13 Native American Makers to Watch
Categories: Fashion

13 Native American Makers to Watch

Native American art is full of things we love — bright colors, intricate beadwork and bold patterns. From gorgeous dresses to cool studs and so much more, many of today’s Native American designers are making that art wearable. We’re talking about fashion that’s much deeper and richer than any knockoffs you might fight at your run-of-the-mill retailer, inspired by history, culture and plenty of storytelling. If you’re looking to up your wardrobe to the level of art, then you’re going to want to start shopping these designers right now.

1. b.Yellowtail: Bethany Yellowtail combines the unique history of the Apsáalooke and Northern Cheyenne Nations’ design with her formal training at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise to create bold, modern pieces like this cute midi skirt and crop top combo ($180).

2. Kevin Yazzie: Coming from a famous Navajo jewelry-making family in New Mexico, Kevin Yazzie has amazing skills and designs, as seen in his Copper Arrow Bracelet ($30).

3. Penny Singer: Penny Singer is a Navajo fashion designer well known for her gorgeous appliqué clothing and accessories. This Appliqué Clutch ($25) is perfect for a night out.

4. Edzerza Gallery: Founded by Alano Edzerza, a Tahltan multimedia artist and entrepreneur, Edzerza Gallery features a wonderful blend of fashion and art. Edzerza has a penchant for bright, colorful streetwear like this awesome tank ($28). They also have some of the brightest, boldest leggings out there.

5. Michael Adams: Michael Adams started by crafting jewelry from gourd plants, and now has a multi-medium accessories label. Strongly influenced by his upbringing on the Hopi reservation in Northern Arizona, his love of lightweight materials and bold color is especially magical in these rain cloud studs ($35).

6. LUXX: Sleek fabrics, classic silhouettes and intricate beadwork are the hallmarks of LUXX ready-to-wear garments made by fashion designer Derek Jagodzinsky.

7. Tchin Designs: As an internationally known designer, Tchin is inspired by his Narrangansett/Blackfeet heritage and translates this tradition into one-of-a-kind contemporary pieces. We’re pretty sure we have to have these turquoise earrings ($325).

8. Rebelina Accessories: Candace Halcro, the creator of Rebelina, uses Native American tradition to inspire her hand-beaded sunglasses ($60), the likes of which have gained a fair amount of impressive attention recently (we’re talking the Fashion Editor from ELLE France magazine, people!).

9. Caroline Blechert: Classifying her art as a blend of her urban settings and personal cultural background, Caroline Blechert crafts beautiful pieces, like these quill beaded earrings ($145).

10. Nishology: A street wear brand founded by artist and graphic designer Chad Earles, Nishology celebrates the unique history and designs of his heritage. We’re mesmerized by this pullover ($32) titled Kah-o’-shun, which means “dance” in Caddoan.

11. Peace Love TSOul: The brainchild of a Navajo brother-sister duo, this jewelry line specializes in traditionally inspired statement pieces like this stitched beaded bangle ($65).

12. Nanibaa Beck: This accessories line features hand-carved silver pieces with meaningful words and phrases. For example, this necklace ($75), features the word “Hózhó,” which is Navajo for the concept of balance and harmony.

13. Samantha Hunter: Having learned how to sew from her mother, Samantha expertly crafts colorful, powwow-inspired appliqué totes ($60). Her inspiration for her bright designs come from Apache.

Who’s your favorite designer from this bunch? Share in the comments below.

(Featured image via Angela Gzowski for Caroline Blechert)