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Greater Tulsa Reporter


Runway Tulsa Coming Sept. 27-30


HIGH FASHION: The above look is from the fashion collection of Nigerian-born and Dallas-based designer Ese’ Azénabor who will be a featured designer presenting during the Runway Tulsa finale show on Sept. 30.


Courtesy photo


Runway Tulsa announces its dates for its 2017 week of fashion. The local fashion organization will present four events beginning Wednesday, Sept. 27 and wrapping up with the Runway Finale on Saturday, Sept. 30. In addition to this year’s event schedule, the group announces the formation of the Oklahoma Fashion Initiative, a 501©(3) nonprofit, dedicated to establishing an extensive education program as well as economic development in the form of an apparel manufacturing business.

“In Runway Tulsa we have established a high-quality event series that features a mix of national and local fashion design talent,” says Runway Tulsa Producer and Oklahoma Fashion Initiative (OFI) Executive Director Jon Terry. “We’re very excited about the talent we’re presenting on this year’s runways and some new twists on our events.”
Lexus of Tulsa returns as Runway Tulsa’s presenting sponsor for 2017 and is joined by sponsors Utica Square, BancFirst, KJRH, SocialVention and Arts Society. This year’s event schedule includes:

Wednesday, Sept. 27
Kick Off Event and Emerging Talent Runway Show
Lexus of Tulsa Showroom – 4210 S. Memorial Drive
This invitation-only VIP event will feature local boutiques and our Emerging Talent Runway Show.

Thursday, Sept. 28
Fashion in the Square
Utica Square – 1709 Utica Square
This free event is open to the public and puts the focus on Utica Square’s many retailers and restaurants with in-store parties and special showings.

Friday, Sept. 29
Runway Show Benefitting Martha’s Foundation
Cox Business Center Assembly Hall – 100 Civic Center
A ticketed runway show featuring local boutiques and specially selected emerging designers. All proceeds go to Martha’s Foundation, a local nonprofit organization providing pregnant teens with a safe residence and assisting them in becoming independent and productive community members.

Saturday, Sept. 30
Runway Finale
Cox Business Center Assembly Hall – 100 Civic Center
A ticketed runway show featuring a mixture of national and local designers. Ticket information available at runwaytulsa.com.

The 2017 Runway Tulsa Finale will feature six designers including Nigerian-born and Canadian transplant Esé Azénabor, Miami, Florida-based designer Lisu Vega, Tulsa designer Nikki Warren and current New York Fashion Institute of Technology student Raul Flores. Azénabor’s designs are inspired by the arts and her culture. They are daring, luxurious, extravagant, and show her artistic side through her beading and attention to detail. Venezuelan-born and Miami-based designer Lisu Vega is a celebrated artist and designer who expresses creativity on fabrics of all types. Warren’s Mocha Butterfly line thrilled Runway Tulsa’s audience last fall and served as a springboard for her showing at New York Fashion Week. Flores first gained attention by winning the 2015 Tulsa World sponsored competition in which designers worked exclusively with newspapers as their material.

“With the shows and other Runway Tulsa events in place as the public and entertainment element of our effort, it’s time for us to move on to the next step,” says OFI Associate Director Wade Bray. “We have been creating the infrastructure for the education and manufacturing elements for quite some time and are eager to fully implement these key areas of our plan.”

Ultimately OFI’s education program will include mentorships, a scholarship program and hands-on fashion-related collaborations between OFI and educational institutions at both the secondary and collegiate level. Partnerships already exist with Oklahoma State University and Central High School and will be expanded to include others.

The partnership with Oklahoma State extends beyond the fashion realm, with the university being a partner in the development of a small batch manufacturing operation. Oklahoma Fashion Initiative is still working with other potential partners in the manufacturing realm with further details being released as they are available.

Updated 06-22-2017

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