Indian Market 100: Indigenous Fashion Forward

This yr, the massively standard Santa Fe Indian Market Indigenous Trend Present might be a two-part occasion.

It is one of many hottest tickets at Indian Market. This yr the SWAIA Indigenous Trend Present will happen from Saturday to Sunday, August 20-21.

Greater than a dozen designers will take part, together with Catherine Blackburn (Dene, European, English River First Nation), Jamie Okuma (Luiseno, Shoshone-Bannock, Wailaki, Okinawan, La Jolla), Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo), Lesley Hampton (Anishinaabe ), Orlando Dugi (Navajo), Sho Sho Esquiro (Kaska Dene Aboriginal, Cree, Scots) and Cody Sanderson (Navajo). We spoke to vogue present producer Amber-Daybreak Bear Gown (Siksika/Blackfoot) about what to anticipate.

Wes Studi fashions for Cody Sanderson

Cowboys & Indians: How will this yr’s present be completely different?

Amber Daybreak Bear Gown: It will get larger by increasing over two days, with completely different designers for every, adopted by a suitcase soiree. The purpose is to broaden the style program right into a SWAIA Trend Week.

C&I: How did the present evolve and what does it take to tug it off?

bear gown: blood, sweat and tears! [Laughs.] The primary SWAIA airstrip was situated outside in Cathedral Park. I put it collectively in 2013 with nearly no sources.

C&I: What is going to we see this yr?

Bear Gown: Couture, ready-to-wear and wearable artwork. The temper and power might be completely different. Saturday night might be extra lounge-like with a “chill” environment. I encourage visitors to have enjoyable and gown up with bling, glitter and glamour. Saturday’s present might be luxurious, a really social night. Sunday is extra of a standard runway model. Each might be on the Santa Fe Conference Middle for wine and nibbles.

C&I: How do you put together?

Bear Gown: It is an enormous manufacturing and I carry many vogue tasks, from mannequin supervisor, inventive director, administration, liaison, and the checklist goes on. Ideally I’d have a workforce overseeing every division working the present, however that takes sources. Acquiring runway lighting is difficult and costly! After all, lighting can flip good images and filmography right into a present that presents every designer in a visible means that highlights the collections and fashions. On the day of the present, the fashions get their hair and make-up accomplished, and the designers do last fittings and changes. Should you ebook 100 fashions there’ll all the time be some no exhibits or final minute cancellations. It is a last-minute managed mess, and it retains me on my toes. Canadian modeling company Supernaturals Indigenous is coming right here once more. They carry an amazing eclectic power to Santa Fe and the runway.

Patricia Michaels. © Picture courtesy of the designer.

C&I: Anything new?

Bear Gown: Final yr we experimented with designer suitcase exhibits and it proved extraordinarily standard. This constructing block is deliberate for 2022 with extra design freedom. Individuals can meet the designers and fashions and purchase or order straight from the designer.

C&I: Nice thought! What tendencies do you see in indigenous vogue?

Bear Gown: There are numerous stylish baggage within the home vogue. avenue vogue. able to put on. Excessive-quality. Prepared-to-wear primarily based on indigenous couture is in excessive demand. One other development within the vogue trade represents all physique sizes, ages, genres and conventional trade expectations – variety in measurement, coloration, form, type and gender.

C&I: How is variety progressing within the vogue trade, significantly with the inclusion of Indigenous designers?

Bear Gown: In America, the illustration of Indigenous designers is way decrease in comparison with the Indigenous vogue and artwork scene in Canada. I do not see any actual, long-term dedication from clothes and bigger vogue homes to native designers. I’ve seen main modifications in Canada comparable to Vancouver Indigenous Trend Week, Toronto Indigenous Trend Week now titled Indigenous Trend Arts Competition, journal covers, information and media protection exterior of the Indigenous area of interest bubble.

C&I: What do not individuals learn about indigenous vogue?

Bear Gown: If I can convey one factor, it’s that the indigenous persons are extraordinarily various of their expression, their artwork and their design. A Native designer, artist, or mannequin doesn’t converse for or signify all Native Individuals. It’s ridiculous [to think] {that a} area can signify the wealth of creativity in Canada and america. There is not a single sentence, phrase or field that may reply the query, “What’s native vogue?” that I hold getting requested. It is like asking, “What’s American vogue?” The Met Gala’s newest theme, American vogue, has seen it are available in many kinds and guises. In actual fact, Indigenous design is central to American vogue. Most individuals do not acknowledge this underpinning of design in america. We have to get away from this pan-Indian notion of indigenous North Individuals. Native vogue may be humorous, severe, political, conceptual, historic and futuristic.

C&I: What concerning the upcoming market?

Bear Gown: I like SWAIA market time. It’s a place for individuals of all areas to come back collectively to have fun indigenous artwork in all its variety. We meet up with previous and new family and friends. Individuals don their native bling, from Okuma clothes, assertion jewellery, energy sneakers and strut their stuff. SWAIA Trend Reveals are a novel expertise that you just will not get wherever else in America.

Patricia Michael’s runway photograph courtesy of SWAIA.


Designer Sho Sho Esquiro, who now lives in a condominium in New Westminster, British Columbia, grew up in Canada’s distant Yukon.

“It is fairly drastic and excessive. It is only a stunning place. I am a proud Yukoner,” she says.

On the two-day drive she usually makes from Vancouver residence within the Yukon, she may even see bears, moose, foxes, a herd of caribou, beavers, porcupines, eagles, owls and magpies.

“It is all the time a blessing when animals present themselves to you,” she says.

And it is a lengthy, three-day drive for Esquiro, 41, from Vancouver to Santa Fe in her automotive loaded together with her modern garments. Specializing in indigenous couture streetwear and indigenous luxurious, she makes use of recycled furs and numerous leathers. She exhibits in museums and on catwalks, together with vogue exhibits in Paris and at New York Trend Week. Socio-political statements may be discovered on their new garments. A wool ombre cashmere gown consists of the assertion “Kill the Indian, Save the Man” which is beaded to the again making it look nearly summary.

“It is a quote from Richard Pratt, who was chargeable for opening boarding colleges in america,” she says.

A 24k gold, sealskin, wool and mother-of-pearl bustier high says “Price Our Wait in Gold”.

The spelling is intentional, in fact: “As if we await justice for the homicide of lacking tribal girls,” says Esquiro. “I reside by a river and for the entire two months that I did the play there was a giant eagle sitting exterior in a tree. There have been instances I’d cry, pearls.”

At her SWAIA Trunk Present she’s going to promote distinctive upcycled denim jackets.

“[Indian Market has] was the whole lot for my profession,” she says. “I’ve made unbelievable pals. There was networking and alternatives to push myself as an artist.”

Market has solely just lately begun accommodating First Nations artists and for Esquiro it is a chance to signify Canadians, First Nations, Kaska and the Yukon.

“I’ve mentored rising Yukon artists,” she says, “so SWAIA has not solely helped me, however not directly others as properly.”


Design by Sho Sho Esquiro; SWAIA vogue present 2018

Design by Sho Sho Esquiro; SWAIA vogue present 2018

Design by Sho Sho Esquiro; sculpted by Joleen Mitton; SWAIA vogue present 2018


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