I am writing to you live from Santa Fe where the annual SWAIA Indian Market is kicking off. The days are sunny, mixed in with some dashes of thunder and quick downfalls of much-needed rain in this gorgeous high desert region and the creative energy of Indian Market is filling the atmosphere as we inch closer to the weekend.
I'm meeting with Amber-Dawn Bear Robe who is working with Patricia Michaels and her team to host a fun fashion fundraiser in just 2 days.
Patricia, who placed second in last seasons Project Runway competition, is dead set on getting her designs back to New York for fashion week in September. She showed her work there for the first time in 2009 with a collective of other designers under an initiative by the Unreserved Alliance.
Just a few months ago, she became the first Native American to show a full collection as part of the official New York Fashion Week roster, although it was under the joint show hosted by Project Runway. Patricia is positioned to make a lasting impact on the broader fashion industry, if only she can get in an immediate follow up show in just a few weeks.
Fashion powerhouses Michael Kors and Zac Posen have both applauded her work, noting that it is coming from a distinct and important artistic voice. She isn't finding inspiration on other people's mannequins, she is digging it from the earth. She is pulling it from within.
But not just anyone can get into NY Fashion Week. It requires a lengthy application process and high fees. In fact, most often, it is the price tag of attending NYFW, and not the creativity or talent, that holds emerging designers back.
Although Patricia may not be able to carry the costs alone (this project requires a whopping $49,000 to do), she is not letting this aspect deter her. As they say, Where there is a will, there is a way. She is reaching out to those of us who believe in her to help her along this journey. She made so many of us proud when we saw how well she did on Project Runway, and we get the opportunity to be active supporters in bringing her to the next level. She is so close, let's help however we can. Her dream is connected to our dreams to see Native people represented in all arenas of life, and to be represented in healthy non-stereotypical ways - we should no longer be excluded from the fashion industry especially when many companies and design houses profit from the Native American trend.
Patricia recently launched an Indigogo campaign where you can easily contribute to this dream. Click here to learn about her story, how you can help, and where the contributing funds will go.
Another great and easy way to be a part of this history-making moment is to attend the Patricia Michaels Indian Market Party in Santa Fe on Saturday. It is being held at the beautiful Palace Restaurant and Saloon, and in addition to getting to hang out with Patricia (she is so amazing and inspiring!), there will also be door prizes, opportunities to win original PM Waterlily designs (what! Yes.), food and drink specials (forget spending high prices on dining out elsewhere!) and a silent art auction, with all proceeds going directly to the PM Waterlily fundraising campaign.
Have a memorable evening in Santa Fe with Patricia and other amazing artists, and contribute to this important project at the same time. Such a win-win situation!
Details: Join us in celebrating this wonderful fashion designer, and help in raising funds for her New York Fashion Week runway show. Win original PM Waterlily designs. Auction, raffle, best dressed contests, and drink and food specials all night. $20 cover. 21+.
Location: Palace Restaurant and Saloon