Jade Brazeau’s mom is a photographer, so she’s been modeling for photographs since she was about 11. However, now in her 20s she’s taking it a step further.
August 4 and 5, Brazeau was scheduled to be one of the fashion models at Edmonton Indigenous Fashion Week at River Cree Casino in Enoch, AB.
The end of July when Brazeau talked to The Leader she wasn’t sure which Indigenous designer she’d be working with, but knew that the show was going to include street wear and traditional Indigenous designs with a modern twist.
“I’m excited to wear their clothes and see the designs they have,” she says.
As an adult, Brazeau is starting to look into her Indigenous heritage.
“I didn’t grow up that way,” she says.
She is a member of Bigstone Cree Nation.
Brazeau was also looking forward to “meeting new people, especially the performers that are going to be there.”
The event has 24 designers, 40 Indigenous vendors, 30 Indigenous performers and entertainers, and two fashion shows each day.
Brazeau applied to be a model, was interviewed and found out she got the spot in mid July. Originally, it was going to be a paid position, but a sponsor fell through, so the models have to pay their own way. To help pay for it, Brazeau held a raffle of photo shoots from her mom’s photography companies.
Asked why she’s going into modelling, Brazeau says, “mostly, I want to be an inspiration for younger women.”
Brazeau has struggled with low self-esteem and found the pictures her mom took of her helped to “show me how beautiful I actually am,” she says. “It’s really a confidence booster for me.” With that in mind, she hopes that being a model will “represent Indigenous women who have the same problems.”
If all goes well, Enoch may be the start of something more. At the moment, she’s focused on Indigenous fashion shows, but says, “if a job comes up near me that’s just for modelling, I’d be interested.”
by Pearl Lorentzen