Indigenous Peoples’ Day is officially October 9, but the time to amplify indigenous designers is year-round. With that in mind, we’re highlighting some rising artists whose designs are deeply rooted in storytelling and sustainability. Purchasing a piece directly from these brands ensures these designers can properly own their narrative and share the story behind each piece, from the unique materials used to the craft practices of their respective lineage.
“For far too long, Native designs have been appropriated by the fashion industry and oftentimes without involving our voices or benefitting any of our communities,” Bethany Yellowtail, the designer behind B.Yellowtail, said. “When you make the choice to purchase directly from Indigenous creatives, you are investing in our people, our families, and most importantly supporting the continuation of our culture – without the appropriation.”
Sustainability and respect for the Earth are also at the forefront of Indigenous brands as they prioritize creating small batches, utilizing recycled materials, and producing one-of-a-kind or made-to-order pieces. These brands are quickly gaining name recognition in various ways. One avenue is the growing success of events like Indigenous Fashion Week in Toronto and Yaamava’ Fashion Daze at the Yaamava’ Resort & Casino in Highland, CA, created to honor the richness of Native American style and culture.
These labels are also being amplified on the red carpet by celebrities like Amber Midthunder who loves to wear Jamie Okuma among others and Quannah Chasinghorse who gravitates toward designs by Red Berry Woman.
Keep scrolling to learn more about these standout indigenous brands – some in the designers’ own words.