SWAIA Indigenous Fashion Show 2023 Designers

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  • Dusty LeGrande of MOBILIZE

    Dusty LeGrande is founder of the Edmonton, Canada-based streetwear brand MOBILIZE that launched in 2018. Mobilize is an Indigenous street wear company intended to create awareness, education, empowerment and identity through clothing. The brand’s name and philosophy are grounded in storytelling through streetwear while bringing activism and identity empowerment to the runway.

     

  • Elias Jade Not Afraid

    Elias Jade Not Afraid is an award-winning Apsaalooké bead artist who incorporates high fashion and punk elements with Crow beadwork techniques. Not Afraid emphasizes the importance of using historic, geometric and floral designs in his work. The artist designs shoes, beaded earrings, ledger paintings, bracelets, bags and other accessories. His cradleboard, Life after Death, won first place for beadwork at the 2022 Heard Museum’s art market and was then purchased by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art for its permanent collection.

  • Himikalas Pamela Baker

    Himikalas Pamela Baker is Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw, Tlingit and Haida from her mother’s side and Squamish by her father’s lineage. Professionally trained as a fashion designer, Baker focuses on designing a future that honors her ancestors. She does this by developing unique fashion collections and jewelry embedded with First Nation West Coast design elements. Copperknot Jewelry, co-founded by Baker, is a boutique featuring locally Vancouver-made jewelry. Himikalas’s goal has been to strengthen Native representation and to support Indigenous artists.

  • Jamie Okuma

    Jamie Okuma is Luiseno, Shoshone-Bannock, Wailaki and Okinawan and is also an enrolled member of the La Jolla band of Indians based in Southern California. She specializes in one-of-a-kind pieces that are hand-executed exclusively by the artist in addition to designing ready-to-wear fashions. Okuma has been working as a professional artist since the age of eighteen, exhibiting at the Heard Indian Art Market in Phoenix AZ, and at the Santa Fe Indian Art Market in Santa Fe, NM. Okuma has work in the permanent collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

  • Jason Baerg

    Raised Red River in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Jason Baerg is also a registered member of the Métis Nations of Ontario. They serve their community as an Indigenous activist, curator, educator and interdisciplinary artist. Select international solo exhibitions include Canada House in London, UK, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and the Digital Dome at the Institute of the American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. As a 2 Spirit Cree Métis fashion designer, they launched their first commercial cruise capsule collection with the New York City-based Fashion Art Gallery in 2018. In 2020, they released a complete collection at Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto under their brand Ayimach Horizons. In 2022, Baerg opened Santa Fe’s Indian Market Fashion Show Gala and was reviewed by Dr. Jessica R. Metcalfe, one of the organizers and a recognized Indigenous fashion expert, who wrote, “Jason Baerg’s collection was a crowd favourite!!!” This community recognition meant as much to Baerg as being highlighted in Vogue as one of the “15 Indigenous Artists to Know from This Year’s Santa Fe Indian Market.” In 2023, ELLE Magazine acknowledged Jason Baerg as one of “5 Indigenous Fashion Designers You Need to Know.”

  • Jontay Kahm

    Jontay Kahm is Plains Cree from Saskatchewan, Canada. Kahm grew up on Mosquito Grizzly Bear’s Head Lean Man First Nation. Currently, he resides in New York, New York where he is studying at Parsons School of Design after graduating with a BFA in Studio Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in the Spring of 2022. His designs emphasize movement and sculptural characteristics of hybrid animalia in addition to exhibiting themes of oceanic structures. Using elements of his Cree culture, Kahm reframes regalia through a contemporary fashion design lens. By creating garments of high fashion rooted in performance, the designer manifests dramatic and otherworldly creations.

  • Lauren Good Day

    Lauren Good Day “Good Day Woman” is a multi-award winning Arikara, Hidatsa, Blackfeet and Plains Cree artist and an acclaimed fashion designer. Good Day has a passion for promoting and revitalizing the arts of her people while developing new methods that incorporate new trendsetting ideas in both art and design. Starting at age six, the artist expanded her work from tribal regalia into the mediums of quillwork, ledger drawings, rawhide parfleche and fashion. She continues to be steeped within her cultural lifeways while actively supporting language and culture revitalization efforts. As a mother and woman of her tribe, Good Day participates in cultural celebrations, powwows and ceremonies.

  • Orlando Dugi

    Orlando Dugi (pronounced dew-guy) is currently living and working in Santa Fe, NM but is originally from Grey Mountain, AZ, on the Navajo Nation. Beading since the age of six, Dugi’s designs are feminine, timeless and highly embellished with many hours of hand-sewing and hand-beading garments. He utilizes luxurious fabrics, textures, embellishments and extravagance, inspired by and handcrafted from traditions rooted in his Diné heritage. Orlando Dugi meticulously threads the past with the present.

  • Patricia Michaels

    Patricia Michaels creates haute couture and original designs, drawing inspiration from nature and her Native roots of Taos Pueblo. All custom-made work is fashioned under her label PM Waterlily in Santa Fe, New Mexico. High-end, limited-edition apparel and casual lines for both men and women are a part of the label. Michaels also creates uniforms and costume designs for operas. Most of her work is made with organic materials that are hand-dyed and painted by the designer, often using algae pigments. Each design she produces showcases nature’s influence combined with fluid textures, resulting in clothing with movement and individuality.

  • Qaulluq

    Inupiaq designer Uvaŋa Qaulluq’s (Clara McConnell) fashion line is grounded in the transferring of Iñupiat Iḷitqusiat knowledge and teachings. She first learned the arts of skin and fabric sewing from generations of women in her family. Her work is playful yet glamorous, combining luxurious materials with Inupiaq pattern designs and motifs such as Taqalakisaq (butterflies) as a nod to the land and transformation.

  • Rebecca Baker-Grenier

    Rebecca is of Kwakiuł, Musgamagw Dzawada’enuwx and Skwxwú7mesh ancestry. Rebecca began fashion design in 2021 and has since been apprenticing under established Indigenous designer and artist, Himikalas Pam Baker. She also completed the Indigenous Couture Residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, 2021. There is an intimate ancestral connection with the art that Rebecca creates, representing her lineage as an Indigenous woman. Rebecca has been creating sewn and beaded regalia since the age of eleven, with her first commission at the age of sixteen, and she continues to make personal and her family’s regalia.

  • Tracy Toulouse

    Tracy Toulouse is a member of Sagamok Anishnawbek of the North Shores, Lake Huron. Toulouse is an apparel designer and an established craft artisan, incorporating Woodland storytelling motifs with modern wearable design. Appliqué, bead, quill, antler bone, fur and ribbon form her creations, reinforcing the Indigenous spirit and its connection to the land she is from. Each design carries the tradition of the Woodland people, showcasing the spirit in a wearable voice to be heard.

  • SWAIA Fashion Director/Producer: Amber-Dawn Bear Robe

    From Siksika Nation, Amber-Dawn Bear Robe is Assistant Faculty of Native Art History in the Museum Studies department at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and Fashion Show Program Director for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) in Santa Fe, NM. Her recent exhibitions are as contributing curator for Fashion Fictions at the Vancouver Art Gallery, May 27 to October 9, 2023 and Art of Indigenous Fashion at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, August 2022 to January 2023, as well as co-curator for the exhibition Future Imaginaries: Indigenous Art, Fashion, Technology, opening at The Autry in 2024.