Nipîy Iskwew Designs is the hottest brand in clothing across Canada
If you were to ask people where is home to the hottest emerging fashion designer in the world, they would likely respond Paris, London, Milan or New York, but they would be wrong. The hottest emerging fashion designer is a Canadian named Ms. Skylene Gladue of Nipîy Iskwew Designs. Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and on the Beaver First Nation Reserve, Gladue is taking the Canadian Fashion World by storm.
As a child, Gladue has fond memories of her Cree grandmother, the family’s matriarch, creating the most intricate tapestries and beaded clothing for clients. “My grandmother was an entrepreneur and an inspiration; she is why I got into fashion.” Said Gladue
Before entering the world of fashion, Gladue dedicated her time to helping others through the practice of traditional indigenous healing. She takes great pride in being able to help those who need spiritual guidance. Enabling others to achieve a true sense of peace throughout the mind, body, and spirit is a gratifying experience, added Gladue.
After a long time of dreaming of entering the world of fashion, her husband bought her a clothing press so she could put her designs and logos on garments. However, as per Gladue, that press sat in the closet for an extended time unopened. But, that all changed with the start of COVID.
Gladue said, “If there was ever a time to chase my dreams, this was my moment.” Not knowing how to use a press machine, Gladue turned to Youtube and spent countless hours watching videos and tutorials, learning everything she could to perfect her craft.
And only after she had perfected the art of pressing and printing she had to confidence to let it be known to the world; Nipîy Iskwew Designs, which is Cree for “Water Woman,” had arrived. It was her traditional Indigenous name that was bestowed upon her by her grandmother.
Nipîy Iskwew started with a few sweaters and posted them on social media for sale; to her surprise, the next day, when she checked her account, they were all sold out with a massive influx of orders.
Within 24 hours, Gladue went from an up-and-coming designer to an overnight smash incorporating Cree and Indigenous languages into her designs. Her designs are fresh, trendy, and stylish, with a flare of Indigenous culture. The Canadian fashion designer pays homage to her Indigenous roots, and her clothing also represents a young trendy brand that appeals to everyone.
Gladue is vibrant, energetic and has a personality that lights up a room from a mile away. She is charismatic and genuine, which is one of the reasons people are drawn to her infectious personality. She has all the qualities of a forward-thinking C.E.O., which is why she has achieved so much success, which is a credit to her hard work and determination to succeed.
When Gladue is not creating the newest trends, she is travelling North America performing in the critically claimed musical Bear Grease. An Indigenous adaptation of the Movie Grease that starred John Travolta and the Late Olivia Newton-John. The musical is the brainchild of the iconic actress Crystle Lighting and super producer/musician MC RedCloud.
Even with the full schedule, Gladue always gives back to the community by offering free workshops that empower women and youths while teaching them the ins and outs of the fashion business. “Any way that I can help, I will. Even if it is teaching how to walk down a runway or providing a free headshot to assist them in starting their portfolios, it’s something that brings a smile to my face.” Said Gladue
Gladue’s designs are in such high demand that they could be purchased online or at Saskatoon’s Midtown mall in the Nikihk store. Her foray into the fashion scene earned her the best Indigenous Clothing Designer of the year at the 2022 International Hip Hop Awards Show. Unprecedented for a company as new as Nipîy Iskwew Designs.
And although she earned the award of being the best Indigenous clothing designer, she is more than that; she is an emerging Canadian designer ushering in a new line of clothing that appeals to everyone.
Gladue is a once-in-a-generation talent. She is a designer that does fit in any box, and she’s not from Milan, she’s not from New York, she’s not from Paris, she’s not from London, she’s from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and the pride of the Beaver First Nations People.
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