Toronto is getting its first ever Indigenous Fashion Week and it’s been a long time coming.
The fashion industry is embracing the final frontier of inclusivity with the launch of a show that highlights “distinct and progressive Indigenous artists working in fashion, textiles and craft.”
It will be taking place at the Harbourfront Centre from May 31 to June 3, with 23 designers and artists from all across Canada, U.S. and Greenland in attendance.
The show will empower Indigenous artists and designers by giving them a platform for their work as well as an important place in the industry.
Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto (IFWTO) will include runway showcases, an exhibition, panels and lectures, hands-on workshops, and a marketplace in which 75 per cent of the featured work is by Indigenous women artists.
“Indigenous fashion can redefine mainstream fashion and art: our fashion illustrates our stories, traditions, sovereignty and resiliency,” said artistic director and founder Sage Paul in a press release. “IFWTO is about carving out space for Indigenous fashion, craft and textiles.”
The week will feature more than 40 vendors in Indigenous fashion, food, cosmetics, lifestyle, craft and textiles.
There will also be multi-day hands-on workshops for Indigo and black walnut dyeing, Navajo rug weaving as well as panels to help attendees understand Indigenous fashion, cultural appropriation and the storytelling behind Indigenous clothes.