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The first annual Indigenous Fashion Week takes over Toronto this spring

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Ainsley Smith Mar 08, 2018 8:51 am

For the first time ever, Toronto will be the place to see the most progressive and distinct Indigenous artists in fashion, craft, and textiles, as part of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto (IFWTO).

The inaugural IFWTO season will take place at the Harbourfront Centre, running May 31 to June 3.

The four-day event will feature runway showcases, a curated exhibition, panels and lectures, hands-on workshops, and a marketplace.

The marketplace will include works by 75% Indigenous women artists and a Far North Spotlight with delegations travelling from Nunavut and Greenland.

IDFWTO was founded by Dene artist, designer, and innovative leader Sage Paul, a member of English River First Nation. He serves as the Artistic Director for the show.

“Indigenous fashion can redefine mainstream fashion and art: our fashion illustrates our stories, traditions, sovereignty, and resiliency,” says Paul.

“IFWTO is about carving out space for Indigenous fashion. We are thrilled to be presenting Indigenous artists and their works from across Canada, the USA and Greenland this Spring.”

What to expect:

Runways Showcases
The live runway showcases will include 23 Indigenous artists and designers from across Canada, USA and Greenland, including men’s and women’s wear, streetwear, avant-garde, traditional regalia, jewellery, and crafts.

Lectures and Panels
The lectures and panels will provide the opportunity for audience members to get a better understanding of Indigenous fashion. Panelists and lecturers will include Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, designers, arts and fashion industry, academics, and thought leaders.

Hands-on Workshops
The multi-day workshops will include Indigo Dyeing (Tuscarora Nation), Black Walnut Dyeing (Tuscarora Nation), Navajo Rug Weaving, and Beading for Beginners (Dene Nation).

Trade & Consumer Marketplace
Visitors can shop from over 40 vendors in Indigenous fashion, food, cosmetics, lifestyle, craft, textiles, and more.

Full programming details and event schedule will be announced in the coming weeks on the IFWTO website.

Indigenous Fashion Week

When: May 31 to June 3, 2018
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West

See also

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Ainsley Smith
Ainsley is a Staff Writer at Daily Hive. She's a former Vancouverite turned Torontonian who is passionate about avocado toast, aesthetics, and avocado toast aesthetics. Story idea? E-mail me at [email protected]

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