A Look at Toronto’s Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival

The Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival proudly hosted its fourth biennial edition this past weekend from May 30th to June 2nd, 2024, in Toronto. The festival featured over 100 Indigenous artists, designers, brands, and more, showcasing a vast amount of talent from Canada and around the world. The four-day event included a ticketed runway show and a 70-vendor marketplace at CF Toronto Easton Centre, open to the public, as well as the Fashioning Resurgence workshop series at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Student Learning Centre. The Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival Marketplace, presented by Holt Renfrew, took place on June 1st and 2nd, featuring a variety of Indigenous fashion, textiles, and craft to be purchased.

The four runway shows, curated by Wanda Nanibush (Anishinaabe), Melanie Egan, and Sage Paul (Denesuline) were themed “Reverence & Conviction” and took place after mall hours at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre. The events kicked off May 30th with “My Tender Bundle” presented by La Maison Simons, highlighting themes of family justice and radical caregiving through works by R S Gustafson, Acahkos Designs, K.Lookinghorse, BIBI CHEMNITZ, Mobilize Waskawewin, and Arctic Luxe.

On May 31st, Canada’s Drag Race contestant and performer Chelazon Leroux kicked off Fierce + Fearless, presented by CIBC, featuring works by IX BALAM, Haus of Dumont, Rebecca Baker-Grenier, ReeCreeations, and HAKHU AMAZON DESIGN. Designers Dene Couture by Tishna MarloweJanelle WawiaJillian WatermanJustin Jacob LouisLesley Hampton, and Naomi Bourque were shown on June 1st ahead of the finale on June 2nd called “Materialize” which showcased the realm of material culture by designers Indi City x Heather BouchierJennifer Younger DesignsMerdi SihombingPacha Indigenous Art CollectionRandi Nelson DesignsTaalrumiq, and Ujaraatsiaq’s Garments.

View the gallery below for a look at the runway shows.