Indian Summer Welcomes
Navajo-Dine Fashion Designer,
Teaching Culture and Building Children's Self Esteem
All the children and young adults featured in LeAnn's shows are Native American from various tribes; Navajo, Choctaw, Kiowa, Lakota, Ho-Chunk, and Potawatomi, are just a few of the Nations represented. The runway is a great opportunity for them to gain self-esteem and confidence in themselves, while also giving them pride in their culture. Coming from urban areas where Native culture is not always within reach, here they are able to join together with other youth and experience a unique display of tradition through fashion.
Her shows in Arizona have featured local Navajo Nation royalty, who share their talent and traditional songs, while other events showcased vocalists and powwow dancers. She gives back to the community by using her talent as a designer to hold fashion show fundraisers for various Native organizations in Arizona and Illinois, and many new locations to come. It's not just about fashion, it's about keeping culture alive through the art of design, music, singing, and dancing, to show the youth that they can hold on to their ways no matter where they are. All designs are one of a kind and LeAnn will have her All Native Fashion line available for purchase throughout the weekend at Indian Summer Festival. With the recent Native American inspired fashion trend hitting all the stores, a great alternative is to buy directly from the many up and coming Native American designers in Indian Country.
IN LEANN'S WORDS:
I am full blooded Dine-Navajo, born and raised in a small town called Tuba City, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation. I am of the Zuni Edgewater (Naasht'ezhi Tabaaha) clan, born for Start of the Red Streak People(Deeshchii'nii) clan. My maternal grandfathers are Tangle Clan (Ta'neeszahnii) and my paternal grandfathers are Red Tobacco(Natoh Dine Tachiinii) clan.
Growing up, I watched my mother Lillian Bancroft sew traditional Navajo clothing and loved how passionate she was about it. I started designing when I was in High School and my mother would sew everything for me.
I moved to the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago in late 2005 and It was not until I turned 24 years old that I had recieved my first sewing machine from my family and I've been sewing ever since. Becoming a mother to two beautiful girls definitely was a blessing because they are my inspiration to keep designing and sewing. I am currently enrolled at Elgin Community College.
My Fashion Shows that I put on in Arizona, Wisconsin and Illinois consist of local native youth to give them self esteem and pride in there culture thru traditional and contemporary clothing. Its such a blessing to work with the youth, talk to them and encourage them that no matter where they come from they can follow there dreams and still maintain there culture.