Phoenix Fashion Week has been the leading fashion industry event in the Southwest for over 10 years, with a mission to bridge national and international designers with retailers, boutiques, fashionistas and top fashion media globally. Meet Norma Flying Horse of Red Berry Woman, named 2022 Designer of the Year.

Fabulous Designer: Norma Flying Horse  

Phoenix Fashion Week has been the leading fashion industry event in the Southwest for over 10 years, with a mission to bridge national and international designers with retailers, boutiques, fashionistas and top fashion media globally. Meet Norma Flying Horse of Red Berry Woman, named 2022 Designer of the Year.

IG Handle: @red_berry_woman

First fashion job: Sewing Native American regalia. I grew up dancing and participating in my cultural events and ceremonies. By doing so, my mom taught me to sew my dance regalia at the age of 12, and soon after I was taking orders from fellow dancers to sew their dance outfits.

When did you know you had a passion for fashion: When I was 4, the best thing about leaving the ranch to go to town with my grandparents (this was a big thing because we don’t have stores that had toys on the reservation back then) was getting to buy the toy high heels sold at KMart. I refused to take them off while checking cows with my grandpa. Ha!

Person who has impacted your life the most and why: My mother. She was forever admiring vintage clothing and sharing her thoughts and ideas about fashion during my childhood.

Your biggest fashion accomplishment in your eyes and why: I would have to say having one of my gowns be worn on the Oscar stage by activist, Alice Brownotter of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, during the Andra Day and Common performance in 2017. Having my contemporary Native Fashion gown worn not just to but on the biggest fashion stage still feels like a dream. It’s been a blessing in so many ways.

The biggest obstacle you have overcome: My biggest obstacle is not being formally trained in fashion or in business. What I lack in training, I make up for in determination and hard work.

A designer who inspires you and why: Alexander McQueen. His designs were and are not only beautiful but would push people out of their comfort zones and from that needed conversation arose.

Favorite quote: “Don’t ask for an easier life, pray to be a stronger person.”

Advice to someone pursuing a career in fashion as a designer: If you are able to go to school, go. Absorb all the information you can, be ready to work and Crocs don’t belong on a runway.

How has the Phoenix Fashion Week impacted your brand? I now feel I have the important tools that no one tells you about outside of formal training and school to build my brand. I have a confidence that I would not have been able to gain had I not gotten to be a part of this program. The work of promoting fashion is huge but to add education on top of it all…Phoenix Fashion Week is certainly setting the bar and proving they mean what they say about elevating people to the next level. 

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