Maya Stewart is one of my favorite designers. I first met her in New York at an Unreserved Alliance fashion event held in 2009. But Manhattan was a far ways away from where she originally grew up - in a small town in Oklahoma.
She comes from a family of designers (some of whom I came across in my research of Oklahoma Native fashion designers in the 1980s). She says she has always loved accessories - and throughout her handbag collections, she pairs her Native heritage (she's Chickasaw, Creek and Choctaw) with a modern flair.
Recently, Chickasaw TV featured Stewart in a short video vignette that is part of their "People Channel" - a space where they highlight the individuals who embody the enduring spirit of the Chickasaw Nation and who constitute the fabric of Chickasaw history and culture. "Our people have persevered through history and broken new ground in the arts, science, business and government. They are leaders. They are role models. They are inspiration. Meet them here."