Margaret Roach Wheeler (Chickasaw) for Mahota Handwovens, The Messenger (The Owl) cape and headpiece, from the Mahotan Collection, 2014. Silk-wool yarn; silk-wool yarn, metal, silver, glass beads, and peacock feathers.
Courtesy of the designer. Photo by Greg Hall.
Orlando Dugi (Diné [Navajo]), dress, headpiece, and cape, Desert Heat Collection, 2012. Silk, organza, feathers, beads, and 24k gold; porcupine quills and feathers; feathers, beads, and silver. Copyright 2015 Peabody Essex Museum. Model: Louisa Belian. Photo by Thosh Collins.













Sho Sho Esquiro (Kaska Dene/Cree), Wile Wile Wile dress, Day of the Dead Collection, 2013. Seal fur, beaver tail, carp, beads, silk, and rooster feathers; skull and tulle fascinator by Dominique Hanke for Sho Sho Esquiro. Photo by Thosh Collins.




“Native Fashion Now” was organized in 2017 by the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. The Coby Foundation Ltd. provided support. The New York presentation of this exhibition and related programming was made possible through the support of Ameriprise Financial and the members of the New York Board of Directors of the National Museum of the American Indian. Additional funding was provided by Macy’s.

From vibrant street clothing to exquisite haute couture, Native Fashion Now celebrated the visual range, creative expression, and political nuance of Native American fashion. Nearly 70 works spanning the last 50 years explore the vitality of Native fashion designers and artists from pioneering Native style-makers to maverick designers making their mark in today’s world of fashion.

Jamie Okuma (Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock), boots, 2013–14. Glass beads on boots designed by Christian Louboutin. Museum commission with support from Katrina Carye, John Curuby, Karen Keane and Dan Elias, Cynthia Gardner, Merry Glosband, and Steve and Ellen Hoffman. Peabody Essex Museum, 2014.44.1AB.
Copyright 2015 Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Walter Silver.

Featuring contemporary garments, accessories, and footwear spanning a variety of genres and materials, this exhibition features designers who traverse cross-cultural boundaries between creative expression and cultural borrowing. From one of Patricia Michaels’ (Taos Pueblo) finale ensembles from the reality television series Project Runway to Jamie Okuma’s (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock) dramatically beaded Christian Louboutin boots, and innovative works made from Mylar, vinyl, and stainless steel, Native Fashion Now underscores Native concepts of dress and beauty, which are inextricably bound to identity and tradition in a rapidly changing world.

Mike Bird-Romero (Ohkay Owingeh [San Juan] and Taos Pueblos), and Eddie Begay (Diné [Navajo]), bracelets, 2000–10. Sterling silver, spiny oyster, abalone shell, turquoise, jet, and onyx. Courtesy Catherine B. Wygant. Copyright 2015 Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Walter Silver.

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