January 26, 2010

UNRESERVED Alliance Launches Designer Collective: New York Fashion Week Showcase

(Images: all from NYFW, February 2009)

As I blogged earlier, UNRESERVED is a newly formed collective founded to empower and encourage artistic expression by Native artists.

Their latest announcement describes the establishment of a Designer Collective, which will launch a fashion installation during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in just a few weeks. The event will feature accessory and ready-to-wear designers from various tribal backgrounds at the Bryant Park Hotel Loft in Manhattan on Thursday, February 11th from 4pm to 5:30pm.

The artists include purse-maker Maya Stewart (Chickasaw/Creek), fashion designer Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo), jewelry-maker Kenneth Johnson (Seminole), mother and son jewelers Dylan and Veronica Poblano (Zuni), and jeweler Maria Samora (Taos).

Last February, UNRESERVED co-founders Gail Bruce and Michael Chapman hosted a similar event at Ramscale Penthouse Studio, in which three Native American fashion designers showcased their work during the New York Fashion Week, February 2009. These three designers, Dorothy Grant, Patricia Michaels, and Virgil Ortiz, marked a historical moment – this was the first time in history that Native designers participated in an event in Manhattan during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. However, they did not show at the elite and hard-to-get-into Bryant Park. Physically, Ramscale is on the outer limits of the fashion week events, located on West Street, which is a few blocks away from Bryant Park. The upcoming event, however, will be held at the Bryant Park Hotel, which regularly hosts several important events during fashion week. Once again, it is not Bryant Park, [the tents at Bryant Park are fashion central for the week] but the hotel is literally right across the street and it is most definitely the next best thing, and it's very exciting to witness this movement. I’m booking my plane ticket now... see you in New York!