A Fashionable Finale

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Eastern New Mexico University is hosting a Native Fashion Talk on Tuesday, Nov. 17, featuring celebrated Navajo fashion designer Virginia Yazzie Ballenger.

After hosting two virtual events earlier in the month in celebration and recognition of Native American Heritage Month, (beginning with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women event hosted on Nov. 10, and the Bordertown Racism event hosted on Nov. 12) the Native Fashion Talk will be the final celebration hosted by ENMU for the month.

Annabel Jauregui, administrative assistant for Multicultural Affairs at ENMU, has been instrumental in making the event possible. She made the flyer for the event and has been active in advertisement and promotion. To kick off the event, Jauregui will introduce the moderator, Gordon Bronitsky, founder and president of Bronitsky and Associates and IndigeNOW, which has worked with Indigenous Peoples around the world in the performing arts and festival development since 1994.

The star of the event, Virginia Yazzie Ballenger, is a Navajo fashion designer who specializes in contemporary clothing that is inspired by Navajo traditions. One of her designs titled “The Slender One” earned first place in the Contemporary Clothing division at the annual clothing contest at the Santa Fe Plaza in 2019.

Jauregui said that the purpose of the Native Fashion Talk event is to celebrate and promote the beauty that exists within Native American Culture, while also raising awareness and educating the ENMU community about the importance of Native American Heritage.

Concerning her hopes for the event, Jauregui shared, “I hope attendees learn more about Native American culture…and learn to embrace the diversity. I also hope they learn more about Navajo Fashion and the various looks that exist, as it relates to contemporary clothing.”

After Ballenger has completed her presentation, there will be a designated time for attendees to ask questions and participate virtually.

The event will begin at 2 p.m. (MT) via Zoom. Students can pre-register to receive the link to attend through accessing the promotional email from ENMU’s Student Affairs Office sent to all ENMU students.

“I think it is important to celebrate and recognize Native American Heritage and fashion because of its rich history, and it is important to recognize the contributions indigenous people have in society,” said Jauregui.

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