March 30, 2011

Haida Designer Dorothy Grant Closes Shop

Haida Artist Dorothy Grant Closes Shop
By Karen Gram, Vancouver Sun, March 29, 2011

After 22 years of creating exquisite Haida inspired couture, Dorothy Grant is hanging up her scissors and turning off her light table, sort of.

Like others in the fashion industry Grant was hurt by the economic collapse three years ago. Many designers have since closed or adapted. Grant has decided to adapt. Rather than create a full line, she will limit her designs to more affordable accessories such as scarves and bags. She also hopes to teach business to first nations students.

“Just like Raven the Transformer, I am transforming my business and future,” she says in her announcement.

Grant, a Kaigani Haida of the Raven Clan, was a pioneer in the fashion industry taking the motifs from her Haida heritage and applying them to elegantly designed clothing. Like Bill Reid before her, she became an ambassador for First nations. Former prime minister Kim Campbell bought a Dorothy Grant cape which became the backdrop for Campbell’s official portrait. Former governor general MichaĆ«lle Jean also owns a piece as do many Hollywood and Vancouver celebrities.

Grant will still sell her accessories at major native art markets in Canada and the U.S and on her website. Many items from her collections are on sale now at her studio until April 26. The West 6th Ave. studio will close at the end of April.

“Over the past 22 years I’ve been so fortunate to have thousands of clients who are proud to wear my garments,” she says. “They have inspired and encouraged me and for that I am grateful.

“This year will be about staying connected to the creative spirit within me and staying connected to ‘Raven Transformation.’ Thank you all, kindly.”

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