11/4/10: Arizona foundation empowering young women with disabilities with fashion, and Kelly Rowland

The Aurora Foundation is a non-profit after my heart. Their mission – “To empower young women with disabilities to access their inherent leadership capacities.”  Their sister foundation, disABLED DIVAZ, has an exciting fashion show coming up. They’ve also launched their first ever fashion design competition.

For those of you lucky enough to reside in Tuscon, Arizona, their disABLED DIVAZ fashion show is something you should seriously consider. It is only 9 days away – November 13th, 2010. Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child is even scheduled to appear. She recently founded another cool foundation called I Heart My Girlfriends, which focuses on many things regarding young women and empowerment, including inclusion of women with disabilities. How cool is that? Tickets are $85 and the event will take place at Marriott University Park.  Click here for more details

And if you’re a fashion designer or student looking for a fun challenge that helps others, check this out:

The Aurora Foundation’s 1st Annual Fashion Design Competition

‘Celebrating Beautiful Designs!’™

The Aurora Foundation established ‘Celebrating Beautiful Designs!’™ in 2010 as an exciting event within our 2010 disABLED Divaz Fashion Show ™, ‘Celebrating Beautiful Lives!’, and also as an important advocacy initiative in our foundation.

As an event, ‘Celebrating Beautiful Designs!’™ is a fashion design competition to challenge local fashion designers to re-think their attitudes and beliefs about women with disabilities in the design of fashions. This event aims to elicit trendy, contemporary, and adaptive fashions for women with physical, mobility, and other impairments. Indeed, there are Divaz Models with exceptional adaptive fashions on the runway tonight who will add their dazzling garment to their personal wardrobe!

Beginning late this summer, nine designers began designing and constructing original garments or re-designing and constructing vintage garments for our Divaz Models in dressy, casual, active, and/or specialty styles. On November 6, 2010 five individuals from Tucson’s fashion industry examined the designers creations as the ‘Divine Divaz’ modeled them. Each judge evaluated each garment in one of five categories: Technical, Innovation, Functional/Utility, Relevance, and Overall Presentation. Tonight, Lorraine Rivera announces the results of the judging and awards first, second, and third place honors in both the skilled amateur and the fashion design student categories. The top winners in each category receive $500, $250, and $125, respectively.

‘Celebrating Beautiful Designs!’™ is also an advocacy initiative, for and with women with disabilities, to influence the fashion industry to address this valuable population of women — to see them through the lenses of immeasurable abilities, strengths, and valued resources rather than through the lenses of ‘limitations’ and ‘obstacles’ to the industry’s bottom line.

The fashion industry fails to address the needs and the emotional aspirations of this large segment of women and, instead, dis-ables these women by denying them access to stylish, affordable, adaptive clothing. Presently, the availability of fashionable, adaptive clothing throughout fashion retailers is virtually non-existent.

‘Celebrating Beautiful Designs!’™ educates fashion designers that women and girls with disabilities represent approximately half of the 54+ million people with disabilities — the third largest market segment in the United States. A substantial portion of these women have physical and mobility impairments — such as chronic, degenerative arthritis; paraplegia; quadriplegia; cerebral palsy; and spina bifida to amputations; strokes; and other neurological disorders — that require using adaptive devices such as wheelchairs, canes, walkers, and prosthetics to access their environment.

For more info on both events, visit The Aurora Foundation and disABLED DIVAZ

And even better, add The Aurora Foundation on Facebook!

  1. It’s about t ime. The fashion industry seems to leave a lot of people out when it comes to designing todays trends. I love the idea of inclusion and bringing it to the attention of the fashion industry. Thank you.

    1. I agree with you River…

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