Name: Alano Edzerza
Beat: Contemporary Artist and Clothing Designer
Current location: Vancouver, BC
Describe yourself in 1 word or sentence: I’m an ambitious artist.
What do you love most about your job?: Getting to see my work out in the world. My favourite thing is when fans send in photos of my designs. When communities come together to celebrate, I get to participate with them through the pieces they're wearing. (See attached photo of bridal party)
One piece of advice for aspiring Indigenous designers: Share your work with others. We're part of a community, and we can raise each other up. And practice, practice, practice. That's two pieces of advice. Both really necessary.
How has the fashion world responded to your work?: Attention is starting to grow. My work was showcased at the “Native Fashion Now” exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. and that was incredible. I’m not trying to get into the fashion world; I'm doing much more of a grass roots thing. The support from our communities has meant everything, and they're the reason the team and I work so hard.
I want everyone to feel comfortable wearing my designs. I see my clothing line as living, walking art that should be accessible; not limiting. There's a big difference between someone supporting authentic Indigenous craftsmanship vs. someone wearing a symbol loosely inspired by our cultures.
Lots of trial and error. I’ve been at it for over 10 years, so I’ve got a few tried and true tricks up my sleeve. But the wheels keep turning and I'm always tinkering away at new ideas.
Your greatest creative influences:
Leonardo Davinci, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst
‘The Good Life’ means...:
Being able to pursue every creative idea I have.