Vancouver Indigenous Trend Week (VIFW) was introduced in 2017 by founder Joleen Mitton with the intention to spotlight and help Native vogue talent. Mitton—who is a Plains Cree model cofounder of Supernaturals Modelling, an Indigenous modeling agency—wanted to produce a location for these designers to showcase their operate that was centered all over their culture’s stories and values. “VIFW is vital for our Indigenous circular economy—for designers and artisans to connect with each and every other and their supporters,” Mitton tells Vogue. “It’s also crucial for Indigenous youth to see fantastic function designs, so that they can sense empowered to be resourceful [To see] that our society, our traditions, and our individuals are lovely and have earned to be celebrated.”
Following a two-yr hiatus due to the pandemic, VIFW is making its grand return to the Canadian town this week, functioning right up until December 1. “The last couple of decades have been difficult for Indigenous communities, so I felt it was significant to host VIFW in person and hook up with individuals in true life,” says Mitton. With the pandemic disproportionally influencing this demographic, Mitton claims the will need to rejoice and uplift Indigenous designers was very important this period. “We also wished to pay back homage to all those who are no lengthier with us,” suggests Mitton.
Last night time, VIFW kicked off with its signature Red Dress gala, where veteran Indigenous designers this sort of as Dorothy Grant and Yolonda Skelton showcased garments that spend tribute to missing and murdered Indigenous girls (MMIW), women, LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit persons. (The shade purple has arrive to symbolize the MMIW motion.) This 7 days, there will also be above 40 Indigenous sellers using part of a shoppable sector spot, and trend shows devoted to West Coastline design and style and Indigenous futurism. Streetwear labels this kind of as Mobilize will display how Indigenous traditions can be translated into contemporary apparel. “It’s significant to demonstrate our Indigenous elders that we are thriving,” suggests Mitton.
In honor of the function this 7 days, meet 11 Indigenous designers beneath who are value figuring out at VIFW.