A Fashion Show A World Apart

September 10, 2018  

As Fashion Week descends upon New York City, it seems a good time to remember that all fashion shows are not created equal. And while we all love to watch leggy women strut Christian Siriano and Vivienne Hu, the fashion show that took place in Kasese, Uganda last June was just as stunning, even if in a completely different way.

The 63 young women who danced down the dusty runway in Kasese on June 28 were given the same instructions by the same woman that any New York runway model could expect. 

“Go. Walk straight down the center, and look into the lens of the camera,” said Laurie DeJong, CEO of LDJ Productions, which is responsible for the event production of New York Fashion Week.

DeJong is also the founder of the Paper Fig Foundation, which empowers women and girls through fashion in Eastern Africa. 

The models, in this case, wore their own designs. The culminating project of their six-month training at the Paper Fig Sew School in Kasese was to design their own dresses to wear at the annual Paper Fig Fashion Show, which brings everyone out into the streets to watch the celebration.

“The whole concept behind the fashion show is to give them a chance to show off the work they have done,” said DeJong, “and really, just to have some fun because they’re kids or young adults and, you know, we all need to have some fun now and then.”

Check back on Wednesday to learn who the models came face to face with when they walked down the runway in Kasese...

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