Local fashion designers are set to launch their latest line of spring fashions with more than fabric and flair. Betty Jean Couture, Bon Lou Couture and Christa Taylor are collaborating with the Multicultural Integrated Kidney Education Program to create a fashionable message of a healthy lifestyle for youth with a fashion show March 13, at the California Closets Showroom, 1225 SE Grand Ave.
Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show runs from 6 – 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person, which includes a free beverage and hearty appetizers. A wine raffle will also be available.
The event is a benefit for MIKE, which is dedicated to decreasing the number of people whose kidneys fail because of obesity, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, risky behaviors, and negative social situations.
The group recruits and trains caring adults, often from the ranks of health professional students, to be health mentors, to team up with groups of young people to guide progress through a comprehensive adolescent health programming.
Over a period of months, meeting weekly, mentors build trust relationships with youth and help build life skills known to lead to academic and career success. Working in a cooperative environment, the youth develop a service project to help their peers, families, and communities adopt healthier behaviors.
An example of the youth projects can be found at 703 NE Hancock St. in a colorful and inspirational 2000 sq. ft. mural showing people of various heritages pursuing activities that lead to health, harmony, and hope.
At Saturday's benefit spring fashion preview, local celebrities Byron Beck and Ayanna Berkshire of Twilight and Extraordinary Measures will co-emcee the evening event, featuring Fox 12's Sophie Soong as a celebrity model.
Kenneth Doswell of Betty Jean Couture is heading the production end of the show. From his four-square facility on North Williams, Doswell looks to ramp up the show with sounds and sights in high style. He brings a style to the show that made China Design Now gala last October such a success. Doswell serves as treasurer with the Portland Fashion Synergy, which managed the gala.
Doswell, who founded his design studio and manufacturing business, Doswell Manufacturing and Design House, created Betty Jean Couture to continue the legacy of his mother. Her death from breast cancer brought Doswell and his family into the destructive nature of major diseases.
Doswell's work for MIKE Program is to reach out to youth in a fun way in hopes of offsetting kidney disease. Preventing diabetes is one of the best ways to eliminate kidney disease, but it all begins with healthy eating habits.
MIKE Program works with youth to help them learn and live a healthy lifestyle. Local students who are involved with MIKE Program will be participating in many of the aspects of the fashion show. Some are busy designing t-shirts with healthy messages, while others are looking to model the couture fashions of the designers.
The show also will feature the works of O'Pearl Jewelry and The Real McCoy® Purses, both of which will make just the right accessories for the fashion show.