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Cowboy up


An OKC nonprofit models high fashion and altruism.

Susannah Waite July 11th, 2012

Cowboy & Couture
6 p.m. Tuesday
Farmers Public Market
311 S. Klein
edenfashionshow.com
$35-$100

 For a fashion show that boasts the latest trends and supports a good cause at the same time, prepare to saddle up.

The third annual Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women fashion show, Cowboy & Couture, hosted by Eden Salon & Spa, will raise funds for the Peace Through Business program.

Jan Hill, founder of Eden Salon and IEEW board member, came up with the idea for a benefit show.

“I wanted our staff to be involved in a fashion show to stretch themselves creatively … beyond what we do every day in the salon,” Hill said, “and I thought it would be a good idea to make it a benefit, as a motivating factor for all of us to really put our best work forward.”

Peace Through Business supports female entrepreneurs in Rwanda and Afghanistan. Hill worked with the team to plan the theme, select the type of clothing, the venue and the vendors.

Models will showcase clothing from Langston’s, Ruth Meyers, Rawhide Western Culture and Spencer Stone Company.

IEEW founder and CEO Terry Neese said the nonprofit organization teaches business classes for eight weeks annually to women in Rwanda and Afghanistan.

The courses draw about 30 students in both countries. Program staffers help the top participants in each nation finish their business plans in the U.S. so they can then return home with a solid foundation.

“It’s kind of like an exchange program, but 15 from Afghanistan and 15 from Rwanda are chosen based on their [performances],” Neese said.

The women take a business basics course in Dallas before being paired with an American businesswoman in their field of interest. Their three-week stint in the U.S. includes the fashion show and a trip to Washington, D.C.

“I love hearing the women [speak at the show],” Hill said. “They commit to go back to their countries and communities and pay it forward by helping other women and other business owners.”

For more information on IEEW, visit ieew.org.

 
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