Cultural appropriation over the past few years — Victoria’s Secret fashion show in 2012, the thoughtless wearing of headdresses at music festivals and Dsquared2’s collection initially called #Dsquaw to name a few examples — have been catalysts for a revolution in fashion.
Helen Oro, Tori-Lynn Wanotch, Devon Fiddler, MaryLou Mintram and Candace Linklator are the brains behind Her 4 Directions, a fashion collective based in Saskatchewan, that’s part of this revolution in Indigenous fashion and design.
The collective works with small businesses and promotes Indigenous designers, as well as creates awareness about important issues, like missing and murdered Indigenous women and the need for economic opportunities. They recently opened a boutique in Saskatoon.
Oro and Wanotch spoke to Women's eNews about the shifts in fashion, about their collective and about the importance of supporting local Indigenous designers.
"In an industry where indigenous designs are so sought after we should not have designers who are just making ends meet," Wanotch noted. "We should be able to move forward into prosperity."
"I'm not well off. I have a young family and all of the money I make goes to my family," Oro said. "A lot of these women (designers) are single mothers and they make stuff because they want to share their culture but they also want to make money."
Image source: facebook