Two years ago I was introduced to streetwear artist Dustin Martin via the internet. He was making headlines as a Columbia University student who was majoring in Anthropology and making and remixing our ideas of Native fashion.
I was excited to learn about him, because we share similar perspectives on Native American-made, and Native American-inspired fashion. He sees fashion as a means to overturn preconceived notions about Indigenous cultures, and he infuses the clothing he makes with a distinctive intellectual side.
When the Beyond Buckskin Boutique launched back in May, I asked Martin and his company S.O.L.O. to be a part of the initial crew of artists. He brought us the Ye'ii Tee, the Cavalry Tee, and the Lone Resistance Tee. Each had a story and a message to accompany the cool graphics. Now, just four months after the Boutique launch, Martin and S.O.L.O. are bringing us new tee designs which will launch on Monday. S.O.L.O. is expanding, and it is a very exciting time for this young company. I feel incredibly honored to be a part of this growth and to witness the success.
About his reasoning for making streetwear, Martin explained, “I could write anthropological articles my whole life, but I would still be heard and read by a small community of academics,” he says. “The same ideas can be articulated in a way that is not necessarily scholarly. I see Native art and clothes as a perfect medium for the message I want to convey.”
I think it is fitting to end this post with a quick streetwear quote by Jeff Ng:
Click here to read the Flashback post, written two years ago.