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First US Indigenous Fashion Week coming to Santa Fe

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a new chapter for the arts in Santa Fe on the runway. The group behind the longstanding Indian Market now has plans for the very first Native Indigenous Fashion Week dedicated to native clothing designs. 

“It’s tradition. Vibrant, alive, you know, and deep,” stated fashion designer Orlando Dugi. 

Creating intricate clothing has always been a part of Orlando Dugi’s life. Designing for almost 11 years, Dugi’s also taken part in a lot of fashion shows. Now, he’s ready for the first-ever US Indigenous Fashion Week, taking place next spring in Santa Fe. 

“The SWAIA Indigenous Fashion Show Runway is a chance to highlight the diversity and hopefully get into the history of what Indigenous Fashion means,” explained Amber-Dawn Bear Robe, SWAIA fashion show director and producer. 

Bear Robe is putting it all together as a four-day event at the Santa Fe Convention Center. They’re planning for a symposium with guest speakers focused on Indigenous fashion and culture. 

“There’s no one way to define Indigenous Fashion. Indigenous Fashion is unique to its creator, to its artist, to its designers to each region,” said Bear Robe. 

Growing up, Dugi said he had less representation of Indigenous designers in fashion. He hopes the new event will serve as inspiration for the next generation of designers. 

“It’s just amazing, you know. It feels good because now younger people, the new generations that aren’t here yet, they have a point of reference, something to look up to,” said Dugi. 

SWAIA said they’re currently looking for models for their 2024 Fashion Week Show. If you’re interested in applying, you can visit their website

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