Heard showcases Native American designers - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Heard showcases Native American designers

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Posted: Friday, June 19, 2009 2:18 pm | Updated: 1:40 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The world-reknowned katsina and pottery collections of the Heard Museum will take a backseat today to graffiti-inspired t-shirts created by two young fashion designers from Tempe.

Tyson Powless and Quishana Begay will show off their edgy line of Un3ek Sy5tem clothing and accessories in a fashion show at the museum's Native + U event, a free party centered around music, fashion, art and jewelry created by hip, young Native Americans.

The 20-something couple with Navajo and Iraquois heritage base their designs on a mix of hip-hop culture and Native American symbolism. The results are bold, youthful graphics that are a far cry from pastel Southwest-gift-shop style. So far, their duds are available at select Native American events, hip-hop clubs, art shows and music festivals.

Begay, who grew up in Farmington and Shiprock, N.M, studied business at Mesa Community College before co-founding the design company with Powless.

The museum party, called NU for short, will also feature music by DJ Fienx and a trunk show of affordable items by New Mexico jewelers Pat Pruitt, Keri Ataumbi, and David and Wayne Nez Gaussoin. In addition, the museum will host cash bars and open its galleries, courtyards, cafe and gift shop to guests.

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