Founding Board Members
It started with a conversation about the community, and evolved into a curriculum for the culture. Even our name was chosen because it ties into, both, culture's love of fashion, and, our mission to make education, just as cool as--things like fashion and music! Organized as a not-for-profit corporation, Education Couture, is a corporation, working for the collective refashioning, of the way, we, as a culture, view learning and reading. Everybody reads. Everybody succeeds...and our goal is to do it all stylishly. Because, at Education Couture, the most in fashion thing to do is learn. Educating oneself is always fashionable!
Autumn Dennard-Merritt, is a Howard University Graduate, with a B.B.A in Marketing. Never one to waste time, she began her college tenure in DC paying dues as a grass roots promotions representative, ultimately landing a position at Universal Music & Video Distribution as a College Lifestyle & Marketing Representative. Upon graduation, Autumn focused her efforts on further penetrating the Fashion Industry in Chicago. Her experiences in management, wholesale buying & selling, and visual merchandising prepared her for her greatest undertaking of all, the creation of a men's and women's brand and boutique,
Briahna Gatlin is an established professional journalist and publicist on the cutting edge of the music and lifestyle industry. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Magazine Journalism with over 10 years of experience writing for multiple print and online publications, including Source Magazine, Mass Appeal Magazine, XXL Magazine, and Tribune. With this foundation, Briahna’s drive, creativity, and uncanny ability to identify the needs of both artists and the community led her to launch her own public relations firm, SWANK PR. Since its inception in 2006, SWANK PR has provided media relations for major clients, including Raekwon, Vic Mensa, Lupe Fiasco, Lebron James, the Gorillaz, and many more. Additionally, Swank PR has worked with multiple powerhouse brands, including Def Jam, Roc Nation, Grey Goose, SocialWorks, Zenni, and the Chicago Bulls. Bri’s latest venture is a marriage of her experience and her activism. In the Summer of 2022, she created her own music festival - The Purple Block Party. With an underserved community at its focal point, Bri designed the block party to bring together community, culture, and Chicago. This passion point led her to host the music fest on the Westside of Chicago in Garfield Park, simply because she believes people shouldn’t be required to leave their neighborhood to have similar experiences to those living in more affluent areas.