Of all the companies I could choose to cover with this blog, this company stands proud as the only Native American owned denim collection in the world. Crafting what the owners call “Native Americana”, Ginew honors the familial legacy of Erik Brodt and Amanda Bruegl while at the same time looking forward and collaborating with current, modern-day brands who share their passion for history.
Started in 2010 with the creation of wedding gifts (belts made out of the tanned buffalo hide that Erik’s father killed and prepared for their wedding ceremony), Erik and Amanda found themselves in the center of a void within the fashion world. They found a distinct lack of native designers and owners within the field of fashion, and they set out to change that trend. I think the best way I’ve seen it summarized is below, set during an interview between Robin Denim and Erik Brodt.
Through Ginew, we present our culture as we see it and live it. Both of us clearly recognize how common it is for other collections/brands to mimic/plagiarize tribal designs, often without understanding the depth and meaning of the colors, patterns, and images used. In bringing our Native American voice and style to life through Ginew, we may help others see that our culture is vibrant, dynamic, and present as ever.Erik Brodt, co-founder of Ginew in an interview with Robin Denim
But enough about the history, which you should definitely dive into on your own time because it’s incredibly interesting. Let’s talk clothing.
Jackets and Coats:
Jeans: Cute little side note, both styles of jeans are named after rivers that flow through the founder’s familial native lands. I just think that’s a super cool touch.
Ginew is a notable brand not because of the patterns or the inspiration behind the clothing (though all those things are special). As stated above, those patterns have been plagiarized since the dawn of time. It’s unique and memorable because of the heart that lies behind every stitch and layer of selvage denim. It’s because of the reverence for history and heritage that the owners place behind every stitch and pattern. I love brands who’s goal isn’t just to sell clothing, but it’s to tell a story. It’s the history and the heritage and the love and passion that all wrap together in one wonderful little brand based out of Portland, but who’s heart remains out in the wild.
Welcome to Ginew.
P.s. All photos (unless cited otherwise) are taken from Ginew’s website