Letreian Johns of Curve the Runway NOLA
Letreian “Lee” Johns
Co-Founder, Producer & Creative Director Curve the Runway NOLA
In the Summer of 2018, Letreian “Lee” Johns was asked by a friend in California if she knew anyone who could help her organize a plus size women fashion show in New Orleans. Lee immediately thought of her dearest friend, Késhia “Peaches” Caldwell. An event that materialized from a friend helping a friend became Curve the Runway NOLA. The fashion show featured full figured models in trendy and beautifully eccentric designs. Lee was the Creative Director. Késhia was the producer of a fashion show that blew the roof off expectations to become an immediate success.
Just one month after the show, Késhia passed away leaving Lee with many questions. The longevity of Curve the Runway NOLA was not one of them. The sentiment from friends, family and fans grew to continue Curve the Runway. Késhia was beloved in New Orleans. Lee understood and welcomed back the team. She added Producer to her title. The transition from behind-the-scenes Creative Director to the lead Producer hasn’t been the glamorous redefinition Lee’s team expected of her. Lee doesn’t want to be defined as glamour.
Lee’s most used quote throughout this fashion journey has been, “Self-love before glamour.” Lee wants a sense of body confidence permeating within the models before they think of glamour. Lee intends to change the narrative of what the average, attractive weight is for women. She is very black and white and plan intensive in her leadership and expects the CTR team and the models to mentor and support one another. Glamour is not the dress design or the vivid photograph; it is the brand. Full figured women who love themselves and a team of creatives are the glamourous face of Curve the Runway NOLA.
Késhia’s legacy of “Thinking of other’s first” is the spirit of CTR. Lee expects the models to do more than just slay the runway. Be an inspiration. Lee’s self-love movement is a reflection of Keshia's personality. Initially lost without Késhia, Lee now has New Orleans anticipating the annual Curve the Runway NOLA fashion show, September 1st, with inner beauty and self-love defining its glamour.
With the second annual Curve the Runway NOLA fashion show in production, Lee still has reservations in continuing because the show was Késhia’s baby. Késhia just had to say the word and friends rushed to assist and donate. In 2018, Lee watched with love and awe as Késhia worked. Despite the reservations, Lee understands the event that Curve the Runway has become and the responsibilities she has to the continued growth of their self-love movement.