Fashion Week 2023

During Fashion Week, women from our community will model outfits from our very own Dress for Success Boutique! You can vote for your favorite outfits or models by donating $20 to the Dress for Success program. All sponsors will receive free votes to cast as part of their sponsorship package. The model with the most votes will receive two free tickets (a $200 value) for our Circle event on October 19, 2023. All proceeds generated will benefit YWCA’s Dress for Success program, helping women to become self-sufficient.

Thank you to all of our models, sponsors, and voters for your help in making Fashion Week 2023 a successful event! Because of you, we have raised $8,970 for YWCA Northeast Indiana’s Dress for Success program. These funds will greatly help us provide professional attire and development tools women need to thrive in work and in life. We are proud to share that the winner of this year’s event is Deborah Sturges, CEO of Hallmark Home Mortgage! Thank you for your hard work in getting the word out about this great community program!

See below for a recap of the event.

Get to know the models:

Cassie Beer

Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne
Women's Fund Director

"At the Women's Fund, one of our focus areas is economic security. We work with employers to ensure that they are offering supportive benefits and policies that empower women in low wage, entry level positions. That's why I am so grateful for YWCA Northeast Indiana. Through Dress for Success, women are able to access financial independence classes, budgeting, and various tools to make sure that when they enter the workforce, they have the skills and education they need to thrive and succeed. I am so grateful for Dress for Success and the way they're making our work place and our community a better place for women."

Julie Carroll

Ruoff Mortgage
Senior Loan Officer

"One of the things I love about Dress for Success is that they understand the importance of not just providing clothes, but also providing support and guidance to women who need it. Their career development programs help build skills and confidence, while giving women the tools they need to succeed in the workplace. I believe that Dress for Success is an essential program for our community because they help women achieve economic independence, which is a key factor in reducing poverty and promoting equality. When women are empowered to succeed, everyone benefits. Strong women build strong families, strong communities, and strong economies. As a supporter of Dress for Success, I encourage everyone to get involved in whatever way they can, whether it's by donating clothing, donating money, volunteering your time, or simply just spreading the word about this amazing program. Every little bit helps."

Misty Hernandez

Evolve Spa
Owner and Licensed Cosmetologist and Esthetician

"I am very passionate about Dress for Success because it partners with 66 referral agencies that provide clothing for low income women who are all victims of domestic violence and/or recovering from addiction. Their boutique is located at The Hefner Center (formerly Don Hall's Guesthouse). Dress for Success fits women for job interviews and should they get hired, they provide five additional outfits for their new career placement. They also offer a match saving program with a partnered grant from Allstate, which makes advancement more attainable."

Jess Hopkins

First Merchants Bank
First Vice President, Regional Sales Manager

Dress for Success Advisory Board Member

"I believe that Dress for Success is really important in our community because it gives an opportunity to those who might not have that opportunity if not given by Dress for Success."

Career services offered by Dress for Success include resume-building, job search assistance, cover letter writing, mock interviews, and more.

Jenee Johnson

Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana
Program Manager

Parkview Field & Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

"When I was in high school, I competed on the school’s speech and debate team. Professional clothing was a must have. There were weeks that I had to borrow clothing to compete and that was an eye-opening experience. I learned that professional clothing was an expense, and it should not be a privilege to have the tools that one needs for an interview. Not only does Dress for Success help women with clothing, but they also have a Career Center that helps with establishing resumes, cover letters, and provides assistance with job and interview skills."

Dawn Jordan

Hire Right LLC
Owner and Corporate Recruiter

"I am here to support YWCA Northeast Indiana because I truly believe in the Dress for Success attitude. Coming from a recruiting standpoint, I understand why clothes make an amazing difference in confidence, in not just the candidate but also for the person that is receiving the candidate. That feeling of empowerment through clothing makes a huge difference and I am here to support that 100%."

Leaha Meinika

Glo Magazine

"I support the Dress for Success program because I believe that sometimes it's as simple as looking and feeling the part to give you the confidence you need to move forward. Dress for Success gives the women in our community the support they need for job opportunities they might otherwise not be able to find."

Last year, 132 women utilized at least one of the Dress for Success services.

Andrea Mills

Community Volunteer

"I like to spend my free time volunteering and helping other people in need, specifically women, mothers, daughters, etc. I support Dress for Success because this program empowers women to get out there and reach their goals, things they thought they'd never be able to do. When they get the right outfit, it helps give them the confidence they need to attain that and I think that is a beautiful thing for the women in our community."

Nancy Steigmeyer

Allen County Government
Human Resource Director

"I love supporting Dress for Success because it's an opportunity to support and empower women to launch them into their first job or the next level of their career. The staff at Dress for Success do a great job helping new people come in feel great. If someone feels great and looks great, it will build their confidence and help them accomplish great things in their next endeavor."

Deborah Sturges

Hallmark Home Mortgage

"I am delighted to be supporting Dress for Success, which prepares women for not only the workplace, but also for success in all different situations."

Financial education classes are offered to YWCA clients and empower women through teaching budgeting, needs vs. wants, savings, improving credit, and planning for the future.

Thank you to our Sponsors:

YWCA’s Dress for Success program empowers women with low income to prepare for employment and healthy financial management so they can reach economic independence and exit poverty. Dress for Success provides professional suiting services and employment and financial coaching services to women with low income.

All proceeds benefit YWCA Northeast Indiana’s Dress for Success program, which empowers women to achieve economic independence in Fort Wayne and the northeast Indiana community.