Over 450 of Dushanbe, Tajikistan's most au courant in the field of fashion and style gathered at the Design Dushanbe - Fashion for a Cause Show at the Hyatt Regency on October 10. A total of 30 FLEX alumni volunteers, with the support of a U.S. Embassy grant won by Ruhafzun Jalili '08, organized a high-fashion show, with proceeds going to organizations that work to prevent and address the problem of domestic violence in Tajikistan. The show, which displayed the work of 12 independent and international designers, raised over $5,000, the highest revenue-producing event in the history of the FLEX Alumni Program in Central Asia!
The master of ceremonies launched the show saying, "It's all here at Design Dushanbe, so without further ado, light up the runway! International designers from the Con's Jeans Men's Shop, Koton Klub, Lady Shop Rudaki, M-stile Trend N., the Women's Dept., and Glad Rags showed ten outfits from their fall collections, with musical accompaniment by FLEX Alumni Coordinator and DJ Muminjoniyon Abdulvahhob '09. During intermission, alumni showed the 2010 Vogue presentation "Seen on the Paris Catwalk Fall 2010 - SUZANI EXPRESS", about Tajik silk and the nation's fashion trends being used around the world. Next, recently returned alumna Firuza Ayubzoda '10 showed a photo presentation entitled "Dushanbe Street Fashion," which she created by taking shots of fashion trends in the city, and another presentation of the work of Tajik designer Mavluda Khamraeva. Next up, independent Tajik designers presented their clothing lines. Sublime and creative attire weaved traditional Tajik materials together with western fashion conviction - clothing that would turn heads from Milan to New York.
In preparation for the show, teams of FLEX alumni took on various tasks to make the event a success. Teams visited high-end boutiques throughout the city, and asked them to participate in the show; other teams were responsible for hanging banners around the city to promote the event, while others made visits to international organizations, encouraging staff to attend and support the cause. Senior alumni, like Inomjon Igamov '05, assisted on the day of the event, working as an usher, and Farhod Umarov '06, a not-so-senior alumnus who is currently employed by the Hyatt Regency hotel, was invaluable in making sure that everything they needed was on hand. During the show, five male alumni worked with the male models backstage with costume changes and makeup, and five alumnae assisted the female models, among them, up-and-coming models Firuza Umarova '09 and Shahnoza Abdurahmanova '10!
As result of the show and all of the hard work of FLEX alumni and partner organizations, $2,500 was donated to the Burn Unit of the Dushanbe City Hospital, which works with women who have attempted suicide or self-mutilation due to domestic violence. The funds will support the purchase of basic equipment and materials, and the other half of the proceeds went to the Bovari Center, which assists women in need by offering psychological support, free counseling, and legal and material support. The money will be used to renovate the reception area, and make it more comfortable for their patrons. A special "thank you" goes to those organizations that assisted in making the event such a great success: the Hyatt Regency Hotel Dushanbe for the venue; the Project on Prevention of Domestic Violence, funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), which donated printing and logistics; the United Nations Development Fund for Women for transportation and literature support; and the Mission East in Tajikistan for administrative support.