I’ve just reached the hundred-day mark on being quarantined and, like so many others, have decided to use that as an excuse to treat myself. What better way to do so than to buy from brands that are offering pages and pages of gorgeous earrings, t-shirts, silk scarves, beaded cuffs, and blankets? These twelve brands celebrate both Native cultural traditions and the way they have adapted and changed over time, combining long-established production techniques and patterns with the modern-day art of Native communities to make stunning clothing and accessories.
Founder and artist Keri Ataumbi believes that jewelry is more than just adornment, it’s art. Each piece from Ataumbi Metals follows through with that belief, using a variety of gemstones and metals to create pieces that seamlessly blend Ataumbi’s background in art theory with her Native heritage.
If you have a little extra cash to spend and are a fan of insanely beautiful silk dresses or intricately beaded earrings, look no further! Founded by Bethany Yellowtail of the Northern Cheyenne and Crow tribes, B. Yellowtail employs Native American artisans from across the country to create beautiful, bold pieces that simultaneously give a platform for Native designs and provide artisans with a market for their traditional works
This brand, named after founder and artist Santiago X, functions as a hybrid clothing brand-art gallery, blending the two seamlessly to try and spark discussions about ideas of a post-human world and the limitations we currently place on ourselves.
Since 2008, Eighth Generation has provided customers with colorful wool blankets designed by Native artists from six different tribes. And this brand doesn’t simply draw attention to Native designers. Click the drop-down “Shop” menu on their website and you’ll find a section called “Shop by Cause,” featuring products where a portion of the sale is given to specific charities.
Unlike the other names on our list, Beyond Buckskin Boutique isn’t a clothing or jewelry brand itself. Rather, it works to highlight artists and artisans, connecting consumers with over 40 different Native clothing and jewelry designers and Native-owned small businesses to buy from.
Etkie’s motto is “we invest in women,” and they certainly hold true to that. All of the brand’s products are handmade by female Navajo artisans in the New Mexico area who draw inspiration from traditional designs to make absolutely gorgeous beaded cuffs.
Since 2015, NATE has attempted to fill the gap in alternative pow wow apparel. The brand creates statement t-shirts (using water-based inks!) with graphic slogans and images to try and create a stronger sense of identity and belonging within the Native community.
The only Native-owned denim line currently in existence, Ginew got its start with simple belts made from Erik Brodt and Amanda Bruegl’s wedding buffalo. From there, their business grew into what it is today, a one-stop-shop for gorgeous pieces that incorporate traditional Native designs and patterns with denim jackets and vests.
mobilize began with a simple DIY project: taking a t-shirt that read “CHIEFIN” and using it to customize a plain denim jacket. Now the brand produces some of the coolest t-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets on the market, all inspired by the founder’s own research into his heritage and traditional Cree designs.
Delina White, founder and head artisan of I Am Anishinaabe, uses her designs to show the Anishinaabeg’s connection to the Great Lake region, incorporating natural materials like tree bark and shells to make beautifully hand-crafted earrings.
OXDX is more than just a clothing brand. It’s a way of educating people about Native issues through clothing. Graphic tees like the one shown above highlight current struggles in styles that draw inspiration from traditional Diné art forms.
If there’s one thing I’m weak for, it’s statement earrings, and Indi City more than provides. Each piece of jewelry from this brand is made with both contemporary trends and more traditional forms of design in mind, blending the two streams of inspiration effortlessly to create bold, colorful pieces that will have you typing in your card number before you know it.