We are honoured to have been involved with Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto (IFWTO) which launched May 31 – June 3, 2018 at the Harbourfront Centre. IFWTO presented the most distinct and progressive Indigenous artists working in fashion, textiles and craft. The week included showcases, curated exhibitions, artist talks, panels, lectures, hands-on workshops, and a trade and consumer marketplace, programming 60% or more Indigenous women artists and their works in fashion, textiles and craft.

We supported the Creative Incubation Lab a fashion image-making collaboration intersecting Indigenous fashion and Western image-making. We brought creative design team Foxall from the UK to join a group of curated Indigenous fashion and textile and two Indigenous screen-based media artists who also supported the image-making process. The curated fashion and textile artists worked with their collaborators to reimagine the artistic vision and identity of their works, challenging new and intuitive ideas with limited time and resources.

Over the course of three intense days, the curated artists  artistically led the group through producing new representations of their work, installed as a living art exhibit; a living exhibit is characterized by public, in-gallery production, installation and two days of static exhibition. This collaboration fostered artistic identity and vision for Indigenous fashion and textile artists. In addition to the exhibition, the group created a printed fanzine that was distributed during Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto.

Find out more the IFWTO program here!

Here are some photos from the Creative Incubation Lab!

Photos by Red Works

Participating Artists

Curtis Oland

Now based in London, United Kingdom, Curtis Oland is a fashion designer and artist originating from the Okanagan Valley of the Canadian Far West. Curtis won the Emerging Menswear Designer Award at Toronto Men's Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017 with his collection Oyama Lake. He has also been nominated for the Simons Fashion Design Student Award for the 2017 Canadian Art and Fashion Awards Gala in April of 2017.

Oland's connection to his indigenous Lil'Wat heritage, and his love for his supernatural homeland, are driving forces in his creative process. His memories of exploring the supernatural, mountainous landscape of Western Canada have stayed with him, and his connection to nature lives on through his work. His approach to design is the product of his multicultural upbringing, and concurrent experiences as a young world traveler and urbanite.

Curtis is currently working on Savile Row in London as a design and production intern for renowned tailor, Ozwald Boateng.

Janelle Wawia
Janelle Wawia is a self-taught artist from Opwaaganasiniing (Red Rock Band). A gifted contemporary Anishinaabe artist who traps on her family’s trap lines and incorporates traditional yet innovative fashion using fur and leather in her work. Her focus is on women and their connections to the land. She is an award winner for her fur work; a recipient in 2016 for the Barbara Laronde Award with Native Women in the Arts. She also contributes her time to art programs for youth.

Justin Louis

Lesley Hampton
Lesley Hampton is a Canadian First Nations designer, founder, and creative designer of LESLEY HAMPTON – The label. Born in 1994, Lesley nurtured a passion for the fashion industry and social-cultural issues from a young age. She is a graduate of the Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree program with the University of Toronto and Sheridan College, with a specialty in Art and Art History, and a concentration in Sculpture, Photography, and Videography. Today, she combines her studio and art history educational background with her ever-growing technical skills to develop progressive and inspirational collections. Lesley is a graduate from the Fashion Techniques and Design Diploma program at George Brown College in Toronto, ON. Lesley was recognized by the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards with her nomination for the 2018 Simons Fashion Design Student Award.

Sho Sho Esquiro
Sho Sho Esquiro is a Vancouver B.C. based haute couture fashion designer from Ross River, Yukon. She creates clothing that reflects her love of family and friends utilizing materials found in the Northern Territories including carp leather, seal skin, lynx fur and floral beadwork. She is known for her meticulous attention to detail and the mixing of fabric, furs, skins, shells and beadwork. In 2013 Sho Sho’s collection was featured during Haute Couture Fashion Week in NYC and in 2014 she represented Canada at Jessica Mihn Anh’s Fashion Phenomenon on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Awards include: 1st and 2nd Place (Textiles) from The Autry in Los Angeles; 1st Place (Beadwork) at The Eiteljorg in Minneapolis; 1st Place at the Heard Market (Textiles) and the Conrad House Award in Phoenix; and the 2016 Best of Division (Textiles) juried competition and Best in Show (Couture Fashion Competition) at the SWAIA Indian Market in Santa Fe.

Image Makers

Image making has been defined as the use of techniques of advertising or public relations to create a favourable view, as of a person or institution. Fashion image-making evolves as a multi-disciplinary and exploratory practice that centres design, fabric, textiles and craft around iconic, cultural and artistic expression.

Foxall Studio (London)
Foxall Studio is a London based creative practice that is focused on the future of image-making. Their work often divides technology and the act of depiction or expression before combining them again within specifically built environments. Alongside directing photography/motion/film the studio works across brand creation, creative strategy, graphic design, installation/exhibition design and art-direction. Brothers Andrew and Iain Foxall started the studio in 2006 to combine their experience and vision in art, fashion and innovation.

Nadya Kwandibens
Nadya Kwandibens is Ojibwe from the Animakee Wa Zhing #37 First Nation in northwestern Ontario. She is a portrait and events photographer and has travelled extensively across Canada for over 10 years. In 2008 she founded Red Works, a dynamic photography company empowering contemporary Indigenous lifestyles and cultures through photographic essays and features. Red Works also provides image-licensing, workshops, and presentations. Her photography has been shown in group and solo exhibitions across Canada and the United States.

Nyla Innuksuk
Nyla Innuksuk is a producer of film and virtual reality content.  She is the Founder of Mixtape VR, which produces VR and AR content. She wrote and produced the short film Kajutaijuq: The Spirit That Comes which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was included in TIFF Top 10. Innuksuk has worked with artists including Glenn Gould, Kent Monkman, as well as Tanya Tagaq and A Tribe Called Red. Her recent VR project with A Tribe Called Red, called DocX: A Tribe Called Red: Indian City 360°, is an immersive virtual reality that allows the audience to become a DJ,  mix their own track to the experience. Nyla Innuksuk is the imagineNATIVE AR/VR Artist in Residence 2018, consults regularly for Marvel Comics, and is a a member of the board of directors of both the Glenn Gould Foundation and the OMDC. She was recently selected by Google to be included in their exclusive Google Jump program for new media storytellers.