August 13, 2015

Presence: Showcasing Stunning Native Jewelry and Fashion

I am beyond excited for next week – I’ll be heading to Santa Fe to bring Beyond Buckskin to the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Indigenous Fine Arts Market (IFAM).

We will be hosting various fashion events throughout the weekend, and for one event, we are teaming up with IFAM and the Native Jewelers Society (NJS) for a Jewelry Showcase fashion show. I’m working with Nanibaa Beck, the IFAM Fashion Coordinator and NJS member, on the event. I sat down with her and asked her a few questions about the upcoming showcase, which will be held Friday, August 21 at 6:30pm at the Santa Fe Railyards in New Mexico.

Scroll down to read our interview now!

BB: Hi Nanibaa! Thank you for agreeing to an interview. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you came to be a part of the IFAM fashion events?

NB: I am Dine', of Tahneeszahni (Tangle Clan) and born for Tlizilani (Manygoats Clan). My hooghan is in Pinon, Phoenix (both in AZ) and wherever my fiance' happens to be at the time. I am also the jewelry designer and creator behind NOTABOVE. My parents are both jewelers, and I've been fortunate to grow and be surrounded by creative people. I have been involved with the Indigenous Fine Art Market since its inception last year in April. It has proven to be an incredibly wonderful challenge to how we, as resourceful and connected Natives, choose to share our narrative in a marketplace. Especially in Santa Fe with its historically complex history with Native arts. My role with IFAM has been to coordinate their fashion component. It's my second year and I love the theme for this year: Presence!
Cuff by Rico Worl

BB: That is a very cool theme idea! If you can give us a little bit of a teaser, what can people expect from the IFAM jewelry showcase fashion show?

NB: When I think of Friday's upcoming jewelry showcase fashion show, I imagine the works of the Native Jeweler Society's seasoned jewelers and metalsmiths stylistically paired with Beyond Buckskin Boutique designers' pieces, while their creators mingle with the crowds of IFAM's hip hop showcase sprinkled with collectors/ revelers of all backgrounds. This show is definitely a mixture of high-end investment and affordable pieces. The concept of this show is to enhance how we see Native fashion and style today. As well as to continue nurturing and introducing a young generation of collectors to some stellar artists.

BB: Sounds exciting! What aspect of the IFAM event are you most excited about?

NB: IFAM's artists! IFAM is unique because artists are selected via a jurying process by other artists. And there are new people from outside the Southwest region. For example, Leonard Peltier's son will be showing and selling his father's works. There are also a few international indigenous people participating. That's incredible! And the atmosphere at IFAM is special because it feels like Our Show. And, I love the environment that the Santa Fe Railyards have to offer a growing Native arts movement.

Darryl Dean Begay
BB: I love that idea of artists promoting other artists. Why do you think it’s important for folk to support Native American artists and designers?

NB: There are many reasons why people should support Native artists and designers. But I think back to a recent comment made by Kathy McCloskey at a Navajo Studies Conference earlier this year. She said something to the effect, "If we go to such lengths to buy fair trade coffee, then why don't we do the same for Navajo rug weavers." That sentiment extends to all Native creatives for me. Two current favorites of mine are friends: Aza Erdich is a Turtle Mountain Ojibwe painter/ illustrator and Natani Notah is a Navajo, Lakota, and Cherokee interdisciplinary artist living in Ithaca, NY. Aza's use of color in her array of self-portraits are divine- you need to see her beaded self portrait. As for Jewelry designers from the upcoming show? I can't decide. I'm a fan of all the NJS artists. Really. Darryl Dean Begay, Gene Billie, Kristen Dorsey (image, top of page, left), Sam LaFountain, Rico Worl, and more!

Earrings by Nanibaa Beck
BB: Lastly, our readers might not know this, but you’re an accomplished jewelry designer, an artist, and a style blogger. How would you describe your personal style and how does this inspire your designs?

NB: My personal style can be described as classic and modern. I can't yet be sure how this affects my jewelry. But, I recently asked friends on Facebook and Instagram to describe my jewelry style and their responses were very humbling. My favorite description reads "A modern aesthetic paired with a marked urban Indigenous southwest style, informed first but also refined, by raw natural beauty and materials."

We hope you can join us! Click here for event details, links and updates for the IFAM Jewelry and Fashion Showcase. Opening image features jewelry by Kristen Dorsey.