Sycuan’s inaugural fashion show highlights Native American designers

Casino Sycuan AND Held resort her First pAshion sas in Retreat Pool & Cabanas. The resort showcased experienced and upcoming designers from across North America. The goal was to give Native Americans a platform to showcase their creativity with an emphasis on jewelry, beadwork, and clothing design.

The event began with Emcee, Ruben Littlehead, greeting the crowd. Stan Rodriguez gave the opening prayer and was followed by the birdsong. Next, Littlehead introduced a dance troupe called the Indigenous Enterprise. This lavish dance troupe was dressed in colorful regalia. They have performed at the Sydney Opera House, Met Gala, Lincoln Center and now Sycuan Casino AND Resort. They wowed the crowd with their traditional dance number.

Ashley Garcia

The fashion show began with Benjamin Leedom showing his 3 Feathers Star quilts. He is a member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe and believes that star quilts represent the sky. Next, beautiful designs by Aresta Tsosie-Paddock of the Navajo Nation came down the runway. After that, Terence Brown showed off his collection from Trap Native showcasing his streetwear brand.

Some Tootoosis from the Cree Nation in Saskatchewan introduced designs that combine the traditional and the modern. Josh Muse, who is the current vice chairman of the Tribal Council, presented his men’s suits from J&D Custom clothier. Models walked down the runway flaunting the perfect fit of these tailored suits that were made from the finest fabrics.

Mother and daughter team Cheyleen Julian and Rosine Tree rocked the runway in vibrant skirts with Native American ribbons and beads. Ashley Garcia of the Oglala Lakota Nation in Rockyford, SD, showed contemporary Native designs on the catwalk.

Design by Della

The closure of sas was the artist Designs by Della. She is a member of the Apsaalooke (Raven) Tribe of Montana. Della Bighair-Stump also combines traditional and modern work to create her clothing designs. Each of them is one of a kind. She takes photo of her beadwork and has it printed on fabric and then creates swimsuits, dresses and runway pants with this special fabric.

During the evening, DJ Danny entertained the audience with his upbeat tunes.

Closing remarks were by Angelica Labrake, program director. She thanked everyone for coming out and everyone who helped make it happen inaugural appear together. Labrake invited everyone to join him in the Wachena Room to view or purchase anything from the show. This was a great opportunity for the public to come behind the scenes and meet the designers and see the designs up close.


Saturday, September 24 – “3rd San Diego Design Week” by Mingei International Museum. International Fashion Show: Diversity Through Design by the International Rescue Committee Small Business Development Center at 11:30 a.m. features work by immigrant and refugee designers. For the entire list of events from September 21 to September 25, contact Gladys Hernandez at 619-732-0789 x452.

Saturday, October 8 – The FWSD22 Runway Shows at Andaz from 6-10pm will feature a 10-piece designer collection followed by a trunk show on the second day on the rooftop. For tickets:

Saturday, October 22 – Kenneth Barlis presents the 10th Anniversary eseating at the Port Pavillion on Broadway Pier beginning at 4 p.m. For tickets, visit

Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned Couture Milliner based in the San Diego area. Learn more about us hIN ddesigner, teach and bsawyer at

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