From the Margins to the Mainstream

Canadian Indigenous Designers Make Their Mark at WHITE Milano

All Images Courtesy of Indigenous Fashion Arts (IFA)

Lesley Hampton
Justin Louis

Niio Perkins

Evan Ducharme

Erica Donovan

Robyn McLeod

Six Indigenous Canadian designers take centre at WHITE Milano, Italy’s largest concept tradeshow during Milan Fashion Week, from Feb. 24 to 27.
This is the first time Indigenous designers have presented at the show representing a significant step towards greater inclusion and recognition of Indigenous fashion. An initiative spearheaded by Sage Paul, Indigenous Fashion Arts (IFA) co-founder and executive director, gives designers direct access to international buyers and suppliers to help develop economic opportunities and increase visibility for Indigenous artists.
The designers showcasing their work are Evan Ducharme, Lesley Hampton, Niio Perkins Designs, Robyn McLeod, Section 35 (Justin Louis), and She Was a Free Spirit (Erica Donovan)—each bringing a unique perspective to the event, from intricate beadwork and embroidery to traditional beadwork and floral motifs to the use of bold colours and traditional Haida designs.
This moment is a reminder that fashion is not only about aesthetics but also about culture, identity, and heritage. It is a celebration of diversity and a recognition of the vital role that Indigenous designers play in shaping the fashion industry. Including Indigenous designers in WHITE Milano is a step towards breaking down the barriers that have historically prevented Indigenous designers from gaining recognition in the mainstream fashion industry.

Section 35 (Justin Louis)


Niio Perkins Designs


Robyn McLeod

PHOTOGRAPHY Cathie Archbold | Robby Dick

She Was a Free Spirit (Erica Donovan)

PHOTOGRAPHY Kristian Binder

Lesley Hampton

Evan Ducharme

PHOTOGRAPHY Larissa Chartrand