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Using Fashion and Fine Arts as an engine for industry growth, economic empowerment of women, and job creation in East Africa.


[ 1 ]

Enhance and expand existing fashion platforms & localized fashion opportunities

[ 2 ]

Teach & Mentor platform organizers best practices for producing high quality events

[ 3 ]

Collect data on economic impact of each platform locally, regionally, and nationally

[ 4 ]

Synthesize and prepare data to showcase economic benefit sphere

[ 5 ]

Encourage policy change & investment from each platform country investing in sustainable industry




Laurie De Jong Founder

Laurie De Jong

Adam Cook Executive Director

Adam Cook
Executive Director

Rachel Young Show Direction Mentor

Rachel Young
Show Direction Mentor

Sara Whyte Show Management Mentor

Sara Whyte
Show Management Mentor

Danielle DeZao Member

Danielle DeZao

Robert Centenary Area Director, Uganda

Robert Centenary
Area Director, Uganda

Ron Voller Member

Ron Voller

David Steinberg Member

David Steinberg



Tamera Restuccia Founding Member

Tamera Restuccia
Founding Member

David McIntyre Founding Member

David McIntyre
Founding Member

Andrew Musoke Board Member

Andrew Musoke
Board Member

Erich Bechtel Board Member

Erich Bechtel
Board Member

Brianne Chai-Onn Board Member

Brianne Chai-Onn
Board Member



Our urban empowerment pillar focuses on “fashion as a platform” and the building of organized fashion events (fashion weeks) as a conduit to assist designers presenting their collections to buyers, national & international media, and press creating enriched opportunity.

Active Programs

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Kigali, Rwanda

Since 2012, the Foundation has been involved in the transformation of the fashion production landscape in Rwanda.

Kasese, Uganda

Since 2013, the Foundation has assisted Kampala Fashion Week founder, Gloria Wavamunno, with casting, technical design, technical execution, physical build, and show calling and producing.

Future Programs

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

ASFW - Early October

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Accra, Ghana

Glitz Fashion Week – Late October

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Nairobi, Kenya

NFW – Mid December


While the Foundation is focused on building both Kigali and Kampala Fashion Weeks in the urban setting, we are also building from the other side of the spectrum, with a micro economic focus to empowerment in more rural areas.  Our programs include a sew school in a community in Southwestern Uganda called, Kasase as well as a pattern making workshop in a community outside of Kigali, Rwanda called Gahaya Links.

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Outside of Kigali, Rwanda | Gahaya Links Cut & Sew Workshop

In Kigali, we’ve partnered with Gahaya Links to create a sewing skills workshop with the capacity to teach up to 50 women at a time.  After an extensive needs assessment, we learned that technical training classes are the biggest need in the region.  We recently completed our first one-week pattern making training class at Gahaya Links in 2016 for top tailors and designers in the region and working towards more frequent training 2016. Those trained have committed to passing on the training they received to others on the ground and our goal is to assist with establishing a base of technical experts in the region. Additional frequent training workshops are needed and PFF is planning to host a draping class in the 2017.

This program has had significant interest and room to grow within its own walls.  Encouraging this type of skill transfers is critical to building a non-University based vocational program.  Reaching out to those who cannot afford University, but have means to join the workshop, is a good step to reaching individuals in the middle-income range.

The Foundation is also looking for an individual(s) who would be willing to do a PFF residency to conduct a multi week training class in pattern making and draping.

Kasese, Uganda | Medrine’s Sew Shop

Kasase is a small community that has been an epicenter of tribal and political violence in the country.  Human rights violations, extreme oppression of women, low life expectancy and lack of education past the age of 12 years old are just some of the serious issues this region faces.   Organizations working in this area must be aware of the challenges faced by the residents which is why all PFF programming is geared towards long term solutions.  During a visit to the region, the Foundation met a woman named Medrine while walking through the neighborhood to assess overall conditions for our first funded program in 2014, which was a small health center nearby.  Medrine had a small facility and when we looked inside we saw two sewing machines and multiple dress patterns made from burlap sacks.  

It was Medrine’s dream to have her own school to teach girls to sew their own school uniforms so that they could attend school, since girls must wear uniforms to attend and many cannot afford ones store bought.  Medrine had taken the initiative to train a small group of girls in her neighborhood and had used this small building as her classroom.   We knew right away that we wanted to help Medrine increase the size of her space and realize her dream.  

Within the past year, Medrine, and her husband, presented a business plan aimed at growing her school to teach at least 50 girls a year. The Foundation provided her with a seed loan to cover the additional equipment needed, the rental a larger space, and a 6 month salary contract for her and a second teacher.   She has the ability to empower many other women and girls by teaching them skills and has created a safe and productive environment for them. This most recent visit was as a reunion of hugs, smiles and tears of joy.   As we drove up to her location, the girls were lined up beaming with pride and wearing matching dresses they had made themselves. With Medrine’s drive and commitment to growing her sewing school, she has the potential to change hundreds of girl’s lives.


We take a vested interest in the development of individuals working various aspects of the event, through a program called PFF Scholars.  Working closely with event organizers, designers, technical production staff, model casting and training groups, photographers, product and collection staging professionals, and showcasing producers, the Scholars program is designed to enhance the skills of these individuals through on-the-job training in different markets.  The goal is to provide them with templates and best practices, and then they present a workshop presentation when they return to their peers involved in the platform vertical. 

These are the leaders who we want to continue training others, and who can readily establish and grow their businesses, eventually producing professional-grade events without PFF assistance.  The Foundation provides scholarships to individuals to travel to New York to work during New York Fashion Week.  These individuals include designers, backstage technicians, scenic artists and audio, video, and lighting specialists and will greatly benefit by shadowing teams in NYC during the 2-week program, with the goal of taking best practices back to their respective countries. 



New York
73 Spring Street
NY, NY 10012


92 Kasese
Kasese, Uganda


KK 15 Road
Kigali, Rwanda



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Annual Operations Support

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