Cultures

Native Fashion

Since the beginning of the year, Path with Art staff have a tradition of sharing the work of Native American artists at the start of our weekly staff meeting. Today, here are some Indigenous fashion designers we’ve been learning about and admiring all year round!

Eighth Generation

Eighth Generation is a Seattle-based art and lifestyle brand owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe.  It was founded in 2008 when Louie Gong (Nooksack) — an artist, activist and educator widely known for merging traditional Coast Salish art with influences from his urban environment to make strong statements about identity — started customizing shoes in his living room. Now the first Native-owned company to ever produce wool blankets — with a flagship retail store in Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market — Eighth Generation is a proud participant in the global economy.

“Eighth Generation provides a strong, ethical alternative to “Native-inspired” art and products through its artist-centric approach and 100% Native designed products. Our Inspired Natives™ Project, anchored by the tagline “Inspired Natives™, not Native-inspired,” builds business capacity among cultural artists while addressing the economic impact of cultural appropriation.”

Be sure to check out some of the incredible artists behind Inspired Natives™ Project, as well as Eighth Generation’s awesome blog! Artist Michelle Lowden (Acoma Pueblo) shares some of her experience in the video below:

Jared Yazzie – OXDX Clothing

Founder of OXDX, Jared Yazzie (Navajo/Diné) is a self-taught graphic artist, entrepreneur, and designer known for his bold, graphic style that incorporates vibrant Diné motifs with messages of Native empowerment. Through his bold art and products, Jared works to increase awareness of indigenous issues while simultaneously showcasing the beauty of Native culture. Jared Yazzie is also an Inspired Natives™ Collaborator with Eighth Generation.

From OXDX website: “OXDX is a Diné owned fashion label operating out of Tempe, Arizona. Our creative team offers unique content and designs to properly represent Native people. Our artwork brings to light indigenous issues and challenges the institutions censoring our existence. We hope to engage people with visual storytelling and quality products and we hope you will follow our journey.”

Check out the video below of one of their amazing fashion shows!

Lloyd “Kiva” New

“Lloyd Henri “Kiva” New (Cherokee) was born in 1916 and is best known for fashion design and developing innovative concepts in culturally-based education for Native people. Earning a degree in art education from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1938, New taught painting at the Phoenix Indian School until enlisting in the Navy in 1941, where he served on the USS Sanborn on the Pacific Front. Upon returning to Phoenix after World War II, New became a charter member of the Arizona Craftsmen cooperative, a group of artists who helped develop Scottsdale, Arizona into a western center of handcrafted arts. New took the trade name Kiva in 1946, and the Lloyd Kiva Studio built an affluent clientele and earned national acclaim for handbags, clothing, and printed textiles throughout the 1950s. In 1961, New changed his career path, accepting a position as Art Director at the newly formed Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). New was appointed director of IAIA in 1967 and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1978. Although officially retired, New continued to be active in the Native arts community, serving on the Indian Arts and Crafts board, several boards of national museums, and engaging in writing and speaking engagements world-wide until his death in 2002.”

Bio from Institute of American Indian Arts. Check out some of the photos from their exhibition of New’s work.r

Stay tuned for more Native & Indigenous artistic excellence!

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