A Milestone for Indigenous Creativity

The Southwestern Association for American Indian Arts (SWAIA) is thrilled to unveil a groundbreaking initiative in the realm of fashion: the inaugural Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week, scheduled to take place from May 2 to May 5, 2024, in the vibrant city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. This momentous event marks a significant step forward for Indigenous designers across North America, providing a platform for their talent and creativity to shine.

  • What: Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week
  • Where: Santa Fe, NM
  • When: May 2-5, 2024
  • Tickets: from free and open to the public up to $250
  • Lodging: hotel suites up to 4-bedroom homes

At its core, the Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week is a testament to the tireless efforts of SWAIA, a venerable organization with a 101-year legacy of promoting Indigenous art and culture. Renowned for its iconic Santa Fe Indian Market held annually in August, SWAIA has embarked on a new venture to further amplify Indigenous voices in the world of fashion.

Humble Beginnings

The journey towards the establishment of Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week traces back to the humble beginnings of the Indigenous Fashion Show, pioneered by SWAIA a decade ago. Conceived with minimal resources and a vision for celebrating Indigenous aesthetics, this grassroots event has evolved into a nationally recognized platform under the stewardship of curator and art historian, Amber-Dawn Bear Robe, hailing from the Siksika Nation.

Reflecting on the evolution of the Indigenous Fashion Show, Bear Robe expresses her gratitude for the unwavering support of both SWAIA and the City of Santa Fe. From its modest inception to its current manifestation, the event has garnered momentum, culminating in the realization of a long-held dream: the launch of Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week.

SWAIA Indigenous Fashion Week Jessica Matten

All photos curtesy of SWAIA Native Fashion Week. https://swaianativefashion.org/

Beacon of Empowerment

The significance of this event extends beyond its four-day duration. Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week is poised to become a beacon of empowerment and representation for Indigenous designers who have often been marginalized within the mainstream fashion industry. By providing a platform for their voices to be heard and their artistry to be celebrated, the event aims to challenge existing narratives and redefine perceptions of Indigenous fashion.

Diverse Creativity from the US and Canada

Central to the ethos of Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week is the celebration of Indigenous talent and innovation. Through a series of fashion symposia, soirées, and runway shows, the event will showcase the diverse creativity of designers from the United States and Canada. From traditional craftsmanship to contemporary interpretations, each collection represents a fusion of art, design, and cultural heritage.

In anticipation of the event, SWAIA Indigenous Fashion has launched a dedicated website, swaianativefashion.org, and a vibrant Instagram channel (@swaianativefashion) to engage with a global audience. With its sights set on the future, Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week aspires to establish Santa Fe, New Mexico, as a global destination for Indigenous fashion, fostering continued growth and collaboration within the industry.

SWAIA Indigenous Fashion Week designers

A Testament of Resilience, Creativity, and Cultural Richness

As the countdown to Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week begins, there is palpable excitement within the Indigenous fashion community and beyond. This inaugural event represents a milestone and a catalyst for change—a testament to Indigenous peoples’ resilience, creativity, and cultural richness. As we embark on this historic journey, we invite all to join us in celebrating Indigenous fashion on a national platform as we pave the way for a more inclusive and vibrant future.