April 1, 2011

The Fashion of Moccasins

I've embarked on yet another project!:

Working with the School for Advanced Research (Indian Arts and Research Center) and filmmaker Melissa Henry, I’m consulting on a video documentary that investigates the fashion of moccasins (such a cool concept!).

Though it is relatively easy to determine whether or not hipsters, hippies, or non-Native fashionistas wear moccasins, it is much harder to determine the level at which Native American youth (14-24) are rockin’ mocs as a fashion statement.

I’ve been digging through my photos from Native fashion shows to see if mocs are being worn on the runway, and indeed they are:

However, although they are on the runway (in limited doses: about one for every dozen pairs of black high heels), do Native youth see them as fashionable?

In the past, Native people wore moccasins everyday, now it appears we wear them only on special occasions (such as at powwows, feast days, or graduations). How can we return their daily use? How can we make Native-made moccasins attractive for a new generation?

We need to start a Rock the Mocs campaign!