John H. Johnson Museum will be narrated by Linda Johnson Rice, daughter of John H. Johnson, for whom the museum is named.  An Arkansas City, Ark. native and a grandson of slaves, Johnson was the founder, chairman, CEO and publisher of the multimillion-dollar Johnson Publishing Company, the iconic Ebony and Jet magazines and Ebony Fashion Fair.   Ebony Fashion Fair included a traveling fashion show and cosmetic products. 

John H. Johnson Museum will be presented to youth participants as part of their architecture study on repurposing historic strutures.

During the architecture + design summer camp, youth will receive a fashion and architecture kit with all their supplies for the week, including a laptop, Wi-Fi, and design software to design clothes and fabricate structures. The architecture + design summer camp will be taught by Merline Labissiere.

Labissiere, a Miami- based conceptual artist, fell in love with the idea of marrying architecture and fashion design at an early age. The young Haitian American designer graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) with a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design in 2011 and Associate in Art in Architecture from Miami-Dade College in 2007.


Although pursuing a degree in architecture brought her to SCAD, Merline discovered marry both discipline in her work brought a deep foundation in her design process. It fueled many great projects in fashion, theater, costume, graphic and branding design. Her design foundation has given her the platform to cross disciplines in varies design project. Her architectural background continues to inspire her designs and other avenues of art.

As a Project Runway Season 14 contestant airing on Lifetime, Labissiere got the opportunity to design a winning look that was manufacture and sold nationwide for Heid Klum’s intimate’s line. Along with her passion for fashion, her brand “Merline Labissiere” started a non-profit teaching fashion in inner city youth. Recently, she has given presentations on her journey in entrepreneurship and starting a non-profit to students and alumni at the SCAD Museum of Art.

Labissiere 's passion to combine fashion and architecture has taken her to design conceptual art installations that expresses the design process in both disciplinary.                    

For more information on Merline Labissiere, visit or  For more information on Alex Foundation, visit  For more information on John H. Johnson Museum and Educational Center, visit

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