SWAIA Native Fashion Week 2024 Designers

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  • Angela DeMontigny, Rachelle White Wind & Jason Baerg

    The ᓇᑲᐦᐯᐦᐊᐣ (West Wind) Collection launches Ayimach Lodge, a new partnership that supports the intentions and purpose of the Ayimach Horizons and Lodge Brands. The Lodge is a powerful symbol of the Cree way of life, representing the spiritual and practical aspects of the culture and our deep connection to the land. The term “ayimach” is a Cree word that means “the way forward” or “the path ahead,” and “horizons” refers to the future or the possibilities that lie ahead. In this context, “Ayimach Horizons” represents a vision of Indigenous self-determination and the reclamation of cultural practices and knowledge that have been suppressed or lost through colonialism, forced assimilation, and other forms of oppression. It is a vision of a future where Indigenous peoples have regained control over their lands and resources and where their voices and perspectives are heard and respected.

    This Ayimach Lodge Collective leverages the cultural knowledge, creatives and professional experiences of Angela DeMontigny (Cree/Metis), Rachelle White Wind (Ojibway/Cree) and Jason Baerg (Cree/Metis). We unite with long term commitment to build a sophisticated, creative and culturally infused sustainable enterprise. We also commit to supporting each other and our communities through this work.

  • Dehmin Cleland

    Dehmin Osawamick Cleland of “DOC” is Ojibwe and Odawa from the Wikwemikong (Bay of Beavers) reserve of Manitoulin Island currently residing on Tkaronto. A true testament to her dedication, Dehmin commenced her artistic journey at the tender age of six, diligently crafting her regalia pieces. Through steadfast commitment, she has honed her skills in sewing and beadwork, which remain integral to her artistic expression. Central to her creative endeavors are intricate floral designs and meticulously crafted beadwork, echoing the heritage and wisdom of the Anishnaabek (all Indigenous Nations).

  • Carrie Wood

    Carrie Wood (Diné) of “chizhii” resides in Santa Fe, NM. She uses fashion design as a creative outlet. Carrie draws inspiration from her culture and community, always striving to make pieces that resonate with them.

  • 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.

  • Justin Jacob Louis

    Justin Jacob Louis is an eponymous Indigenous owned luxury label, founded in 2023 by Justin Jacob Louis. A celebration of his Nehiyaw (Plains Cree) culture, language and homelands along the Batter River, the brand injects these elements onto a blank canvas to be reimagined into a future of Indigenous designed luxury goods, guided by and honoring the ancestral connections he carries proudly. Justin Jacob Louis is a gender inclusive label with a focus on luxury and sustainability. The label will make its debut at New York Fashion Week in Fall 2023, with a formal launch date scheduled for Fall 2024.

  • Lesley Hampton

    Lesley Hampton is an Anishinaabe artist and fashion designer focused on mental wellness and body neutrality in fashion through the lens of the Indigenous worldview.

    Lesley is a member of Temagami First Nation, and she identifies as an adult ‘Third Culture Kid’ with her formative years spent in Canada’s Arctic and Atlantic, Australia, England, Indonesia, and New Caledonia.

    Named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Local: Toronto list and the number one Canadian brand to keep your eye on by VOGUE, Lesley has styled campaigns for the Toronto Raptors, modelled for Nike, created custom designs for The Toronto Maple Leafs, and has been a Guest Judge on Canada’s Drag Race.

  • Loren Aragon

    Loren Aragon of “Towering Stone” is a Native American fashion designer and multimedia artist. He grew up on the Acoma reservation surrounded by family, art and traditions. Aragon was influenced by pottery made by his grandmothers, garments by his aunt and jewelry made by his uncle. His mother was especially influential on his artistic journey as she was an artist, a seamstress, and educator.

    In 2016 Aragon co-founded ACONAV, a fashion brand based in Phoenix, AZ celebrating the strength and empowerment of all women. Under the ACONAV brand, Aragon has showcased collections, culturally fueled by the traditional pottery art and shareable beliefs of the Acoma Pueblo culture. Under his new menswear label of Towering Stone, Aragon continues pushing creations fueled by his Acoma heritage with designs structured to embody cultural strength and bold resilience.

  • Maria Hupfield

    As a transdisciplinary artist, Maria Hupfield crosses boundaries at the intersection of performance art, design and sculpture. In her work, the art object is positioned as active belongings where sculptures become performers in a form of object choreography between artist, audience, and art gallery. She is engaged in an ongoing series of relations with community, places, ideas, and materials. An Urban off-reservation member of the Anishinaabek People belonging to Wasauksing First Nation in Ontario, Hupfield is deeply invested in embodied practice, Native Feminisms, and ethical collaborative process. Her art was included in the exhibition “Beat Nation”, as solo project “Nine Years Towards the Sun” at the Heard Museum, and “The One Who Keeps on Giving” at The Power Plant, which travelled internationally. Her work was also shown at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Galerie de l’UQAM, NONAM – Nordamerika Native Museum Zurich, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Museum of Art and Design in New York, Abrons Arts Center, Center for Art – Research and Alliances (CARA), BRIC House gallery, The Bronx Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and SITE SANTA FE amongst others.

  • 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.

  • Penny Singer

    Penny Singer is from the Navajo Nation. Inspired by her mothers’ teaching, she quickly
    grasped the fundamentals of sewing and taught herself different techniques, such as
    applique, various stitching methods, tailoring, fitting, etc. and other elements she uses in
    her line of “wearable art.”

    Singer continues to expand and widen the definition of what Indigenous designs are and
    uses fashion to reclaim culture from an Indigenous perspective. Singer’s work is
    a fusion of fashion for all peoples and generations who appreciate Indigenous fashion.

  • Peshawn Bread

    Sutai (Soo-tai) is a Fashion House founded by Peshawn Bread who identifies as a Comanche/Kiowa/Cherokee nonbinary designer, filmmaker and model. In September 2023, Bread officially announced Sutai’s launch beginning with jewelry and accessories then branching out into clothing. As a new brand, Sutai plans on breaking the binaries of fashion, creating looks that dance on the edge of Indigenous design and showcasing Indigenous nonbinary/LGBTQ+2s models. House of Sutai is a marriage between the storytelling of filmmaking and the complexity of fashion through their visually dynamic campaigns.

  • 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.

  • Randy Leigh Barton

    Neo-Contemporary Navajo Artist Randy L Barton (Diné) is a multi-disciplined, contemporary artist, graphic designer, fashion designer, dancer, DJ and music producer from Winslow, AZ (currently living in Los Angeles) best known for his visionary abstract paintings, live painting performances and innovative style. The foundation of his creations derive from the unique combination of his background in hip hop, graffiti art and the traditional Navajo teachings and ceremonies that began shaping his life at an early age.

  • Victoria Kakuktinniq

    Victoria’s Arctic Fashion established in 2014, fuses ancestral northern attire with contemporary flair. Born in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Victoria Kakuktinniq’s Inuit roots run deep, crafting traditional pieces inspired by a lineage of strong Inuit women. Her designs showcase a unique meld of Inuit traditional parka artistry, integrated with sustainable practices. Victoria is a beacon of sustainability and a visionary in Northern Fashion, grounded in her Inuit roots.

  • 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.

SWAIA’S INAUGURAL INDIGENOUS FASHION WEEK IS COMING MAY OF 2024!

EMAIL FASHION@SWAIA.ORG TO APPLY AS A DESIGNER.

SWAIA is grateful for the exquisite designers, artists and models who put a tremendous amount of time, commitment, skills and talent into the SWAIA Fashion Shows. SWAIA is a not-for-profit Native arts organization that has been in place for over 100 years. The artists and talent are SWAIA . This year a gracious sponsor is funding the SWAIA models. For the first time, we are proud to pay the models who have been volunteering for the past 10 years. As SWAIA Fashion grows, our goal is to pay our models a top model fee, and to pay our designers. Creating a collection for the SWAIA runway is extremely costly and time-consuming. With generous future sponsors and supporters, we can make this happen!