The Indigenous fashion scene is positively booming. Native designers are using their talents to craft everything from high-end jewelry to hoodies and streetwear emblazoned with statements of Indigenous solidarity and pride.
Seeing as how November is Native American Heritage Month, Byrdie put together this list of 13 of our favorite Indigenous-owned fashion brands. If you support Indigenous causes, put some money where your mouth is and shop Native this month (and every month hereafter). Below, read more about the Indigenous-owned brands we're loving.
B.Yellowtail owner Bethany Yellowtail (Crow/Apsáalooke Nation, Northern Cheyenne) says the goal for her brand is, “to share authentic indigenous designs with the world.” She’s succeeded so far, with the brand winning attention from publications like Vogue and brands like Visa. B.Yellowtail’s clothing is all over the map in a good way, meaning there’s something cool for everyone to wear, whether you’re looking for a statement sweatshirt, a beautiful silk scarf, or even a summery wrap dress.
The only Native-owned denim brand, Ginew is co-owned by a native couple: Amanda Bruegl (Oneida, Stockbridge-Munsee) and Erik Brodt (Ojibwe). Together the pair channel their shared heritage into crafting denim, outerwear, and accessories that they say are all about living well. Using high-end and locally crafted materials, Ginew crafts everything from coats to jeans to blankets and has collaborated with companies like Pendleton and Dehen 1920.
Jamie Okuma is Luiseno, Shoshone-Bannock, Wailaki, and Okinawan. She’s also an amazing fashion designer and artist who has exhibited at museums all over the world—in fact, her work is in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Her one-of-a-kind clothing line, Jokuma, blends art and fashion, and her pieces have big, bold patterns, unique color combinations, and eye-catching designs. They’re also competitively priced, meaning anyone can own a piece of Okuma’s work.
Warren Steven Scott
A jewelry company that specializes in contemporary Indigenous design, Warren Steven Scott makes incredible abstract acrylic earrings as well as ebullient, brightly colored clothing. Scott is part of the Nlaka’pamux Nation and a member of Boothroyd First Nation and takes inspiration from Native design and Pacific Northwest culture when choosing shapes to use in his own work. He’s also interested in gender expression and fluidity and the idea of taking traditional fashion aesthetics and giving them a modern twist.
A collective of about 40 Indigenous artists and craftspeople from the Turtle Mountain Chippewa tribe, Beyond Buckskin sells clothing, jewelry, and a whole range of stunning accessories, from woven baskets to beaded jewelry. We love their “Land Back” crop tees and zig zag cowl scarves, which seem great for chilly mornings in North Dakota. Since they do sell such a wide range of cool stuff, there really is something for everyone.
Vancouver-based brand Section 35 is owned by Justin Louis, a Nehiyaw/Plains Cree designer who’s committed to bringing authentic Native representation to the streetwear world. He’s certainly succeeded so far, teaming up with brands like New Era to produce a line of very cool baseball-inspired “Red Mox” outerwear and apparel. Their unisex clothing is uber-cool and laid back, plus the brand is relatively size-inclusive, making some items like this stunning faux-fur coat in sizes equivalent to a women’s 22.
While it’s great to have statement pieces for nights out on the town, sometimes you just need a good pair of leggings to work out or bum around the house in. Soul Curiosity has you covered, with owner Tessa Sayers (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) channeling her interest in holistic healing and the medicine wheel into athleisure apparel that’s both cute and soul-enhancing. All of Soul Curiosity’s gear is also surprisingly well priced, with swimsuits and leggings both starting at about $60.
Calgary-based Dorian Kitsch (Métis) has been making jewelry since 2010 and it’s paid off: She’s been able to expand her CoutuKitsch brand into Hudson’s Bay locations across Canada, as well as a storefront in her city’s Inglewood neighborhood. With pieces that are dainty and on trend, CoutuKitsch caters to women who love stacking necklaces and earrings, plus anyone who’s looking for fully customizable charm bracelets and pendants.
Another great Indigenous-owned jewelry brand, Indi City creates Native-inspired accessories that literally anyone can wear. Owned by Two-Spirit creators Angel and Alex, Indi City embraces the idea that art and fashion can create political and personal dialog. The work reflects that, with collections inspired by traditional Native art and culture, but crafted with a more modern touch. Indi City’s oversized earrings aren’t for the meek of heart, but that’s a good thing: Sometimes a piece of statement jewelry is all you need if you’re really looking to start a conversation.
If you’re looking for a warm pair of winter boots, you really can’t go wrong with a pair of Manitobah. Known as “the original winter boot of Canada,” the mukluks are advertised as being “the warmest winter boot in the world,” and come in a variety of styles and designs. They’re warm and waterproof, and if you’ve already got a pair but they need a little fix, Manitobah also sells care kits. The brand is Indigenous-founded and operated and not only frequently collaborates with Indigenous designers and makers for special collections, but has also made a commitment to produce at least 20 percent of their boots in an Indigenous-owned facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Born In The North
A super chic streetwear line out of Toronto, Born In The North is owned by a pair of Mi’kmaq twins who use their designs to shout out their Indigenous heritage and culture. A lot of their styles pay tribute to traditional medicine, like this cool Online Ceramics-style long sleeve tee that shouts out “the power of plants.” Born In The North is also cool because of the custom accessories they’ve produced, like pins, patches, and even lightweight bandannas.
A size-inclusive designer from the Anishinaabe tribe, Lesley Hampton creates everything from gowns to sports bras. While the dresses are certainly beautiful statement pieces, we’re more here for the latter at the moment, as Hampton has created a line of athleisure that’s both chic and comfortable-looking. The company also deserves props for its commitment to slow fashion, meaning the majority of its items are made to order, eco-friendly, and cost-conscious for both the business and the consumer.
Lauren Good Day
An Arikara, Hidatsa, Blackfoot, and Plains Cree artist, Lauren Good Day has used her eponymous brand to craft clothing that she says is perfect for “the culturally confident, the fashionista, the collector, and the Native arts appreciator.” Her work often features beautiful colors and prints, with her fall 2022 collection, Indomitable, boasting stunning floral motifs set among colorful geometric designs, all meant to suggest the beauty of the Northern Plains. While many of her pieces are surprisingly affordable for a small maker, we also covet her pricier wares, including this parade riders leather tote, which is just too perfect.