Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week: Celebrating Indigenous Designers and Culture

Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week: Celebrating Indigenous Designers and Culture

The Southwestern Association for American Indian Arts (SWAIA) is proud to announce the inaugural Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week, scheduled to take place from May 2 to May 5 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Organized by SWAIA Indigenous Fashion, this groundbreaking event aims to showcase the talent and creativity of Indigenous fashion designers while celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples. Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week: Celebrating Indigenous Designers and Culture

Featuring an array of designers, including acclaimed names like Himikalas Pamela Baker, Orlando Dugi, and Patricia Michaels, who have previously participated in SWAIA’s annual Indigenous Fashion Show during the Santa Fe Indian Market in August, the fashion week will introduce a fresh format, with a particular focus on emerging designers.

Jamie Schulze, Executive Director of SWAIA, commends the vision and dedication of curator and art historian Amber-Dawn Bear Robe (Siksika Nation), who pioneered the Indigenous Fashion Show a decade ago. Schulze emphasizes the event’s evolution, from a modest showcase to a highly anticipated highlight of the Santa Fe Indian Market.

Reflecting on the significance of Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week, Bear Robe expresses her aspiration for it to become a global platform for Native designers and models. Santa Fe’s unique cultural landscape, with its vibrant arts scene and Indigenous community, provides an ideal setting for such an event, she notes.

The fashion week promises an immersive experience, featuring four days of fashion shows, panel discussions, and a launch celebration. With an anticipated attendance of 3,000 to 4,000 people, the aim is to amplify the voices of Native designers and elevate their presence in the fashion industry.

Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week: Celebrating Indigenous Designers and Culture

The event will spotlight 18 fashion designers, a significant increase from the summer market show’s maximum of eight designers. Additionally, approximately 30 Native artists specializing in accessories will showcase and sell their work, adding further diversity and creativity to the event.

While Santa Fe has previously hosted fashion weeks, this marks the first dedicated to Indigenous fashion. Schulze underscores the importance of cultural representation, emphasizing the event’s role in highlighting the individual cultures, languages, and traditions of Native American communities.

Despite coinciding with the Met Gala, one of fashion’s most prominent events, Schulze remains optimistic about the success of Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week. Partnering with the city of Santa Fe for the event, she acknowledges the challenge but views it as an opportunity to establish the event’s presence in the fashion calendar.

The relevance of events like the Santa Fe Indian Market cannot be overstated, Schulze emphasizes, as they contribute significantly to the preservation of traditional cultures and techniques while also providing economic opportunities for Indigenous artists and communities.

Indigenous designers have been gaining visibility on red carpets, with actors like Lily Gladstone showcasing their work. Collaborations between Indigenous designers and fashion labels, such as Gucci and Ralph Lauren, further spotlight Indigenous talent and craftsmanship.

As Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week prepares to make its debut, it stands as a testament to the creativity, resilience, and diversity of Indigenous fashion. Through this celebration of culture and design, the event aims to foster greater recognition and appreciation for Indigenous artists and their contributions to the fashion industry.

Stay tuned for updates and highlights from Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week, where fashion and culture converge in a celebration of Indigenous creativity and heritage.

The National Indigenous Cultural Centre (NICC) is an Indigenous home. We provide Indigenous products, music, art and news. If you want Indigenous gifts and merchandise, bush tucker food at your next event or Indigenous entertainment at your next party, expo or conference, feel free to contact us! Visit our page:

Tony Clemenger

Chief Executive Officer

0419 431 649

Level 1 397 Chapel Street South Yarra 3141


Write a comment