Jill Setah, Broadway bound
Jill Setah is trying to raise enough money to show her designs on the runway in New York Fashion Week’s Couture Show in September.
Posted: Sunday, August 3, 2014 6:00 am | Updated: 6:00 am, Sun Aug 3, 2014.
A little more than a year after graduating college, Jill Setah is headed to Fashion Week.
The Westbank resident is one of four First Nation designers selected at National Aboriginal Fashion Week to have her designs go down the runway at Couture Fashion Week in Crowne Plaza at Times Square in Manhattan from Sept. 5 to 7.
Since finding out she was selected, the half-Chilcotin, half-Shuswap mother of four has hit the ground running to come up with the money to get to the show less than six weeks from now in New York City.
Setah estimates she will need to raise $5,000 to cover travel expenses such as flight and hotel as well as the $2,800 entrance fee for the show, which will ensure she will have models, hairstylists and make-up artists.
“I’m not afraid to work for donations or sponsors,” said Setah. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to get to New York.”
Setah’s path toward fashion design began 10 years ago when she hand-sewed a traditional outfit for her son for First Nation traditional gatherings. She was inspired to create and sew regalia, which led her to consider fashion design school.
She looked into the Centre of Arts and Technology in the summer of 2010 and got the funding to attend that October.
Two and a half years later, she graduated with a diploma in Fashion Design and Merchandising.
“Fashion design means everything,” she said. “I love that I can incorporate my First Nations culture into my clothing without it being overwhelming.”
Setah is passionate about fashion design. She loves clothes that are elegant and form fitting, sexy but not revealing.
“I get excited about having an idea in my head and then bringing it to life,” she said.
Fashion design is a labour of love for Setah.
It takes about two days for Setah to make a simple dress from scratch from manipulating the pattern on paper, tracing the pattern onto the fabric, cutting, serging and sewing.
She works from her Westside home on her serger and sewing machine her band bought for her graduation gift.
Setah’s participation in National Aboriginal Fashion Week July 24 and 25 in Saskatoon alongside designers from across Canada and the United States was filled with firsts.
It was her first major show, her first trip on a big plane and her first time in Saskatoon.
Setah said it was both exciting and nerve-racking to see her fashions on the runway.
“My dream is be to one of the world’s top First Nations fashion designers and to make it to New York,” she said.
Setah is looking for donations including any type of gift package that can be used for a loonie auction such as a free car wash, gift cards or nail service.
Setah has a couple of fundraisers coming up at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society at 442 Leon Ave. in Kelowna.
There will be a Loonie Auction fundraiser Aug. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. As well, every Thursday in August from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society will host an Indian Taco fundraiser. Tacos cost $7 and all the proceeds go to send Setah to New York.
“I’m just determined to get there,” said Setah. “Any little bit helps.”
Setah hopes to open her own business on the Westside when she returns from New York.
If you can help Setah out with a donation or sponsorship, call 250-859-1604 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out Setah’s fashions on her 1st Lady page on Facebook.