By Monica McCafferty  
Photographed: Jaden Da Rosa 


Welcome to the house of OFA: Oklahoma Fashion Alliance, a non-profit fashion organization aimed at empowering Oklahomans’ creativity, collaboration, and self-expression through fashion. Most recently, the organization made waves with The Earth Is Just A Body Too -  their sold-out and shut-down runway show in the historic Zunis Ave Second Presbyterian Church this February. 


“[It] was the birth of OFA," says director and designer, Parker D Wayne. Although this was their third show to date, “everything up until then was kind of experimental,” says event coordinator and designer Lolly Little. The team admits that there probably won’t be a next show for a while. 


“Instead of another large scale show, we are taking the next 6-9 months to focus on smaller projects that are more community focused - going back to our core values, which is community, project-based education, and career and professional development. We’re trying to liberate. We’re trying to liberate this class of artists in Tulsa…we represent alot of oppressed communities in OFA and we’re trying to figure out how we change the game, to make our voices matter, and do what we want to do. Part of that is making money so that we can all make a living and a life - we want fashion to pay our bills. But there is alot of groundwork that has to happen to get to that point. If we are trying to build and create legacy, its okay to grow slow,” Parker tells ASLUT.  



The entry-level to fashion is already quite accessible: grab some pieces at the thrift shop and put them on with intention. You might want to chop up a tee or some old jeans, connect with other people who like to experiment with clothing, and even set your sights on making your own piece, your own collection. The team at OFA is making this outlet even more accessible and integrated with complimentary art forms like photography, glam, and production.  


“I started this journey of trying to be what I needed”, says Parker; “[Fashion] is a great ramp into the arts culture and art scene. We want to curate this level of awareness and appreciation for art that will educate the general population to support the arts. If people are buying local art, then local artists have jobs, they can work and they can make a living, they can make more art, they can become better artists, they can invest more in themselves. Creating this connection between creativity and function - that's kind of what fashion does.” 



“Fashion is completely transformative. Such a good confidence boost when you wear stuff that makes you feel good," says communications director Lana Knight. “It’s the spice of life, basically,"  says Lolly; “We're trying to foster that type of environment where people feel safe to show up as their true, authentic self. Kind of like—I'm going to a place hosted by these people, I know I'm safe to like—wear this type of stuff, or maybe I'll even go a little harder than usual and try something I've never done before.  


The House of OFA is a place that you can come and be safe to be who you are, to take the risks that maybe you feel like you want to take but haven't, in an environment where you're able to - whether that's coming out of the closet or transitioning, or even just being like comfortable in your body and being like, ‘I want to start wearing crop tops,’” says Parker. “It's never the case that no one connects with the risk that I take. It's always the case that different people connect with showing different parts of who I am; even if it may seem inconsistent or not the same vibe, different people connect with it.” 



The team at OFA is led with vision and purpose, creating an intentional collaborative environment that provides a path to impressive execution of high-level concepts. 


“Something that I'm really proud of is our small group method that we've developed, which is pairing a designer with their models, their hairstylists, and their makeup artists from the beginning. We created this little unit and this little team around their looks. And it's also directly empowering collaboration in and outside of OFA, says Parker; “When you are in a big industry, you could just be paired with someone day of. And that's kind of like what we're trying to challenge. For couture, so long, the standard size was zero, which created a lot of unhealthy beauty standards globally. But there was a reason for it. Because it was so cut and paste and random - show up the day of,  they needed a system. If all models are the same size, It's more convenient…Wanting to challenge that standard, we've created a system in which designers design with the model in that specific model in mind. It allows us to be more diverse in our representation…We have people in OFA ages 17 to 65; creating new experiences for people no matter what stage in life that they're at...It's all about what can we do together that we can't do on our own that's going to benefit and inspire us all”. 



“OFA is really about propping people up and helping eachother expand and grow. For me, the more I invest, the more I get out of it. And we’ve seen that for people that participated in our programming, says Parker; “Its everyone’s collective effort that makes it what it is”. 


“It’s an alliance, not competitive; were trying to all help each other grow. It's a chance to really grow your talents, be multifaceted and try new things and experiment,” says Lana. 


The OFA crew might look like the clique that you’ve always wanted to be a part of, and they are no doubt a group of elite individuals, but there is no exclusivity here. 


“If you like fashion and you want to do fashion stuff with fashion people - we are your place,” says Parker.  


Find on Instagram to follow or get involved with the organization that is dressing up the future of fashion.