August 02, 2012

Aboriginal art on leather boots

Boot designers fuse native tradition with modern chic

An area designer’s unique brand of handcrafted Aboriginal footwear is creating a fast-growing buzz in the fashion industry.

By Matt GardnerCreenisgaa clothing is the brainchild of Linda Lavallee, a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation, and her husband Patrick Reid Stewart, a Nisga’a architect. The Chilliwack, B.C.-based company is garnering acclaim for its line of wearable art leather boots, which made their debut on the catwalk last month as part of National Aboriginal Fashion Week in Regina.

“It was amazing,” Lavallee said of her first real fashion show experience. “I got so much publicity that it was quite overwhelming.”

The boots borrow techniques traditionally used to make native footwear but add embroidered artwork more often found on gowns, jackets and suits. Typical designs include animals that symbolize a customer’s aboriginal name, although the company has many non-First Nations customers as well.
Comment:  For more on Native footwear, see Vans Shoes with Pendleton Designs and Echo-Hawk Partners with Nike.

Below:  "A model wears a pair of the creenisgaa clothing art leather boots at National Aboriginal Fashion Week in Regina."