Jill Setah sewed a traditional aboriginal outfit for her son to wear at a local gathering about 10 years ago.
Creating that regalia was Setah’s foray into fashion design. Over the past decade the mother of four has honed her skills by designing more outfits and enrolling in a fashion design and merchandising course at Kelowna’s Centre for Arts and Technology.
Now Setah is a month away from seeing her clothes on a New York runway.
Setah was given an invitation for Couture Fashion Week after her collection of 11 pieces was noticed at National Aboriginal Fashion Week in Saskatoon last month.
“It’s a huge honour,” said Setah.
Setah, who is from the Chilcotin Nation and currently lives on Westbank First Nation land, was one of four designers picked from National Aboriginal Fashion Week. Her clothes will be presented at a fashion show, held in the Broadway Ballroom of Crowne Plaza, Times Square Manhattan.
“I’m expecting it to be a culture shock…I hope to meet with buyers and other designers.”
The clothes Setah designs pay homage to aboriginal tradition while remaining contemporary.
“I want my clothes to be elegant yet sexy…form-fitting, but not revealing,” said Setah.
“It’s First Nations inspired, but it’s not overwhelming.”
The local fashion designer is now attempting to raise $5,000 to cover the expenses associated with participating in Couture Fashion Week.
Every Thursday in August, Setah is putting on an Indian taco fundraiser at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, 442 Leon Ave., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will also be a loonie auction fundraiser Wednesday Aug. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society. Those who want to donate an item for the loonie auction can contact Jill Setah at 250-859-1604.
She also has an online donation page set up at gofundme.com/cjd098.
“I’m not afraid to work for donations. I will get out there and do what I need to do to get donations or sponsors.”