Vancouver Indigenous Vogue Week (VIFW) was launched in 2017 by founder Joleen Mitton with the intention to highlight and help Native vogue expertise. Mitton—who’s a Plains Cree mannequin cofounder of Supernaturals Modelling, an Indigenous modeling company—needed to create a spot for these designers to showcase their work that was centered round their tradition’s tales and values. “VIFW is essential for our Indigenous round financial system—for designers and artisans to attach with one another and their supporters,” Mitton tells Vogue. “It is also essential for Indigenous youth to see good function fashions, in order that they will really feel empowered to be inventive; [To see] that our tradition, our traditions, and our individuals are lovely and should be celebrated.”
After a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic, VIFW is making its grand return to the Canadian metropolis this week, working till December 1. “The final couple of years have been tough for Indigenous communities, so I felt it was essential to host VIFW in individual and join with folks in actual life,” says Mitton. With the pandemic disproportionally affecting this demographic, Mitton says the necessity to rejoice and uplift Native designers was essential this season. “We additionally needed to pay homage to those that are not with us,” says Mitton.
Final night time, VIFW kicked off with its signature Purple Costume gala, the place veteran Indigenous designers corresponding to Dorothy Grant and Yolonda Skelton showcased clothes that pay tribute to lacking and murdered Indigenous girls (MMIW), ladies, LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit folks. (The colour pink has come to represent the MMIW motion.) This week, there can even be over 40 Indigenous distributors taking a part of a shoppable market place, and vogue exhibits dedicated to West Coast design and Indigenous futurism. Streetwear labels corresponding to Mobilize will show how Indigenous traditions will be translated into trendy clothes. “It’s essential to indicate our Indigenous elders that we’re thriving,” says Mitton.
In honor of the occasion this week, meet 11 Indigenous designers beneath who’re price realizing at VIFW.