Indigenous Fashion 2022
Celebrating Our Centennial In SWAIA Fashion
In August of 2022, SWAIA is celebrated 100 years of Indigenous art this year in Santa Fe, New Mexico - and you'd better believe we were pulling out all of the stops when it comes to making this a banner year for Indigenous Fashion.
The 2022 fashion programming expanded over two days, showcasing two full fashion shows with the first, which premiered on Saturday, August 20, at the Centennial Gala Party: Shiny Drop. The finale Indigenous Fashion Show took place on Sunday, August 21, at the Santa Fe Convention Center.
The Indigenous Trunk Show followed Sunday’s show and was limited to fashion show ticket holders. Guests also had the opportunity to buy and order directly from their favorite designers.
Fashion Show produced by Amber-Dawn Bear Robe - Video by Kaela Waldstein of Mountain Mover Media
Himikalas Pamela Baker
with Melanie LeBlanc
2022 Indigenous Fashion Designers
The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), the non-profit organization that produces the annual Santa Fe Indian Market, is pleased to announce SWAIA’s Centennial Indigenous Fashion Show designers.
Jason Baerg is a registered member of the Métis Nation of Ontario, from Moon Hills in Treaty Six, Canada. As an Indigenous curator, educator, and visual artist, his curatorial contributions include developing and implementing the national Metis arts program for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Dedicated to community development, he founded and incorporated the Metis Artist Collective and has served as volunteer Chair for organizations from the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective to the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition. Creatively as a visual artist, he pushes new boundaries in digital interventions in drawing, painting, new media installation, and fashion. Baerg’s work is shown internationally in solo and group exhibitions.
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.
Catherine Blackburn was born in Patuanak Saskatchewan, of Dene and European ancestry and is a member of the English River First Nation. She is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweller, whose common themes address Canada's colonial past that are often prompted by personal narratives. Her work merges mixed media and fashion to create dialogue between historical art forms and new interpretations of them. Through utilizing beadwork and other historical adornment techniques, she creates space to explore Indigenous sovereignty, decolonization and representation.
Orlando Dugi (pronounced dew-guy) is currently living and working in Santa Fe, NM, 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. 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.
Korina Emmerich has built her Brooklyn NY based brand, EMME Studio, on the backbone of Expression, Art, and Culture. Leading the charge to embrace art and design as one and weaving it into her brand story. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, her colorful work is known to reflect her patrilineal Indigenous heritage from The Coast Salish Territory, Puyallup tribe.
Sho Sho Esquiro
Sho Sho “Belelige” Esquiro, raised in Yukon, Northern Canada, is of Kaska Dena, Cree, and Scottish heritage. The designer creates original work using natural fibers, new and repurposed fur, and leather while incorporating 24 K gold, platinum, porcupine quills, glass beads, embroidery, and dentalium shells.
Embracing the fashion platform, she subtly or overtly brings awareness to important issues affecting Indigenous communities. Traditional skills and techniques learned from Yukon Elders are foundational to the designer’s work. Esquiro continues the legacy of sharing cultural knowledge with her creative expression and fashion design.
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.
Dorothy Grant is one of the first designers to merge Haida art and formline design with fashion in the late 1980s. Internationally renowned, the creative energy and foundation of her work is Grant’s strong connection to her culture. In 1994 the designer founded a retail storefront for her designs in downtown Vancouver, Canada. Grant's clothing embodies the Haida philosophy Yaangudang meaning self-respect along with empowerment, and pride.
After seventeen years in retail and manufacturing, Grant has transformed her entrepreneurial focus to Native art market trade shows across North America and online sales through her website. She continues to make one-of-a-kind garments and accessories for a diverse clientele.
Lesley Hampton is a multi-award winning Anishinaabe Artist, Model, Speaker, and Designer focused on mental health awareness, body positivity, and authentic representation in fashion, media, and beauty. She is the founder and Creative Director of LESLEY HAMPTON, an Indigenous-owned, women-led, size-inclusive fashion brand based in Toronto, Ontario.
Lesley Hampton is a member of Temagami First Nation, and her identity is an amalgamation of her Indigeneity and her international nomadic upbringing
as a 'Third Culture Kid’, with her formative years spent in Canada's Arctic and Atlantic,
Australia, England, Indonesia, and New Caledonia.
Ursala Hudson is a Tlingit weaver, printmaker, painter, photographer and writer of Caucasian, Filipino, and Alaska Native descent. Hudson began a fiber-art practice centered around Indigenous couture fashion designs that draws from the calculated, bold, and innovative practices of her digital art background. She primarily works in the hand-twining wool-around-wool artform of Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving styles from her ancestral homeland in southeast Alaska. Hudson views weaving ceremonial regalia offers her a voice to uplift her communities and reclaim sovereignty in an Indigenous future.
The materials, designs, patterns, finishing techniques, and sources of inspiration expand a narrative of Tlingit interaction with the landscape and outside cultures.
Melanie LeBlanc, born of European and Dene ancestry, grew up in the French community of St. Denis, Saskatchewan, Canada. LeBlanc continues to explore and learn about her Indigenous roots.
The artist has gained notoriety for her attention to detail and clean silhouettes, most recognized in her coats, jackets, and streamlined pants.
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.
Jamie Okuma is Luiseno, Shoshone-Bannock, Wailaki, and Okinawan who 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.
Skawennati was born in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory, and belongs to the Turtle clan. She makes art that addresses history, the future, and change from her perspective as an urban Kanien’kehá:ka woman and as a cyberpunk avatar. Her early adoption of cyberspace as both a location and a medium for her practice is reflected in her machinima movies, still images, textiles, and sculpture.
She is a co-founder of Nation to Nation, a First Nations artist collective; Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research-creation network based at Concordia University; and daphne, Montreal’s first Indigenous artist-run centre and the recipient of a 2020 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship; a Visiting Artist Fellowship at the British Library and an Honorary Doctorate from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She is represented by ELLEPHANT.
Yolonda (Loni) Skelton is a Textile Artist from the Gitxsan Nation and the House of Hax-be-gwoo-txw of the Fireweed Clan. Her Indigenous name Sug-ii-t Looks translates to "When the Whales Crest" becoming the name of her design house. The inspiration fashioning her work includes oral stories she learned from her late maternal grandmother Lily Jackson (Na-gwa).
Skelton has been creating numerous custom-made textile projects for over twenty years, from ceremonial dance blankets and regalia to contemporary clothing and accessories. In developing an individual Northwest Coast design language, the designer is continually pushing the beauty, concepts, and techniques of fashion based in North Coast Design.