Many Indigenous peoples tell beloved stories through their designs resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces that capture a moment a time. Here are seven designers from different communities across Canada whom we think you should know.
Warren Steven Scott
Warren Steven Scott is a fashion designer and tailor and is best known for his contemporary jewelry designs. Scott is a member of Nlaka’pamux Nation located in present day British Columbia. His earrings have been featured in many magazines and are sold in art museums across Canada. Scott describes his designs as Western contemporary luxury with an ancestral lens. Find his earrings and more here.
Justine Woods is an extremely talented garment artist, designer, educator and more! Her most recent work was her thesis exhibition at Ontario College of Art and Design titled I love you as much as all the beads in the universe: a garment-based inquiry into re-stitching alternative worlds of love. This exhibition reframes the methods of construction and beading focusing on decolonization, honouring, celebrating and mobilizing Indigenous culture. Justine Woods is part of the Georgian Bay Métis Community. Find more of her work here.
Assinewe Jewelry was created and founded by twin sisters Edie and Jacquelyn Assinewe. Edie makes beaded earrings, incorporating beautiful Ojibwe styles and techniques into her work. While Jacquelyn creates clay earrings, each piece and design having a connection to Indigenous culture. The twins are both members of Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation. Find more of these up and coming jewelry designers here.
Evan Ducharme is a multidisciplinary Métis artist and designer. His work focuses on made-to-order and custom pieces. Evan's designs can be seen in magazines such as FASHION and have been featured on vogue.com. More recently, through a partnership with Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto, Evan Ducharme’s designs can now be found in the Canadian department store Simons. His work explores ideas of Métis identity and reclaiming Indigenous sexuality, all while using environmentally conscious practices. See his shop for more.
Curtis Oland is a multidisciplinary artist working in fashion, film, costume and sculpture. His designs have been at fashion weeks across the country and his work has also been featured at the International Fashion Showcase at Somerset House in London. Oland's beautifully layered garments and interesting silhouettes are inspired by his connection to his Indigenous Lil’Wat heritage and the ancestral land around him. See more of Curtis Oland’s work here.
Lavinia Van Heuvelen created LVH Jewelry after completing the Jewellery and Metalwork program at Nunavut Arctic College. Her work incorporates northern elements and she uses materials such as sterling silver and natural objects found in Iqaluit. LVH's work has been featured at Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto and her pieces are inspired by the artist’s Inuit heritage. You can find many of her pieces in galleries and shops across Canada. See more of her work here.
Inuk is an Inuvialuit multidisciplinary designer specializing in accessory design and is considered a Master Caribou hair tufter. Inuk uses sustainably harvested arctic furs and leathers in her designs. Inuk 360 is a family run business, with Inuk’s mother and brother aiding her work, which has been featured at Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto. Shop her beautiful earrings and cuffs here.
Images attributed to the featured designers.