This past November, thirteen Native boys and girls were photographed at Isleta Pueblo, one of New Mexico’s 19 Indian Pueblos, for our first apparel license and collaboration. The children modeled patterned shirts, dresses, rompers and t-shirts inspired by, and adapted from, Pueblo pottery in the collections of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.
Launched in January 2018 by the Tea Collection, a San Francisco-based children’s clothing company, the line is part of their Native Artists x Tea which celebrates Native artists and culture.
The day at the Pueblo was spent working with kids and photographing them wearing the clothes and playing at various locations throughout the village. The afternoon ended with a visit by Zia Pueblo-based pottery Ulysses Reid, who taught the kids how to work with the clay, make pots and apply paint to create pattern.
This unique blending of creativity and education is one of many components that add value to the Museum of New Mexico’s licensing partnerships. Not only do licensees have access to the unparalleled design resource in the four museums, but they also have the opportunity to tell the stories of the cultural and craft traditions embedded in the objects chosen for inspiration. To aid licensees in creating meaningful content, MNM Licensing provides educational information about the inspiration material and its role in cultural life
For licensing projects based on material in the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, we work with the Indian Advisory Panel, a committee comprised of members from New Mexico’s 19 Indian Pueblos. As reproductions of cultural material are not allowed, licensees are free to creatively adapt the designs to apply to their given market and current trend lines. All proposed designs are then reviewed by the Indian Advisory Panel. The process is collaborative, fun, and useful as often valuable educational information is shared. It also gives licensees the confidence that their products can be developed with sensitivity and respect and avoid issues that negatively impact their brand.
This collection is a fantastic example of how such a collaboration can work and create value for both the brand and the culture it is inspired by.