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A Pivot from Painting to Lingerie Design

Aug 30, 2019

Photos courtesy of Shy Natives

Printmaker and painter Jordan Ann Craig has turned to a new outlet for her creativity: lingerie. Her new company, Shy Natives, founded with her sister Madison Craig, has such compelling, fresh designs, it was recently featured in Vogueworld, a daily online news site of Vogue Magazine.

 SAR’s 2018 Eric and Barbara Dobkin Native Artist fellow and a 2019 Institute of American Indian Arts Artist in Residence, Craig has background in painting and psychology, which she studied at Dartmouth College. During her time at SAR’s Indian Arts Research Center as a Dobkin Fellow, the Northern Cheyenne artist studied Native pottery for the first time, turning her research into large scale oil paintings as well as bound artist books from her sketches and digital pattern images.

Shy Natives was started after Jordan’s sister Madison, tired of not finding lingerie that fit her well, started designing and sewing bralettes and underwear. She then started creating styles for Jordan, who now manages the brand’s image, style and feel. For the Craigs, Shy Natives is envisioned as an ongoing art and social project that they hope will empower individuals with its designs and imagery. To that end, they also collaborate with Indigenous photographers, filmmakers, poets, models and artists, keeping their designs simple and tasteful.

While they don’t want Shy Natives to only be a company that serves Indigenous populations, the Craigs do want to represent and empower native people. They avoid explicit sexuality and favor sensuality, working with their models to create respectful images that reflect how the models themselves would like to be presented to the world.

Jordan notes in the article:

Especially because it is underwear, and it is an intimate article of clothing, we want to keep it as original and beautiful as possible. [And] as the history goes with Native American women being exploited and abused and stereotyped, we’re just trying to fight all of those things and make it really empowering and exciting.

Shy Natives designs were debuted at the 2019 Santa Fe Indian Market in August and the Craigs are expecting to launch a website soon.

To learn more about Jordan Craig’s time at SAR and artistic perspective, read here and for more information on Shy Natives, read the Vogueworld article here.


Learn more about the IARC Native Artist Fellowship Program here.

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