Updated: Mar 25
Alicia Smith, native artist, found her true calling, an unnerving age of urge to create at and early age. She imagined herself proudly representing her Nuu-Chah-Nulth (Ahousaht)/Kwakwaka'wakw (Albert Bay) Nations. Alicia was inspired by one of her teacher's to create, draw, paint, carve and many other forms of artistic expression to tap artistry.
Origin Papers had the honour of sitting down with Alicia and getting to know how her craft birthed its journey. Her vision was clear even during Alicia's formative years where art acted as more of a hobby, a craft she dabbled in after a long day of work.
Winning several awards for her developing mastery in design, she started modelling for different Native designers. Alicia knew this was how she could inspire people while fulfilling her aching devotion to pay homage to her heritage and the youth within her community. This was the turning point at which Alicia saw "First Nation's Art meeting Fashion" in a way that spoke to her loudest.
For her first collection of work in 2012 she hand-painted her designs onto a pair of her wedge-sandals. Her mobile devices started to sound like morning alarms set to repeat every 2-mins, as messages came flooding to her inbox with purchase requests for the sandals she had posted on her feed. Alicia expanded her collections to purses, wallets, rings and many other wearable pieces.
What started as a hobby was now a career path, Alicia proceeded to create
(Alicia's Iink), which has grown to be a thriving brand for the last seven years. Earlier this year, Alicia's Designs were discovered by the renowned fashionistas of New York Fashion Week (September 2019) and invited to showcase her collections. Alicia created a collection called "Resilience" for the runway, to depict the divine empowerment of women.
This line was dedicated to the survivors and non-survivors of residential school. Having come from strong matriarchs in her mother and grandmother, survivors of the traumas of Residential Schools, Alicia wanted to pay homage to other strong women who have escaped the detrimental effects of residential schools. She was raised by strong women who empowered her to pursue her aspirations and inspire change for the future of First Nation's youth.
Alicia strives to empower those around her, and it is evident that her work is captivating the eyes and hearts of many people around North America. She believes that through fashion, we can engage in different dialogue and forms of healing that recognise Native culture. It is with great pleasure to present Alicia Marie in the interview below.
"Create, Don't Hesitate. "