Victoria Secret apologized last year to the Indigenous community for not honoring the significance of a Chief’s headdress. The VS model (shown above) caused the stir wearing a sexy non-authentic outfit. LA’s Eco-conscious and award-winning designer Aros Crystos decided this can be corrected. Crystos adores the Native American culture and western fashion so he decided to try a new and less offensive approach to the runway headdress.
Interpix’s Fashion Live Channel invited Crystos to display his outfits at their show with Native Americans as models in clothing that displayed culturally accepted tones and visual prints. Actor/Activist Saginaw Grant, a respected member of the Sac-n-Fox, Iowa and Otoe-Missouria Nations, joined Crystos to advise and participate.
The producers Interpix Fashion Live, along with Aros and Saginaw, saw this as an opportunity for the Native American community to use this high-profile runway event to honor the First Nation People’s traditions and indigenous heritage at Fashion Week LA’s California Dreaming event held at the Confidential in Beverly Hills, CA.The Native American models had their own presentation; designed from music to wardrobe.
The Native American models included: Wambli Eagle-man (Lakota/Navajo), Sunny Red Bear (Lakota), Maxton Scott (Mohawk) Tasha Clark (Kiowa / Cheyenne), Elaine Meyers (Pima /Ottawa), Natika McDonald (Blackfeet / Ottawa), Taywanee Reevis (Blackfeet) and special guest, Saginaw Grant (Sauk & Fox). Natika was honored with “Top Model Award” for the entire Fashion Week California Dreaming event and has secured modeling work with another designer, 16-year-old celebrity designer Courtney Allegra. Casting of models was done by Lani Melisa of LC Talent Management.
“I felt overwhelmed and grateful at such an opportunity to be involved, I am only 17 years old and I rarely if ever have seen Native American Models on the covers of fashion magazines. This experience really motivated me to go forward with my modeling career,” stated Natika McDonald, Native American model.
Native American actor (The World’s Fastest Indian, The Lone Ranger), Saginaw Grant is an enrolled member of the Sauk & Fox Tribe He has travelled the world as an indigenous ambassador and served as delegate to the United Nations Conference On Human Rights.
His previous acting work was with Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Depp, Tantoo Cardinal, Wes Studi, Sheila Tousey, Dean Cain, and Lindsay Wagner.
Quote from Sunny Red Bear:
“Being introduced on the runway as a Grand Daughter of Chief Sitting Bull was the proudest moment in my life…Realizing I represented my blood in the best way I could, it was fulfilling…gave me a Hunger beyond the runway “- Model Sunny Red Bear