PHOENIX — This year the 73rd Tony Awards in New York City will have an authentic Native voice. The 2018 Phoenix Fashion Week Couture Designer of the Year continues to captivate audiences at the global scale starting with a commissioned princess dress for Walt Disney World, and an accumulation of features by top media sources throughout the southwest. Loren Aragon, CEO & Designer of ACONAV, is an alumnus of Arizona State University, and fans from his alma mater connected him with Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ASU Vice President for Cultural Affairs, Executive Director of ASU Gammage, and Arizona’s only voter to the 2019 Tony Awards to be her dress of choice.
Native designer Loren Aragon with Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, who wear his fashion design at the upcoming Tony Awards.
The Walt Disney World dress designed by ACONAV landed the cover of the AZ Redbook Magazine which caught the attention of Colleen Jennings-Roggensack and her staff. “I was excited to hear that Colleen requested me to design a custom gown for her red-carpet experience.” stated Loren Aragon, Designer of ACONAV. “I’m honored to have this opportunity with Colleen, to have my design recognized among renown designers at a premier awards event such as the Tony Awards!” exclaimed Aragon. Just three years after walking away from a career in mechanical engineering, Aragon has passionately grown his brand as it continues to rise with success and recognition as a leading Native American Couture Fashion brand. “It is an honor and privilege to wear a dress designed by Loren Aragon of ACONAV. His work is bold, innovative and evokes the global empowerment of women.’ stated Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ‘it will be deeply moving to wear Loren’s work, which is dedicated to share, educate, and connect the artistry of Acoma ways of life. I am looking forward to sharing his talent and genius on the red carpet at the Tony Awards,” added Jennings-Roggensack. “We are very proud of what Loren and the team at ACONAV have accomplished in such a short time after winning designer of the year, he has only begun to shine,” stated Brian Hill, Executive Director of Phoenix Fashion Week.
The collaboration between Jennings-Roggensack and Aragon comes at an opportune time in the midst of a rapidly growing appreciation for Native fashion in the modern fashion industry. “There are many sources I draw my inspiration from in connection to the Acoma and Navajo cultures,” explained Aragon. “With Colleen as the epitome of what ACONAV celebrates, we will have all the inspiration needed for this one of a kind creation which will generate an awareness of our thriving Native culture and our natural place in fashion history to the rest of the world.” As preparation for the Awards continue, the Aragon Atelier is in full swing to make its red-carpet appearance, Sunday June 9, 2019 at the Tony’s.