One of the biggest names in American fashion is probably one you’ve never heard of. Lloyd Henry Kiva New (Cherokee, 1916-2002).
Working as an art director, educator, mentor, and painter, Nu has achieved great success at a time when opportunities for indigenous people were limited. He revolutionized the design of traditional indigenous clothing in the mid-20th century, opening his own boutique, Kiva, in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1945, later adding a design center in 1955. Collaborations with other local artists were included. Fashioning America: Grit to Glamor features two looks created by Lloyd Kiva New during this period. First up are men’s shirts and leather jackets. The jacket buttons were designed by Charles LaRoma and the shirt fabric was printed by Manfred Sosenkiwa, reflecting his collaborative work with local artists.
The second look features a 1950s outfit in one of Noe’s signature design styles, using characters and symbols from his Cherokee heritage and other Indian tribes and nations. Nu became the first Native American to appear in an international fashion show in 1951, participating in the Atlantic City International Fashion Show. It was republished there in 1952 and featured in the Los Angeles Times. In 1957, Miss Arizona Lynn Freese wore a Kiva piece to the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City. Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus adopted his design and marketed it to the British upper class. A woman wears her clothes made in the image of Native Americans. New co-founded the influential American Institute in 1962. The next phase of his career began at the Institute of Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. First as art director and then as principal of the school, New led the IAIA to become one of the nation’s leading centers for arts education, with numerous local (and other) scholars in the fields of art and design. ) Special attention was paid to artists. trained in it. Indigenous aesthetic traditions. Three other IAIA designers, Jamie Okuma, Virgil Ortiz and Manfred Sosenkiwa, are featured in Fashioning America. Amber-Dawn Bear Robe, IAIA curator and professor of art history, contributed an essay on indigenous fashion to the exhibition catalog. Nine’s legacy lives on. Throughout his career as a designer, educator, and public speaker, Lloyd Kiva New has expressed the importance of indigenous cultural contributions to American society and identity, at a time when he understands social constraints and cultural expectations and used to recognize imposed by the dominant Anglo-American society. Until his death in 2002, Nu worked tirelessly within these frameworks to bring new possibilities to Native Americans. Now is the time to establish yourself as an important, influential and innovative giant of American fashion and design.