Once again, several Oklahoma City women who are business owners have teamed with The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women to present a fashion show event to benefit a program designed to educate, coach and mentor female entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda.
The Jewel Fashion Show, set for Tuesday at Gaillardia Golf & Country Club, will benefit the institute’s Peace Through Business program.
Eden Salon & Spa, R Meyers, Brink Modeling Agency and the institute are presenting the fashion show, which will showcase the designs of young Rwandan designer Kevine Kagirimpundu and Ysolde Shimwe, who started Uzuri K&Y Designs Ltd. in 2012. Kagirimpundu will attend the event.
Makeover reveals also are planned, with participants selected by Suited for Success, an Oklahoma City-based nonprofit organization that provides clothing to low-income women who have completed job training and readiness programs.
Five women who have completed training will receive makeovers and model Worth New York clothing. Their hair will be styled by the staff at Eden Salon with makeup by Lilly Stone of Sooo Lilly Cosmetics.
Menswear will be from Spencer Stone. R Meyers will present the finale.
Through Worth New York’s “Women of Worth” program, the company provided 100 pieces of clothing, at an estimated value of $30,000, for the fashion show and to be donated to Suited for Success and women in the Peace Through Business program.
A boutique will feature handicrafts from Afghan and Rwandan artisan women in the Peace Through Business program. All profits from the boutique will benefit the women directly.
Those participating include Monica Umwari, who uses recycled materials to create beautiful wallets, purses and totes; Nastaran Mohseni, whose handmade jewelry is accented with rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls; and Anisa Rostaqi, who started Qafila Handicrafts as a means for low-income Afghan women to sell their handmade products outside of their homes.
At Uzuri K&Y Designs, Kagirimpundu wants to strengthen the phrase Made in Africa by using traditional materials and the latest technology to produce high-quality garments. One of the company’s goals is to create jobs and opportunities for women and youths while instilling a sense of pride.
Kagirimpundu’s strength was tested years ago after she survived the 1994 genocide that left her and her siblings to fend for themselves. By following their family motto of working hard and believing in yourself, all are now successful.
Kagirimpundu earned a degree from the University of Kigali’s Department of Creative Designs, but she also is skilled in computer science and graphic software, is a self-taught painter and has learned batik from an African-Canadian artist.
The Institute for Economic Empowerment, an Oklahoma City-based nonprofit organization, was founded in 2006 to empower women to grow their businesses by focusing on education, mentorship and coaching women in the United States and abroad.
Its Peace Through Business in-country program offers training and mentorship for women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda.
About half of the 2014 Peace Through Business graduates will be in Oklahoma City on Saturday through July 26 to be matched with mentors in their industry, giving them a chance to learn from someone who has had success in their field.
Jan Hill, owner of Eden Salon & Spa, has been involved with the fashion show for five years and as a mentor and host for seven years.
“All women want to feel beautiful and all women, regardless of nationality, face struggles,” she said.
If you go
Jewel Fashion Show