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Riley Kucheran

Riley Kucheran

Assistant Professor, Design Leadership


BA. Arts & Contemporary Studies, Toronto Metropolitan University, MA. Communication & Culture, Ryerson & York Universities.

#IndigenousFashion #Decolonization #Entrepreneurship #Retail #Fashion Theory

Office: RCC 230-B

As an Indigenous fashion researcher and academic I support a global community of Indigenous makers who are leading design resurgence. My experience in fashion retail and entrepreneurship and my knowledge of Indigenous theory means I see fashion as a powerful tool for decolonization. Indigenous design is sustainable because it relies on communities to collectively make clothing in a respectful and reciprocal way. In my work I try to bridge Indigenous methodology with research in the creative industries and fashion management while connecting industry partners to communities in mutually beneficial ways. I also have responsibilities in my own community, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, and I am currently doing a PhD with them about how Indigenous creative industries like fashion can mobilize our cultural and economic resurgence. 


My PhD research focuses on how Indigenous artisans, designers and entrepreneurs can use fashion to support community efforts to self-determination and sovereignty. By visiting with members of my own community and the global Indigenous fashion community, I hope to collaboratively create deeper understandings of how we might organize and strengthen the Indigenous design industry. I also lead a project called Fashioning Reconciliation/Resurgence which is a lecture and panel series, symposium coinciding with Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto, and forthcoming edited collection. 


“Fashioning Indigenous Cultural Resurgence: Strategies for Indigenous Luxury Fashion Designers”

in forthcoming edited collection by the Canadian Critical Luxury Collective. Intellect Books. 

“Luxury Place-making in the City.” Cultural Politics 14 (3): 410-412. 

“Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto is healing and resurgence in action.” The Conversation. June 11,

2018. (external link) .

“Indigenous Fashion is in Resurgence.” The KIT, Toronto Star. May 24, 2018. (external link) .