“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning who you are, which takes years. There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self-expression and, above all, attitude.” – Iris Apfel
Fashion and culture have always been intertwined. On the one hand, culture dictates how fashion develops and how it’s expressed; on the other, fashion provides insight into a culture and tells us more about its people.
Fashion is a significant part of one’s cultural identity, and this is precisely why cultural appropriation in the world of fashion is such an issue today.
So, instead of glorifying high-end brands that shamelessly appropriate other cultures, let’s celebrate astounding indigenous brands around the world that give fashion a new meaning.
Sandra Okuma and her daughter Jamie Okuma are both fantastic artists from the La Jolla Indian Reservation. Sandra became renowned for her unique bags and accessories with Native American motifs, while Jamie has launched a new line that blends modern designs with her cultural heritage.
Maxhosa is a unique knitwear brand established by the South African creative genius Laduma Ngxokolo. His designs are out of this world, as he fabulously combined traditional Xhosa aesthetics with modern apparel and accessories. He even designs home decor items that’ll make your house just as fashionable as you.
Sophie Nzinga Sy has established her fashion brand Sophie Zinga to share her Senegalese culture and global artistic experiences with the world. Her designs are a unique combination of cosmopolitan fashion and tradition. The minimalist apparel is made of handmade Senegalese cloth and silks, and several pieces even contain semi-precious stones.
Louise Solomon designs intricate pieces of jewelry that are as modern as they are traditional. Her work is inspired by the culture of Ojibwe people who celebrate Mother Earth and all she has to offer. Louise’s astounding collection will leave you breathless, so make sure to check it out.
Lisa Folawiyo is a Nigerian designer goddess whose apparel is genuinely breathtaking. Although she had no formal fashion training, her successful line is already making waves in the industry. She’s been featured in Vogue Italia, and you can experience some of her designs first-hand in Selfridges.
Beautiful People was established by the talented Hidenori Kumakiri, a Japanese designer who became known for his skilled pattern-making.
Not only are his works a great representation of his culture, but they’re timeless pieces that will appeal to any fashion enthusiast.
Kumakiri has shown interest in ethical fashion, and he’s slowly moving to sustainable fabrics.
Mame Kurogouchi has established her eponymous brand to showcase how versatile fashion can be when blended with culture. Her earthy tones and nature-inspired pieces can suit anyone’s taste and style, and they can be easily mixed and matched to help you express your fashion sense.
The Bottom Line
Indigenous fashion brands are slowly gaining global recognition. Their designs are simply breathtaking, and their novel approach to fashion is awe-inspiring.
If you’d like to stand out with your indigenous designs and ideas, contact us at Elements Production to breathe new life into your art.