Published on December 14, 2013 by Amy
Angela DeMontigny has a passion for design. She displays an extraordinary ability to produce a contemporary, ready-to-wear collection and one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art that not only express her zeal for her native culture and heritage, but also shows that she is street smart and style savvy when it comes to delivering marketable merchandise. Edginess and elegance intertwine with cultural Chippewa-Cree-Metis elements. Her trademark is handpainted symbols and beaded accents – an inherent skill that has been handed down from her native ancestors for hundreds of years.
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The evolution of Angela’s development as a fashion designer started almost 13 years ago when she recognized that there was a niche market for Aboriginal designed, mainstream fashions: an opportunity for her to not only incorporate the artistic traditions she had learned, but to interpret these elements in a modern way.
From her home base on the Six Nations Indian reserve in southwestern Ontario, Angela first launched her own line of ready-to-wear called ‘Spirit Ware’ – a collection of comfortable, casual clothing made in a variety of fabrics. This was more than 10 years ago and since then, Angela’s designs have evolved into an exclusive line of original, one-of-a-kind, leather and suede garments that have been sold in specialty boutiques and galleries throughout North America, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. Angela’s celebrity as a native fashion designer is evident today not only because of her burgeoning and successful career, but also in part due to her regular speaking engagements and advocacy of other native artists and designers. She has become one of the leading, elite aboriginal designers in Canada and her appeal is often to the entertainment world, attracting accomplished singers, performers and celebrities.
Angela’s wardrobing credits & interviews include the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, a variety of national television shows, the Aboriginal Music Awards, Fashion Television, Breakfast Television, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, and was a feature of ‘Success Story’ a regular CTV News segment; her designs have been showcased in numerous fashion and aboriginal magazines in Canada and the U.S. such as Flare, Chatelaine, Women’s Wear Daily, Aboriginal Voices, Spirit Magazine, Cowboys & Indians, Tribe, True West and the current winter issue of Say Magazine. Most recently, Angela was the subject of a half hour documentary produced by the NRK television network in Norway which will be shown throughout Norway this fall as well as having her work documented in a soon-to-be-released book about Canadian fashion and identity written by Italian authors, Giovanna Franci and Rosella Mangaroni.
Angela has established herself as a pioneer in the aboriginal fashion industry and has used her extensive marketing and industry knowledge to produce, international-quality fashion events to promote Canadian native designers within the mainstream industry. She is now expanding into television production where she will be able to reach a more global audience. Her experience as a designer, manufacturer, wholesaler, exporter and retailer as well as her keen understanding and passion for this niche market give her the knowledge necessary to assist with establishing new markets for aboriginal cultural products. As the creative director for the premiere ‘FashioNation’ showcase and a key member of the event committee, she not only co-coordinated the first ever group showing of native designers during ‘L’oreal Fashion Week’ in 2004 to great acclaim and a flurry of media attention but also provided native designers with the opportunity to be ‘included’ amongst Canada’s design elite. Since then, she has been instrumental in developing the ‘Canadian Aboriginal Design Council’, a national organization established to promote, market and develop new markets for native designers both nationally and internationally and continues to produce professional shows/events which garner major, mainstream media attention. She recently sat as an industry advisor for the ‘Aboriginal Cultural Industries Advisory Group’ – a national initiative chaired by Heritage Canada, created in order to research, address and implement authenticity and protection measures for aboriginal cultural producers; is a voting member of ’Trade Team Canada’, has been involved in aboriginal tourism marketing initiatives over the years and is a regular guest speaker with regards to aboriginal business issues, marketing and exporting.