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Umoja fashion fundraiser to offer vogue variety

Elizabeth Saulsbury • Jul 21, 2014 at 9:27 PM

Fashion and fun will unite at the Fashion xPOSEd Runway Show on July 26.

The fashion show, which is promoted by Umoja, will take place at The Charles in downtown Johnson City with doors opening at 6 p.m.

“The fashion show is a fundrasiser to help raise funds for the Umoja Festival and to help the community,” said Laura Terry, a member of the Umoja Festival Committee.

The annual Umoja Festival is brought about by Umoja Arts and Cultural Inc., which provides Northeast Tennessee with a variety of entertainment and educational opportunities. In keeping with the meaning of “umoja,” which is Swahili for unity, the festival brings the community together to celebrate diverse cultures and heritages. According to the show’s co-producer, Montess Burt, the fashion show will reflect the theme of unity as well.

“We’ll be bringing several different aspects of fashion together as one,” said Burt. “This show has diverse fashion from across Johnson City and from across the world.”

Although Burt has helped to bring about fashion shows in the past, this is his first time helping to produce a show for Umoja.

“This, to my knowledge, is the second fashion show that (Umoja) has done,” Burt said. “This is my first time working with the Umoja Festival to make it happen.”

The show’s audience will see a mixture of trendy summer clothing and cultural designs.

“You will see a lot of the hottest summer fashion and a lot of cultural fashions,” said Burt.

The show will be an exciting and dynamic one, according to Burt.

“We’re not just putting on a fashion show; we’re putting on a fashion production,” Burt said.

Burt said the audience will gain an appreciation for both fashion and for the people who help bring fashion to life.

“You’ll see young people out here working hard to build a brand,” Burt said. “You’ll see young people trying to make a name for themselves.”

The fashion show will be in keeping with the central themes of Umoja: art, culture and unity.

“We’ve brought a lot of diversity to the show — different cultures, different ethnicities, different backgrounds,” said Burt. “And I think that diversity is what’s really going to make this show stand out.”

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