- By Kaili Berg
Viewable here, the cover story features actress Lily Gladstone (Blackfeet), draped in the Eighth Generation blanket, and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, both stars of the widely anticipated film, “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
The story features interviews with Gladstone and DiCaprio and photographs of them wearing accessories made by Native designers.
The Craig McDean-lensed editorial was aimed “to see Lily shine,” while Gladstone herself tasked British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful with sourcing pieces that reflect her Native American heritage. The results complement craft-centric brands and highlight the importance of preserving old techniques.
Among the featured Native designs is The Coast Salish Pattern Wool Blanket, designed by Nooksack artist and Eighth Generation founder Louie Gong.
Before Gong was creating Coast Salish art on a commercial scale, it was rarely represented in contemporary textiles.
“The Coast Salish pattern is one of the most iconic, truly American designs that you can find on the market today, “Colleen Echohawk (Pawnee/Athabascan), Eighth Generation CEO, told Native News Online. “Louie designed this piece in collaboration with his ancestors and it is very traditional. This is the very first blanket that I bought for myself when I was just a customer; it is truly beautiful,”
Founded in 2008, Eighth Generation works with more than 35 different Native artists from all over Canada. The brand provides a strong, ethical alternative to “Native-inspired” art and products through its artist-centric approach and 100 percent Native-designed products.
“We are so fortunate to bring a lot of art and design into people’s homes. Louie was so visionary to think about what the impact would be if there was a Native-owned company that made beautiful wool blankets,” Echohawk said. “That is what we are known for and that is what got us on the cover of British Vogue.”
Echohawk said British Vogue emailed their team and asked to send over scarfs for a photoshoot. Without hesitation, Eighth Generation’s marketing manager, Devon Kelley, sent over a plethora of the brand’s items. Weeks after, the company found out they were going to be featured on the cover of the magazine.
“We could not believe it,” Echohawk said. “To see our work so prominently featured is truly historic. I think we will have a big impact on future generations, to see this kind of representation, and to be proud to know that they have a place in this world.”
Several more of Eighth Generation’s products appear in photos with DiCaprio and Gladstone throughout the cover story, including their Butterfly Dreams Throw Blanket by John Isaiah Pepion (Piikani/Blackfeet), and fashion and accessories by Eighth Generation artists and collaborators, including Jamie Okuma (Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock), Pat Pruitt (Laguna, Chiricahua Apache), and Sarah Agaton Howes (Anishinaabe/Ojibwe).
“It is such a good moment for Indian Country and all of these incredible Native designers, artists, and brands in this issue," Echohawk said. "We are so honored to be a part of this. It is such a good moment and a great time to be Native."
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