Gala raises money for KC nonprofit that trains at-risk women as seamstresses

Marzia Rasouli paused for a moment during Rightfully Sewn’s inaugural Golden Gala at The Grand Hall at Power Light to reflect on what the last year has been like for the Afghani-born 19-year-old.

After seeking asylum in the United States, she was one of six women chosen in May to participate in Rightfully Sewn’s first seamstress training class. The cohort graduated in July.

Rasouli was among more than 400 people at Saturday’s gold carpet gala, a fundraiser for a two-year-old nonprofit that trains at-risk women to become professional seamstresses. She described the program as a life-changer after landing a full-time position with Eleve Dancewear, a custom leotard boutique in downtown Kansas City.

“I have a perfect job,” Rasouli said.

Rightfully Sewn founder Jennifer Lapka spent most of Saturday accepting congratulatory hugs and handshakes. Photo opportunities were plenty. She was gracious with her time, and quick to praise staff, sponsors and supporters.

Lapka wore a champagne-gold dress designed by Sarah Nelsen, one of five graduates of the organization's two-year designer residency program. Lapka said the two-part program will improve the talent pool necessary to establish Kansas City as a force on the national fashion scene.