Published on June 30, 2014 by Carol
Wendell Sakiestewa (pronounced “Sock-ee-ess-ta-wah”) has established his reputation as a designer, creating streetwise fashions, for celebrity clients. In 2001, he was tapped by Monty Pittman, guitarist in Madonna’s band, to create costumes for the premiere of the movie, Snatch, literally overnight outfitted the band, creating a sensational stripped denim with contrast velour cuff and lapel zoot suit for Monty, and winning Madonna’s own approval. Subsequently, he was associated with Snoop Dogg; and with Smokey Robinson, in the creation of the children’s line, BornStar. Most recently, he has been working with world boxing champion, Fernando Vargas, on the street hip Nawshis line.
dna testing, dna ancestry testing, ancestry, genealogy, indian genealogy records, paternity testing, turquoise jewelry, native american jewelry
Having successfully created marketable clothing lines inspired by the lifestyles and identities of celebrity clients, Wendall has turned to the more personal task of creating clothing, which grow out of his own Hopi roots. His creations retain urban street cred – aggressive attitude, sensuality and style – while incorporating many elements drawn from the creative arts of his Hopi heritage.
It was Wendell’s grandmother, especially, that nurtured his early talents, growing up in Arizona; she entered him in every art contest she could and he won most of them! As he got older, Wendell was encouraged to follow the artistic family tradition and pursue crafts like carving, jewelry, and painting. Creativity came naturally to him, and he easily mastered any craft he undertook, whether it was sewing, drawing, or beading.
His first profession was as a designer, but not in the arts; he trained in electrical engineering and began his career designing aircraft cockpit gears. After experimenting with interior design projects, he ventured into fashion design, and found a job designing swimwear. Having found his passion, he furthered his education at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, and apprenticed with Scott Hill, an upscale clothing boutique in Beverly Hills, where he was soon managing the manufacturing of Scott Hill’s line in Italy.
Wendell leads his independent Hopi Wen*Saks company in Los Angeles, doing contract (private label) and free-lance clothing designs. He is currently seeking business partners to expand distribution his Native American line.