Indigenous fashion boutique opens in Saskatoon
First Nations women open collective workshop and retail space at The TwoTwenty
As indigenous designs multiply on runways around the world, a group of First Nations women in Saskatoon see a big opportunity.
Devon Fiddler, Tory-Lynn Wanotch, Helen Oro and MaryLou Mintram launch Her 4 Directions today. They'll share the studio, retail space and workshop at The TwoTwenty, along 20th Street W.
Specializing in beaded purses, high heels and accessories, Oro taught herself how to bead as an adult as she searched for ways to reconnect with her culture.
Mixing tradition with modern looks
MaryLou Mintram credits her background in fashion to growing up in Nelson House, Manitoba.
"There was only one store in the entire community and I'm like, 'Mom, Barbie needs more clothes,'" Mintram recalled. "And she's like, 'Well, make your own.'"
Mintram designed her first couture line by cutting up her mother's old clothes and doing bead and quill work.
"I fell in love with it instantly," she said, describing her current designs for business women as a mix of northern Cree sensibilities and "more of a modest, conservative look."
"There's an amazing trend that's happening right now, it's very exciting to be an indigenous woman."