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On this day, people across the country meet with family and friends for Thanksgiving. While the celebrated American holiday has become a special moment to practice gratitude or to prepare for Black Friday, it is revisionist (and frankly naïve) not to acknowledge the historical realities of the day. To count on the documented discrimination, dehumanization and slaughter of the Native Americans by the early white settlers is not the simplest conversation at the dining table. But instead of avoiding it, we have decided to honor the ancestors of our country and the history of all American by highlighting an ascending voice from the indigenous Community in the fashion world. In advance, you will hear from talented creator Shondina Lee about her own journey as a Navajo fashion woman, including her recent campaign with Wrangler and the emerging Native American brands that can help you with your wallet. But first a little about her …
How long have you been interested in fashion and why did you decide to start your own blog?
I was interested in fashion when I attended college. The beginning of my blog was really a creative starting point for me to write and combine my love of fashion, modeling, writing and photo shoots.
What influences your personal style the most? How did growing up in a reserve affect the way you style, if at all?
Growing up in the reserve definitely had an impact on my style, and still because I'm inspired by the older generation and look at old pictures.
Which three garments you can not do without?
A denim jacket, a high-waisted pants and turtleneck sweater!
And what is the impact of the Wrangler campaign?
I was able to shed some light on all the amazing aboriginal talents. It was really special for me to see an authentic representation with a cult brand like Wrangler. They gave me creative freedom and I appreciated that. I hope it helps or inspires the indigenous youth in some way. I want them to know that such things are possible for people like us, that they are proud of who they are and what they look like.
What do you want to change about the fashion industry, both from the perspective of a model / creator and a woman with color?
I want more women in color to lead the fashion industry! When I work with others, it's always important for me to have an indigenous cast.
Emme is a fashion brand from New York by Korina Emmerich. The designer has made waves in the fashion industry with her colorful designs inspired by her heritage from the Pacific Northwest Puyallup. Lee told us, "She made a shirt of recycled men's clothing, and it's one of my favorite pieces right now, and her attitude to indigenous fashion is like a breath of fresh air."
Ginew is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and was founded by married couple Erik Brodt and Amanda Bruegl. It is also the only indigenous denim company in the world. But not only denim is sold. It offers a variety of androgynous pieces inspired by the founder's collective tribal roots. "Their clothes fit my sense of style, which is why I'm so attracted to them," Lee said, and we understand it.
3. Maya Stewart
Maya Stewart is a Los Angeles-based designer whose luxury accessory brand has developed the following: her high quality leather bags were worn by Jennifer Lawrence, Kerry Washington and even Lee. In fact, Lee said to us, "I have one of their pouches and I swear I used them every day for a good year. It is still one of my favorites! "
Next: Ten designers talk openly about why the industry is averse