Combining fashion with food is typically a difficult process, but NASH Engineered Fashion store owners Tressa and Tamra Gould, along with Tamra’s husband Juan Aguilar, knew exactly what to do. To highlight Oklahoma City’s vast assortment of restaurants, art, fashion and more, these three creators worked alongside Brad Kirouac, Director for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Oklahoma. Kirouac’s involvement with Big Brothers and Big Sisters allows him to help mentor the younger generation of our state, and with his collaboration with NASH, he was able to kickstart an online auction for the Taste of OKC fundraiser that ends on Saturday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m.
“My husband and I moved here a year and a half ago because we saw a lot of creative energy happening,” said Kirouac. “From non-profits to businesses to districts and neighborhoods, you can see how the community collaborates with each other. We aim to showcase this through fashion, food and philanthropy to raise money for the kids at Big Brothers and Big Sisters, which is a one-to-one mentoring program designed to ignite the power and promise of youth. One of our biggest needs right now is the waiting list for Littles in our program, with over 100 kids on it. All proceeds from the auction fund Big and Little matches, as we need mentors now more than ever.”
The Gould sisters and Aguilar met with Kiroauc at last summer’s Sunny Dayz Mural Festival to get the ball rolling. Once they began working in their creative direction, visual masterpieces were created. By conducting research on OKC’s hottest spots to eat, the trio was able to craft statement pieces inspired by the Paseo District’s Picasso Cafe, Elemental Coffee and Cafe do Brasil.
“With the idea of incorporating OKC’s staple restaurants and food scene into our work, we had to run through so many different ideas,” said Aguilar, who’s an owner and the art director of NASH. “With the Picasso Cafe, we made a t-shirt dress that is made from different colored materials to represent literal work from Picasso, along with the mosaic and stucco vibe of the cafe itself.”
“Elemental Coffee was our next spot, as we found out they are one of the founders of Midtown in OKC,” said Tamra Gould, owner and creative director of Nash. “We walked through their process of sourcing and roasting their own beans, which led to the creation of a multi-paneled shawl and matching tote bag. We created the shawl from sweater material that fades from brown to white, with one panel dyed from Elemental’s own coffee. The bag is made from the burlap sacks that the cafe receives their coffee from. It is really exciting to represent a shop [whose] mission is to provide everyone with a safe and comfortable environment to be themselves.”
The final collaboration spot is Cafe do Brasil, located right across from NASH. To match the outside of the building, a white trench coat was created with vibrant banana leaves on the inside to represent the lively energy from within the cafe.
“We wanted to engage with our local shop owners to make something unique for their restaurants while letting the people of Oklahoma connect the lines between fashion, food and artwork,” said Tamra Gould.