The launch of the Young Native™ Fashion line today signals the arrival of Native Fashion into the mainstream fashion market in a credible way. For years many have dabbled with the concept of Native American (Canadian) influences and vibes in their fashion lines but until now no one has really been able to crack that elusive crossover appeal that would enable Native Fashion to appeal to a wider audience, until now.
Top [Native born] fashion designer Angela DeMontigny has been pushing the boundaries of fashion to the world earning herself a place in the top 100 of the most fascinating Aboriginal Canadians as well as getting a lot of international praise. She has earned the respect of many over the years as she continues to turn out top class collections despite all of the hurdles in front of her. The Fashion industry is brutal, she has had to deal with many issues from finding the right suppliers for her materials, finding the right craftsmen and women to make her garments, handbags and accessories to the high standard she demands while keeping her pricing competitive. She has had to deal with the problem of getting out of the ‘Native’ box while wanting to firmly represent her culture and community. These are just some of the issues Angela DeMontigny has had to struggle with as well as being a single mother with two children. It has not been easy at all. However she has kept going and it was not until her meeting and collaboration with another female maverick: Chinese star Ayi Jihu that the final step was taken in helping the world see and understand the full crossover potential of her designs and work. Some would say linking up with Chinese Star Ayi Jihu was a stroke of genius on the part of Angela DeMontigny, others would say it was just lucky. Those who know anything about success and business know you have to make your own luck.
Whatever the reason for their coming together it has been thus far, successful. Within the two years since they first met Young Native™ was created, Angela DeMontigny completely and successfully re-designed the Ayi Jihu Fear Chaser™ costume (which we can now show to the world for the first time anywhere). The brief was to create a costume for an ethnic urban Superhero coming from China that embodies several cultures from around the world but also make it contemporary and credible for a superhero of today. We feel she has nailed it on the head with the awesome Fear Chaser™ outfit seen below (for the first time). Sexy, cultural, different. She looks like she can and will kick your butt too! This is a new type of superhero that will stand out in a time when superheros are all over the place in the media, running the box office. Ayi Jihu’s Fear Chaser™ sets itself apart from the rest and the costume designed and handmade by Angela Demontigny and her team has captured the whole Fear Chaser vibe to perfection. We think it’s amazing and we are sure the Millions of FearChaser™ Fans out there will agree. We look forward to hearing what the gamers (all 25 million of them) who played the original Ayi Jihu Fear Chaser game with the old style look will make of this!. We are waiting for the New FearChaser™ Teaser Trailer set to come out in the next few weeks. Shot with the Circus Orange, Dangerman Crew in Canada we are expecting some serious fireworks as they co-produced the Teaser trailer with Shlepp Entertainemnt Ltd. Exciting times for Ayi Jihu and Angela DeMontigny.
The New FearChaser™ Teaser Trailer was co produced with Circus Orange and Dangerboy productions check out some of their images below:
Anglea DeMontigny has also re-styled Ayi Jihu herself creating the sophisticated yet sexy look on her new single and promo video It’s Magic.
The inclusion of Ayi Jihu into Angela DeMontigny business and marketing and her subsequent connection with Shlepp Entertainment Ltd (the company behind Chinese star Ayi Jihu) brought Angela DeMontigny and her new Young Native™ Fashion brand a ‘truly’ global audience cementing what was already there. It confirmed to the world that here was a top Fashion designer who happened to be Native, rather than just a Native Fashion designer. Angela has finally managed to step out of the box.
‘Live Free, Love Free’, is the motto of Young Native™ Fashion. It is obvious to us when you look at the new Young Native™ Fashion line the models and settings used that Angela DeMontigny is all about cultural diversity and expression. She fuses this into her designs, imagery and styling without the usual ‘I am a Native Indian Designer’ overkill we are so used to. It’s just natural, seamless. It looks and feels right to the objective everyday person who may not understand or wish to be overly native in their appearance. We cannot claim to be fashion experts we just like what we like and if something looks and feels good we can see it. We are just like the majority of people out there who can just feel when something is right or not and lets face it most people just want to look good, feel good and fit in. At the same time people want to also express their own individuality. Some like to overstate things, some understate, but the majority like to hint at things without going overboard. Finding that balance as a Fashion Designer who is Native has always been the issue in it’s getting out to a wider consumer base and audience. Angela DeMontigny has mastered that difficult balance and through her Young Native™ Fashion line she is now ready to express it to the world.
Not everyone sees things the Angela DeMontigny way. There are some within her own community who see Angela DeMontigny as a bit too radical. This has come to a head recently when Angela DeMontigny revealed some of her new Young Native™ line on her Young Native Facebook page. Her new line of Tee’s called SQUAW have caused a storm with some members of the Native community who see the word as disrespectful or derogatory. Although Angela’s SQUAW tees actually are about reclaiming an Indian word and bringing back the beauty and dignity of it’s original meaning some in her community just don’t like it.
The SQUAW Tee’s shown below have the word SQUAW written across the front of the Tee and under each letter is the word it represents. ’Spiritual Quintessential Unique Aboriginal Woman’. The main argument from those who do like the SQUAW Tee’s is this was a word hijacked by the ‘White Man’ to describe their women in a negative way and should not be used at all, especially by a Native designer. Although Angela DeMontigny has remained silent throughout this raging debate it is clear to us that she is looking forward and not backward in trying to reclaim this word . Objectivity has not often been linked to radical thinking and those that oppose the SQUAW line are making their voices heard.
Native Fashion Designer Angela DeMontigny’s SQUAW tee ignites controversy
We managed to persuade Angela DeMontigny to give us her take on the whole SQUAW Tee’s issue. Although Angela DeMontigny was reluctant to speak about it she did make this short statement.
“As a native woman myself, to some degree I can understand the feelings of some within the native community towards my SQUAW Tee shirt. I knew this would cause some controversy. I cannot however, agree with or understand the personal attacks and threats upon myself, Ayi Jihu and those that work with or support me. I have found that part of it very disappointing and embarrassing to be honest. I wonder what the world must think when they see something like this…it does not show us well. I created the SQUAW Tee shirt in order to make a statement – to hopefully start a dialogue and to do something positive. I thought it was time we took back this corrupted word – OUR word – to take the negative power out of the term and show it to the world as it was meant to be. The power of a word is in how you CHOOSE to use it and I personally REFUSE to allow others from a different culture to attach a negative meaning to a word that refers to myself as a native woman. I am doing this on behalf of my ancestors, grandmothers, aunties and sisters who suffered from the abuse of this word in the past. I saw the opportunity with Ayi Jihu to change the negativity of this word by presenting it to an audience of Billions who have never heard it before. Through her, their first experience of this word would be a positive one. Many forget that the rest of the world does not necessarily know about our culture, our history and struggles. My intentions were always for the good…to start a change for the better and they remain the same. Despite the fact that there are some who do not see it this way and wish to cling to the past, I remain steadfast in my original and true intention. The words on the Tees speak for themselves and at this point I have nothing more to say except that I understand that change and moving forward for some is hard, almost impossible, but someone has to try to do it and rather than look to someone else, I took on that mantle. I can only hope in time, they will understand what I am trying to do and why I am doing it. However, if they do not, so be it. I will stick to my guns on this because I believe in what I am doing.”
Despite the controversy surrounding the SQUAW Tee’s the overwhelming response to Young Native™ has been spectacular. The new line combines rich and deep vibrant colours with the highest quality materials. This is a look worthy of any of the top brands in our opinion, the pictures speak for themselves and if you want to see more visit the website www.youngnativefashion.com and you will see what we mean.
Angela is not content with just making clothes. Her Young Native™ Fashion brand now also boasts luxury handbags and Jewelry.
Young Native is set to expand over the next several months and years focusing it’s gaze firmly on the far East with China’s Ayi Jihu as it’s flagship model and ambassador.