Today I am sharing my recent collaboration with Diné/Navajo fashion designer, Jared Yazzie of OXDX clothing. Jared created OXDX clothing in 2009 and since then, this Native American owned company has transformed into a fashion staple for Native Americans across the country. Walk into any Native American event and you will see someone wearing an OXDX graphic shirt. Scroll through Instagram, and I am sure at least someone in your feed, will be wearing a “Native Americans Discovered Columbus” OXDX t-shirt. Based out of Chandler, AZ, OXDX, has empowered Native people to make a statement with their clothing.
“OXDX” is an abbreviation of the word “Overdose”, a word Yazzie uses to describe the state of modern society. Sometimes we need to pull back and remember our culture, tradition, and those who have sacrificed for us. – OXDX website
When I first started my Instagram and blog 4.5 years ago, I wanted to connect with Arizona Native fashion designers. On top of that list, included Jared of OXDX clothing. A bit intimated and awestruck by the powerful and controversial designs of his graphic shirts, I was intrigued. OXDX helped me understand Native American issues, that I was previously blind to. It sounds strange to say that now, as indigenous activism has a huge presence on social media now; however, 4 years ago, this was all new. There were only a handful of young Native people online, publicly addressing and speaking out on issues that were occurring on Native lands such as environmental rights and cultural appropriation, and OXDX was one them. It was bold and brave, and it has helped shaped the Native American activist community today.
Feeling empowered by this brand, I went to my first OXDX fashion show in 2015, where honestly, I felt completely out of place. Hip Hop music was blaring in background and the venue was full of an assortment of people, who I really did not connect with. As soon as I was about to walk out, the music changed to punk rock music, and the mood shifted, and all eyes were averted to the runway. Out walked the models who were all exuding confidence in their OXDX t-shirts. Each shirt representing a current Native American issue at hand. I couldn’t wait for the next model to come out and I was quickly reminded of why I was intrigued by OXDX. You can make a statement without even saying a word.
After the fashion show, I met Jared, who is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He shared more about his brand and instantly it was like I was talking to a long lost friend, and I immediately felt at ease. Since then Jared and the OXDX team would be that smiling and supportive voice that you are excited to see at any event. OXDX clothing also brings together the Phoenix Native American community with their events, and highlight other talented and empowering Native individuals. The OXDX team also includes Shaina Yazzie and Hannah Manuelito, who add so much to the OXDX team with their contagious laughter and sparkle. If you don’t already follow OXDX on Instagram, do that now, and watch their Instagram stories!
As a Native American in today’s society, we are all looking to find ways to reconnect and positively represent our culture. For me that means, blending my feminine, colorful, and cheery attitude with my Diné/ Navajo culture. I am always looking for ways to evolve and challenge my personal style. But I also don’t want to be blind to the issues that are being faced in our native homelands and in popular culture. I was so excited when the OXDX team asked if I could model a few t-shirts. Of course this was done with a Fancy Navajo flair. The lovely Hannah, did her makeup magic and we went out one very HOT afternoon to shoot these amazing photos. I also did a blog post with Hannah, where she showed me how to do her magical glitter eyes. If you haven’t read it, go read that here. I really love how these photos turned out and I felt so empowered in these shirts!
If you don’t already give OXDX Clothing a follow on their social media and go check out their website. You can purchase the shirts I am wearing online or catch the OXDX team in person. They will be at Phoenix Flea, Saturday, November 25th in Phoenix, AZ. These would be perfect gifts for the upcoming holiday! Their shirts are also super soft!! I can’t wait to see what OXDX does next!! Let me know which look was your favorite.
*Photography by Hannah Manuelito*