Sycuan’s inaugural fashion show highlights Native American designers

Sycuan Casino and Resort instead it is First fAshion sas in the Retreat Pool & Cabanas. The resort showcased veteran and emerging designers from across North America. The goal was to provide a platform for Native Americans to showcase their creativity with a focus on jewelry, beadwork and clothing design.

The event began with Emcee Ruben Littlehead welcoming the audience. Stan Rodriguez said the opening prayer, followed by the Bird Singers. Next, Littlehead introduced a dance group called the Indigenous Enterprise. This exuberant dance group was dressed in colorful regalia. They have performed at the Sydney Opera House, the Met Gala, Lincoln Center and now the Sycuan Casino and resort. They wowed the crowd with their traditional dance number.

Ashley Garcia

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

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Disa Tootoosis from the Cree nation in Saskatchewan presented designs that combine tradition and modernity. Josh Muse, the current vice chairman of the Tribal Council, presented his men’s suits from clothing manufacturer J&D Custom. Models walked the runway showing off the impeccable fit of these bespoke suits, crafted from the finest fabrics.

Mother-daughter team Cheyleen Julian and Rosine Tree rocked the runway in vibrant ribbon skirts and Native American beads. Ashley Garcia of the Oglala Lakota Nation in Rockyford, SD showcased indigenous contemporary designs on the runway.

Design by Della

closing the show was the artist designs by della. She is a member of the Apsaalooke (Crow) tribe of Montana. Della Bighair-Stump also combines traditional and contemporary work to create her wearable fashions. Everyone is unique. she takes pname is her beadwork, has her printed on fabric and then uses this special fabric to create bathing suits, dresses and pants for the catwalk.

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

Closing remarks were made by Angelica Labrake, Program Director. She thanked everyone for coming and everyone who helped make this happen opening show together. Labrake invited everyone to join her in the Wachena Room to view or purchase anything from the show. This was an excellent opportunity for the audience to get backstage, meet the designers and see the designs up close.


Saturday, September 24 – “3. San Diego Design Week” by the Mingei International Museum. International Fashion Show: Diversity Through Design by the International Rescue Committee Small Business Development Center at 11:30 am will feature work by immigrant and refugee designers. For the full schedule of September 21-25 events, contact Gladys Hernandez at 619-732-0789 x452.

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Saturday 8th October – FWSD22 Runway Shows at Andaz from 6pm to 10pm showcasing a 10 piece collection from designers followed by a trunk show on the second day on the rooftop. For tickets:

Saturday 22nd October – Kenneth Barlis presents a 10 year anniversary eStarts at 4:00 p.m. at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. Tickets are available at

Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned couture milliner from the San Diego area. Learn more about our Hat i.edesigner, teveryone and bLogger at

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