We’re incredibly proud of our ongoing partnership with Native designers. These collaborations allow us to weave stories and meaning into our clothes while supporting Native communities and helping to end appropriation in fashion. Our newest partner, Lehi ThunderVoice Eagle, is a Diné and Totonoc artist and fashion designer. We first worked with him to create a mural to celebrate Womxn’s Herstory Month at our Venice Store on Abbot Kinney. ThunderVoice Eagle uses his art as commentary for issues currently facing the Native community and sees it as a powerful tool to push conversations forward. A kindred spirit, he shares our commitment to craftsmanship and sustainability.
He founded ThunderVoice Hat Co. as an antidote to the damaging effects of fast fashion. “Today, fashion is categorized and follows trends,” he says. “If you look at old photos, Native people had a very different mentality around fashion. It was harmonious and interconnected with the land. A buckskin was processed after a hunt and turned into a shirt and painstakingly designed with elaborate patterns. It was never discarded. It was a piece someone would wear most of their life.”
The idea of a seasonal wardrobe update, didn’t exist, he says. “If we wanted something new we traded,” he says. “Trading was a way to pass on symbolism and family ties to the land.” Create, reuse, repurpose, and re-harmonize with the land was the ethos. ThunderVoice Eagle takes the same approach with hats. “My dad grew up on a ranch and worked with horses,” he recalls. “Hats were a big piece of his upbringing and it dawned on me that they could be a means for people to reach back into the past while bringing things forward and remembering our ancestors.”
Rather than craft new hats, ThunderVoice Eagle hand sources old Navajo brim hats and repurposes them with found and second-hand elements like Buffalo nickels and old leather saddle straps. The only new elements are the liner and sweatband. On average, he spends eight to 10 hours crafting each hat and is incredibly intentional about production, considering its impact on both the local community and environment. He sees every hat as the continuation of a story.
Similar to his hats, ThunderVoice Eagle’s designs with Faherty have deep meaning and speak to the importance of the land. “For the Native community, land is everything,” he says. “I love the idea of land being a part of who we are and carrying the land with you.” ThunderVoice Eagle grew up near the Rim of the Grand Canyon and says the colors of the Snowflake Snowy Ridge High Pile Popover Fleece take inspiration from winter sunsets reflecting off the snow-dusted red rocks. And the gray and navy colors in the ThunderVoice Eagle Legend Sweater Shirt are intended to connect earth and sky, he says, but also mimic the way the mountains can take on a blue glow at a particular time of day. Click here to shop his designs.