A Utah fashion show highlights women and cultures from around the world


Hundreds of supporters packed into the Zions Bank Corporation building in Midvale to support diverse cultures and the 20 models who represented them.

It was for the 14th annual fashion show and gala hosted by the Utah nonprofit Women of the World, which supports refugee women.

Samira Harnish is the co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit. She spoke before and said, “When you see each participant walking down the runway tonight consider the incredible journey they have undertaken, fleeing violence and oppression, leaving behind a comfortable job, lives and families hoping only for a safe night’s sleep … their beauty stems not just from their features and clothing, but from their strength and courage in seeking a better life here in Utah.”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Naween from Afghanistan walks the runway during the Women of the World annual fashion show on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Fathom from Somalia dances on the runway during the Women of the World annual fashion show on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Adrianna from Venezuela walks the runway during the Women of the World annual fashion show on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.

The women represented the countries of Rwanda, Colombia, Nepal, Iraq, Yemen, Mexico, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan, Syria, Malaysia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Peru and Ukraine.

As each model walked the runway, an audio message played telling of their journey and why the nonprofit matters to them. Songs from their countries of origin guided their walks down the runway. Many of the women danced, their smiles beaming brighter than the lit runway below their shoes.

Samar from Syria danced with her country’s flag. Mila from Malaysia said with WOTW, she feels like she’s never alone. Loane is a student at Weber State University who received a scholarship from WOTW. Naween from Afghanistan said she loves Utah because of the organization.

There were also two mother-daughter duos in the show, Fathom and Zainab from Somalia and Olga and Sofia from Ukraine.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Yoga from Congo poses for a photo backstage before the Women of the World annual fashion show on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Sofia and Olga from Ukraine backstage before the Women of the World annual fashion show on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Nuha from Yemen backstage before the Women of the World annual fashion show on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.



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