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Not One but Two Indigenous Designers on Project Runway!

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown August 6th, 2014 Last Updated on: August 6th, 2014

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Any Project Runway fans in the house? You might remember they had native designer Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo) from Season 11. This season the judges have picked two designers with native heritage!

First up is Korina Emmerich from the Puyallup tribe. She's 28, and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Below are a couple of questions from the Q&A portion of her Project Runway profile.

Q First garment you ever made?
A The first thing I ever made myself was my Jingle Dress Regalia for powwows (I was 13 or 14). My sister was a Fancy Dancer (shawl dance) and I always wanted to be a jingle dress dancer. I thought they were the most beautiful dresses on the powwow circuit. It was a combination of all of my favorite power colors, red, orange, and yellow with gold jingles (probably around 300-400, it was very heavy). The jingle dress is known as the healing dress and the prayer dress. Each jingle has a prayer and when you dance the prayers are released. The first time I danced my jingles started falling off one by one (a nod to my inexperience in sewing). I was devastated. It’s a big deal for regalia to fall apart at powwows. The whole community reassured me it was ok and supported me. I clamped all the jingles and they never fell off again. I’m not sure that I ever would have sewn again if it weren’t for the outstanding support of everyone that day.

Q Favorite material or fabric to work with?
A Leather.

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

In this video Korina Emmerich shows us around her apartment:

And we get a sneak peek into her closet!

She grew up in Oregon so of course she loves Pendleton blankets!

Next up is Kiniokahokula “Kini” Zamora who is Native Hawaiian. He's 30 and lives in Kapolei, HI.

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Below are a few questions from the Q&A portion of her Project Runway profile.

Q If you weren't designing, you'd be…
A Farming and learning more about my Hawaiian culture.

Q Nicknames?
A Kini (key-knee), short for Kiniokahokuloa because it's too long to say.

Q First garment you ever made?
A A pair of elastic shorts made out of scrap cotton Hawaiian print.

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Photo Via Lifetime

Here is Zamora's home visit:

And a sneak peek into his closet:

What do you think? Do either of them have a shot at winning? Tune in to Lifetime and find out. Project Runway airs Thursdays at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central on Lifetime.


Home » Native American Articles » Native American Culture » Not One but Two Indigenous Designers on Project Runway!

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.



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