Considering it’s Midthunder’s first big fashion campaign, the star was elated to spotlight a contemporary Indigenous fashion brand in the process. “I’m a huge fan of Section 35,” Midthunder says. “I love the story behind it. Getting to hear from Justin about where the ideas for these came from—and to see the care, time and attention put into every little detail—was amazing and deserves to be recognized.” The label was launched in 2016 and uses its graphic imagery to spotlight Indigenous stories. Louis’s sports team-inspired tees, for instance, nod to the sports industry’s long history of appropriating Native imagery. (The designer’s work was also recently spotlighted in this year’s costume exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.)
The star says she has a wardrobe full of contemporary Native designers such as Jamie Okuma, Red Berry Woman, Himikalas Pamela Baker, but agrees that Indigenous streetwear is particularly having a moment right now. Not to mention, they are some of her most-worn pieces. A new crop of Indigenous streetwear brands like Urban Native Era, OXDX, Mobilize, and Section 35 are paving a new way forward and making consumers rethink what traditional Indigenous design can be.
“I’ve bought a lot of stuff from Section 35 before even working together,” says Midthunder. “I love the bomber jackets in the new line, and I have a sweatsuit from last winter’s collection hat I wear all the time; It feels good to rep Indigenous designs and images, and know that it came from somewhere real. There’s so much power and pride in that.”
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