Santa Fe Indian Market Highlights Indigenous Excellence in Fashion

Photography by Nicole Romanoff. Graphics by Leo Tapel

In honor of the Santa Fe Indian Market’s 100th anniversary, discover some of the event’s top fashion talents.

A hundred years of fashion can feel like a long time, with styles evolving and returning frequently. (We see you, low-rise jeans.) But for the designers involved in The 100th Edition of the Santa Fe . Indian Market In New Mexico, clothes aren’t just trends.

“Fashion today is just a continuation of who we are as a people and how we have always presented ourselves,” says Lauren have a nice dayone of 15 designers from Canada and the United States that held catwalk shows at the world’s largest Native American art market in August. Styles range from visual styles. Traditional haida, as in Dorothy Grantmen’s work by Orlando Dugi was inspired by the creation story in Diné culture. Famous models are added to the festive atmosphere and include prey’s Amber Midsunder, Black Wind cast Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten and Eugene Brave Rock and fashion model Horse Chasing Quannah.

“Indigenous fashion is created with a lot of care and purpose,” explains Jason Baerg, designer of the label. Ayimach_Horizons. “We go through the rules and have an incredibly rich archive of images from every country that speak to our great pride and connection to the place, story and ancestry.”

Designer Melanie LeBlanc says that everything contemporary designers are doing is rooted in what came before. She said: “With fashion evolving over the years, although it may not be exactly the same as when our ancestors made clothes, we are still bringing aspects of beads and their silhouettes to life. fashion today,” she said. “We just made it the way people of our generation would wear it.”

Here we highlight some of the brands that have entered the Santa Fe Indian Market for the 100th time.

Catherine Blackburn and Melanie LeBlanc

Photography by Nicole Romanoff

Brand: Costumes by Catherine Blackburn and LeBlanc

Story: Melanie LeBlanc is based in Saskatoon, and while she is a Dene European and a member of the First Nation on the Rivers of England, she was adopted and disconnected from her Indigenous roots. . For her first collection, titled Convergence, she collaborated with her aunt Catherine Blackburn, who created all the accessories. Blackburn, who is also a Dene European and a member of the English River First Nation, is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweler. Her work has appeared in many places, such as on the first Native American female secretary of state, Deb Haalandand collaborate with streetwear designer Mobilization.

Design Ethics: Fresh out of Saskatoon Fashion Design Academy, LeBlanc focuses on slow fashion. She wants to honor her Dene heritage, through colors and fabrics (such as electric blue fox fur lining), and her grandmothers (both adopted and biological). ), through her cotton sewing and patterns.

Blackburn’s work includes jewelry, commercial and conceptual art, but common elements in her work are jewelry and techniques specific to the Dene people of northern Saskatchewan.



Brand: Skawennati

Background: Based in Montreal, Skawennati is a cutting-edge visual artist from Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory who has been making movies from the virtual world for many years. She also creates Indigenous futurism-focused textiles, stills and sculptures, depicting indigenous peoples thriving and reviving their language.

Design Ethics: First, the artist creates her looks — a camouflage ribbon shirt and floral pants — on the avatar and then brings them to life. She came up with the designs after introspection: “What is the future of floral fabrics and ribbon shirts? At what point can it change? It’s the same question for us. What can we leave in the past? And what should we bring?”

Korina Emmerich


Brand: Emme Studio

Story: Designer Korina Emmerich, based in Brooklyn, NY, brings vibrant colors and designs to everything from berets to vests. Originally from the Pacific Northwest – and an unregistered member of the Puyallup Tribe – she often uses Pendleton fabrics in her designs and although the textile company is not a trademark owned by Indigenous people, but its blanket has been loved by many Indigenous people.

Design Ethics: Emmerich works with fibers (including wool and linen) from her hometown and combines social justice and climate wherever possible, using runways as a form of protest. In Santa Fe, she demonstrated a dress made from a red banner about missing and murdered Indigenous peoples that she collaborated on. RISE.

Jason Baerg


Brand: Ayimach_Horizons

Story: From Prince Albert, Sask., Based in Toronto Jason Baerg is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and lecturer at OCAD University who brings his Cree Métis north Saskatchewan heritage into everything he does.

Design Ethics: Baerg’s artworks combine movement and bold color, while overcoming stereotypes like gender duality. “As a person of Two Souls, I welcome my teachings and try to distill them in an abstract way so that my community can safely share them,” he said.

Lauren have a nice day


Brand: Lauren have a nice day

Background: An artist and fashion designer, Lauren Good Day is Arikara, Hidatsa, Blackfeet and Plains Cree. She lives and works in North Dakota, although she does spend time with her family at the Sweet Grass Cree First Nation in Saskatchewan.

Design Ethics: Family and a longtime dedication to the arts and fashion are themes that run through Good Day’s work. Each of her collections is inspired by her children, and sometimes relatives show up on her catwalk – her daughter dances in a jingle dress during the opening. Fashion show at Santa Fe . Indian Market.

This article first appeared in FASHION’s Winter problem. Learn more here.


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