Dorothy Grant RCA
Internationally renowned fashion designer and traditional Haida artist Dorothy Grant’s strong connection to her culture and Haida identity has been her driving creative force and a foundation as a contemporary fashion designer for over thirty-two years.
Dorothy Grant uniquely merges art with fashion and forges a link between ancient heritage and modern society. Her creations celebrate the bonds between cultures, with meticulous attention to the ageless and elegant Haida art form, in the creation of timeless wearable art.
Dorothy Grant was born in Hydaburg, Alaska and grew up in Ketchikan, Alaska. She is a Kaigani Haida of the raven clan from the Brown Bear House of Howkan. Fired by creative forces, Grant spins the 10,000 year old legends of the Haida into high style, fusing myth into each flawlessly designed and manufactured garment. Drawing from ancient stories, she translates age-old symbols and forms into equally timeless clothing. Her garments, ceremonial button blankets and spruce root hats are treasured by Haidas as expressions of living culture and may be found in art collections and various museums in Canada and the United States. Her strong connection to her culture and deepened sense of Haida identity is the creative force behind her Feastwear and Dorothy Grant labels.
In 1983 she began sketching Haida art onto clothing. As the idea developed, she was strongly motivated by non-native designers who were incorporating North West Coast native art into their clothing. She felt it was a poor representation of a beautiful art form. She decided to sharpen her design and art skills by attending the Helen Lefeaux School of Fashion Design in Vancouver BC, graduating in 1988.
In 1993 Dorothy Grant won the Best Professional Designer Award at the “Winds of Change” fashion competition held in Toronto. The event was sponsored by the Canada Council for Native Business. As part of the award, Dorothy traveled to France to take part in the Paris fall fashion event “Les Vendanges sur la Montaigne”. Her work was also featured at a special reception at the Canadian Embassy in Paris.
In 2015, she was awarded the prestigious Order of Canada. Most recently in 2018 Dorothy was awarded an Honorary Degree from Simon Fraser University
Works by this Artist (Present + Past + Public)
50% Merino Wool 50% Silk
“We believe the hands are connected to the heart centre, which the Haida believe was the mind centre. The right and the left hands have human faces in the palms that represent creativity, healing and communication. Thus, the artist communicates their work through working with their hands.” – Dorothy Grant