Canadian Indigenous fashion comes to New York Fashion Week

New York Indigenous Fashion Week kicked off in Mana hatta on Saturday, September 10, with a flurry of Indigenous designers from Canada displaying their culture on the runway.

Set in the Hotel Edison ballroom in the heart of Mana hatta, the show included Canadian Indigenous designers Stephanie Gamble, Tishynah Buffalo, Sandra Froher, Doneese Bull-Buffallo and Natasha Peter.

The show opened with Native American cultural dances from three performers and models.

Native Canadian dancer performs on the runway. Photo credit: Emma Ruben National Indigenous Times.
A model walks the runway. Photo credit: Emma Ruben National Indigenous Times.
A model walks the runway. Photo credit: Emma Ruben National Indigenous Times.

One of the models, River Thomas, recently appeared in Vogue before taking part in New York Indigenous Fashion Week.

Cree designer from the Beardys and Okemasis nation, Stephanie Gamble brought her designs and a team of models from Canada to New York City for the runway.

Her collection Project Iskotew, tells a history of the word Iskotew, meaning fire in Cree, and it’s connection to women.


What a treat to experience Native American culture, art and design at the Indigenous Fashion Show during New York Fashion Week! Featured here is the amazing talents of Stephanie Gamble of C.lysias Designs. #nativeamerican #indigenous #nyfw #boujeenatives #inspiring

♬ Boujee Natives – Snotty Nose Rez Kids

Gamble said it was an Elder who told her a story of how the Cree word for women, Iskew is so similar to the word for fire.

“I heard a story that women were named after fire because they provide warmth and comfort,” she said.

“It really stuck to me and I was just like I got to use that fire.

“It starts off with a spark and it creates a bonfire and we got to spread like wildfire to raise awareness.”

Gamble said her current line was inspired by her desire to raise awareness of the history of having native children be taken and displaced.

“I was in foster care too. So I kind of have the feeling of being taken away from my family and displaced,” she said.

“The inspiration of collection was like a mosaic…they take all these bits of broken pieces and put them together to make something beautiful.”

Native Canadian designers at New York Indigenous Fashion Week:

  • C. Lysias Designs by Stephanie Gamble
  • Eco Tripping by Sandra Froher
  • Tishynah Buffalo Designs by Tishynah Buffalo
  • Doneese Bull Designs by Doneese Buffalo-Bill
  • Dena Kaska Designs by Natasha Peter

New York Indigenous Fashion Week concluded September 10.

  • The New York Trip was supported by Roy Hill and Paspaley

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