When Victoria’s Secret had to apologize to the indigenous community for not honoring the significance of a Chief’s headdress on the runway last year in New York, LA’s eco-conscious award-winning designer Aros Crystos decided this can be corrected.
Crystos, spokesperson for Interpix’s Fashion Live Channel, invited respected Native Americans to make sure Native American models and traditions could be included. Actor/Activist Saginaw Grant, a respected member of the Sac-n-Fox, Iowa and Otoe-Missouria Nations, joined Crystos to advise and participate, and to break down barriers so Native American models get the recognition they deserve.
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.
The result of that discussion is Crystos dedicated one of his turns on the runway entirely to the Native community. He gave up one of his slots so the Native community of models, actors and designers could decide, on their own, how to use this high-profile press event drawing worldwide media to the many talented models in the Native American community.
Native Americans had their own presentation designed, from music to wardrobe, to honor their culture. Some of the most beautiful First Nation models and Actresses/Actors in the world, wearing their own inspirations from the “original fashion designers” of the Americas, were showcased at the venue Confidential Beverly Hills. In attendance were many notable Native American Actors and Music Artists there to support the event including actor Rick Mora from Twilight, Pat Vegas (from Redbone), Pop singer/recording artist, Angela Lazon, Actor, Sam Bearpaw and other notable Native Americans were also present to support such a fantastic event.
The Native American models included: Wambli Eagleman (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.
As an actor he has worked with Sir 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
A native of Sweden, Aros Crystos debuted his fashion line at 2012’s Hollywood Top Designer Showcase, winning the Eco-Conscious Designer Award for his designs dedicated to raising awareness for the One World One Ocean educational campaign. An award-winning vocalist, clothing designer, visionary author, Aros is a multidimensional artist. His vision is to help people rediscover their true nature as divine multi-dimensional beings.
Lets face it ,everyone loves Victoria Secret, and maybe this fashion slip ended was the best thing to help open up doors for beautiful native American models who walked at Fashion Week LA this year.