2012 Fashion Show Highlights and Pictures

The 2012 Fashion Show  was the highlight of Refugee Month and had a large following online:


You can view the 2nd Annual Refugee Fashion Show pictures here!!!

A few other fun facts about the event:
  • There were over 100 people in attendance.
  • We received a $2,500 grant from the City of Salt Lake (Signature Events Grant Fund) for the Fashion Show and we spent a little over that for venue, music, food, presents and awards for the models, and advertisements.
  • We raised a little over $1,000, mostly from ticket sales.  We gave some free tickets to family members of the models
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It was a very successful show & everyone asked when will be the next event.  Some of our volunteers and special guests added their comments, likes and dislikes for us to improve on the next event.  Also, there is some followup on how to become a Women of the World Fashion Show Model for next year.
Miss United Nations Crowning 2012 Women of the World Princess
  • Many people liked the formal crowning of Miss WoW Fashion Show by Miss United Nation (Nilufar Sherzod).  This princess of the event is name Sedra and is pictured at left.
  • The Miss United Nation pageant would love to have the refugee models in the pageant, since their participation will help them to be involved in community service and will help them to get a scholarship if they win.
  • An example of one of the many e-mails we received after the show
    • What did I like: loved the venue. I loved how you had all different ages of models. The dresses were beautiful. I liked how we all got to mingle and chat with the models
    • What I liked: overall it was a fabulous night with a good atmosphere. It was so fun and it sparked my interest to learn more about refugees in this area.
    • Suggestions for next year: I would like to see more things for the silent auction. (a few people volunteered to put together baskets for next year all ready)
    • Other suggestions for next year:  I would like to hear more about the model's countries that they come from & their personal stories if it's not too intrusive. ( I know this part might be hard since it was hard enough getting everyone's names in order. You never know who's going to show up:)

If you have any suggestions for our Fashion Show, our organization, or want to help in any way, we would love to have you.  Please leave your comments below or go to our contact page and fill out the form to email us.  Thank you for your continued readership and following Women of the World!


Second Annual Refugee Fashion Show

Beautiful. Professional. Elegant. Amazing. Dazzling.These are just a few of the words that came out of the mouths of the attendees of the Women of the World Refugee Fashion show on Friday night. Then Founder and Executive Director spoke and added one more word: COURAGE.Fashion Show ParticipantsFor every beautiful dress, for every elegant step, for every reserved-blooming-to-proud smile – there is a story of a second-hand t-shirt in a camp, a run for your life, a scream. Each of the women in the refugee fashion show takes a step away from being a victim and toward freedom… and their footfalls echo in the hearts of all of humanity. They ran from oppression to represent the culture that would not die, they each walked to educate us in our freedoms.This year’s fashion show featured women and fashions from Ghana, Congo, Iraq, Kurdish Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Senegal, Tajikistan, Brazil, Nepal, Sierra Leone, and Karen women from Burma. In the days leading up to the event, they put the finishing touches on their clothing and practiced walking the runway with Miss Tajikistan, Nilufar Sherzod. “Nil” taught each of the women about the differences between the traditional fashion runway model and a cultural fashion runway model – the slower pace, when to pause and give the audience a greeting from the nation’s traditions, and of course, how to smile and show your pride in representing your culture. It was Women of the World’s distinct pleasure to have Miss Sherzod mentor the young models and we encourage each of you to support Miss United Nations - Nilufar Sherzod.[gn_pullquote align="left"]They ran from oppression to represent the culture that would not die, they each walked to educate us in our freedoms.[/gn_pullquote]Pierpont Place was decorated and the caterers from the Red Rock Brewery started to deliver the delicious food for the event. The volunteers and staff from the Women of the World took their places and began to welcome the guests. Over 100 guests, friends, and family attended the nights events.The talent of the supporters of Women of the World continued to come to center stage as the MC of the night’s events and KSL TV and radio reporter, the host of Cultural Connections, Nkoyo Iyamba. Using her knowledge of fashion from her entrepreneurial vision of bridal dresses and her understanding of cultures as a reporter of Salt Lake City diversity, Nkoyo dazzled the crowd with her encyclopedic knowledge and endeared them with her ever-present wit. Women of the World could not have picked a more beautiful, more charismatic host for the event and is greatful for Nkoyo’s joy in presenting each of the models and their cultural heritage.Dancing on the StageAfter a message from the Fashion Show volunteer coordinator Felicia Sanchez and a thanks to those who donated generously to the Fashion Show’s Silent Auction (see list below) by Development Director Justin Harnish, Samira Harnish delivered her message that detailed both the beauty and courage of the Women of the World and the need for each of us to support refugee women in order to develop families and our communities.Then it was time for the Fashion Show.(For more information about the outfits and cultural background of each of the fashions, see the slides detailing some of the traditional fashions)We started with beautiful little children wearing the traditional clothing of their homelands. Of course these little ones were met with the the most fantastic ahhhs and ohhhs of all of the models. It was not just because of their cuteness, they had the grace and skill on the catwalk after their time in training with Nil and the rest of the Miss Universe models.All Fashion Show ParticipantsThe teens followed, each beautiful and with an air of invinsibility, so common to an American teen. There are so many stories in this group. In the days before the Fashion Show, we met Mami and her sister Rosabelle from the Republic of the Congo. We learned how long it has taken for them to achieve this confidence in the United States, how their high school classmates made fun of their English, and how they don’t associate with any country yet. You couldn’t tell on the catwalk, Rosabelle beautiful, studious, and shy was poised, while her sister, tall and elegant, passionate about becoming a fashion model, was professional. All of the confidence of being where they belong could be seen.Finally, the adults, the mothers came out onto the catwalk. Iran, Congo, and Iraq were all represented. They brought there families, some walking the same catwalk as their daughters, sharing the pride they feel in their heritage. There are not words enough for how beautiful the women and girls were, showing from both the inside and outside. The video footage and the photos show it all.There are so many people to thank but for the part of this blog, Women of the World would like to thank the fans that attended the Fashion Show and that dilligently read and subscribe to the blog. Thank you for all of your support.

2012 Refugee Fashion Show on June 8th @ 6pm

Congolese Woman RefugeeThanks to the terrific benevolence of the community, Salt Lake City is the home of over 25,000 refugees with over half of those being women and girls. These women are mothers that have struggled mightily to go to the end of the earth to protect their families and children that have seen nightmares when they are awake. Even with these burdens, they still want to recognize their cultural heritage; even after running from war and living in tents in refugee camps, these women still want to be seen as beautiful.Last year, Women of the World (WoW) ran its 1st Annual Refugee Fashion Show ( and it was a tremendous success. While it was done on a bootstrap budget, the models continued to make the rounds and the pictures show the pride this important developing demographic felt in their handmade cultural fashions and how elegant they looked in them. The crowds enjoyed the event and after it was published in the Sugar House Journal, anticipation by the community for the followup event has been very high.[gn_pullquote align="right"]the models continued to make the rounds and the pictures show the pride this important developing demographic felt in their handmade cultural fashions and how elegant they looked in them[/gn_pullquote]On 8 June 2012 from 6-9pm, we are holding the 2nd Annual Refugee Fashion Show at Pierpont Place (163 W Pierpont Ave in SLC). We hope you can all attend and show your support for an elegant refugee fashion show. Tickets are available for a minimum donation of $20 at  We are also having a silent auction during the event, so if you or your business would like to donate something for auction, please contact me with more details.The Refugee Fashion Show teaches the community about the cultural history and fashions of women from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. It educates Salt Lake residents about their neighbor’s struggles and how pleased they are to be in America. Please reach out and be a part of this important community event.2nd Annual Fashion Show Flyer---

Consider donating to Women of the World

Women of the World is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization whose aim is to support refugee women to achieve self-sufficiency. Women refugees face the combined threat of suffering their trauma in silence, raising a family in their new home, and having few current job skills applicable to a difficult job market. Utah women refugees struggle and succeed at gaining self-sufficiency through education and employment only with your generous support.Women of the World's 501(c)(3) exemption

First Annual Refugee Fashion Show

Fashion Show BowWomen of the World is proud to present the First Annual Refugee Fashion Show at the City and County Building in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This event showcased the various fashions of the women and men from both the Middle East and various regions throughout Africa.  Those at the event stood in awe and amazement at the beauty and elegance of the women's fashions and at the fortitude and grace of their presenters, the members of the Women of the World.African Women's FashionThis event was extremely satisfying for all involved.  For the models, this was one of the rare opportunities where they were made to feel beautiful while expressing their heritage.  You can see in the video that while at first this was an uncomfortable event for them, they quickly warmed to our grateful and enthusiastic crowd and felt the way they always should - whole, confident, and amazing.  Some of our models have quite the knack for it, showing sass, dignity, and bliss all in the same round.  By the end, no one wanted to go, each taking their deserved encores before rounding up their cameras and taking pictures with their friends and families.African Women's FashionsAs a member of the crowd of onlookers, I was immensely proud of each of the women who against the odds maintained their sense of style and a connection to their heritage.  Each of the women looked beautiful and showed it in their individual way, some through reserved tenacity, others through a professional sass in expression and motion that barely contained their inward glee at the opportunity to be themselves, and by this fact, be beautiful.  The crowd's shouts could be heard from Temple to Timpanogos Mountain as they celebrated their daughter's, their mother's, and their sister's delight.Women of the World would like to thank Visage Salon Studios for collecting donations to improve the Fashion Show and the mission of WoW.  Read the 21 July 2011 update in the Sugarhouse Journal.See the videos on our You Tube Channel and all of the pictures at our Picasa site!Middle Eastern FashionsQueen of Babylon