Feb. 22, 2016
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor a Native Fashion Show at the upcoming biennial Celebration in Juneau, in an effort to showcase and encourage the integration of Alaska Native art into high-fashion pieces. The show is open to all Alaska Native artists.
Native fashion design has exploded across the country, and in recent years, more Northwest Coast artists have been making contemporary apparel and jewelry that incorporate Native designs.
“We are seeing an evolution in high-fashion Native clothing that draws from our regalia,” said SHI President Rosita Worl, who credited the longtime Haida designer Dorothy Grant as one of the first to incorporate Northwest Coast designs into fashion. “It is not regalia—it’s clothing. However, like regalia, it identifies us. It tells the world who we are, and we want to encourage these designers.”
The show is an offshoot of Native fashion shows recently sponsored by SHI at the Santa Fe Indian Market and the institute’s 2014 Tináa Art Auction in Juneau that were hugely popular with audiences, said Worl, noting the show might become a regular event at Celebration if people are receptive. SHI formed a committee to help develop the show. The committee, which consists of artists, runway models, designers and others who have worked on fashion shows, includes Alyssa London, Crystal Worl, Maka Monture, Louise Kadinger, Jackie Pata, and Alison Bremner.
Designers must apply to exhibit in the show by May 1. Applicants must be age 18 or older and American Indian or Alaska Native. The show will be held on June 10 in Shuká Hít (the clan house) in the Walter Soboleff Building during Celebration, which runs June 8-11 in Juneau.
Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.
CONTACT: Rosita Worl, SHI President, 907.463.4844
Caption: Model at SHI’s Tináa Art Auction, Native Fashion Show, 2014. Photo by Steve Quinn, courtesy of Sealaska Heritage Institute.