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First Nation’s fashion designer returns to Okanagan following Paris runway show

Jill Setah at the Oxford Fashion Studio show Sept. 28, Paris, France. Oxford Fashion Studio/ Global Okanagan

It has been Jill Setah’s dream to see her fashion designs on the runway in Paris.

That dream became a reality last week for the West Kelowna First Nation woman with heritage from the Chilcotin territory of B.C.

“It was fabulous,” Setah told Global News as she arrived at Kelowna International Airport Monday night. “It was quite the experience to be in Paris.”

Setah’s designs were part of an international show organized by Oxford Fashion Studios on September 28th.

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Her designs are modern but use B.C. First Nation inspired spiritual symbols that are often found carved in wood.

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“The crowd went wild,” Setah said. “I was dressed in my traditional regalia at the end when I walked out. And it was just amazing.”

Her journey to Paris was not easy.

Setah raised money for her trip selling native tacos at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society.

The Okanagan woman also sews from home while raising her young family as well as her sister’s children.

Many of her social media posts leading to Paris expressed exhaustion, exasperation and much doubt.

But she persisted.

“It was all worth it in the end. I saw the Eiffel Tower and just sat there,” Setah said.

Setah’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed. She has made it to the third round of auditions for a new reality show featuring young designers.

“There’s this TV show called Stitched coming out in Canada,” Setah said. “It’s a new series. They want me to fly out to Toronto on the 15th of this month to do an in person interview for their show.”

“Having my dream come true, it was definitely hard, but I definitely made it.”

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