Chloë Angus: Respect by Design
Chloë Angus is a gifted designer on a mission to weave honour and respect for Indigenous Peoples into every garment. She designs with the colours and power of a mighty nation.
Like any artist, her primarily inspiration is to create beauty and elevate the human experience, but the spark that ignites her transcendent designs is a profound love and appreciation for the art and culture of our First Peoples. Using the traditional motifs of celebrated Aboriginal artists, Chloë hopes to make a difference in our divisive Western society. The enrichment of her elegant designs with First Nations art is one way to bring people together. Chloë wants her fashions to facilitate conversations, garner understanding between cultures, and catalyse collaboration.
The Vancouver fashion designer grew up within a predominantly First Nations fishing community. Though non-Indigenous herself, Chloë's creative journey has been heavily influenced by her early associations with her Aboriginal neighbours and friends.
"I have such a deep appreciation for Indigenous art in Canada!" Chloë reflects. When she moved to Vancouver, Chloë was dismayed by the separation and lack of interaction between First Nations and Caucasian people. "I wanted to find a way to create an opportunity for them to get together and share ideas and stories."
Artistic expression allowed Chloë to be an emissary between cultures; her fashion design skills a conduit for a true collaboration of mind and spirit over skin colour.
Chloë gained an in-depth knowledge of Indigenous art while working with a Haida artist. Then, following design school, she started her own fashion business in partnership with various First Nations artists, displaying their iconic images on her fashions.
"My 'Spirit' Collection is all about collaboration." Indeed, the mutually beneficial relationship marries Chloë's design expertise with the talents of many skilled Indigenous artists. Every piece of clothing gives credit to the First Nations artist by promoting them and the designer at the same time. "I feel that I am building a new sense of respect for Indigenous people,” she says proudly.
Ms. Angus' dream is that, one day, her unique brand will elicit instant recognition: 'there's a Chloë Angus' they'll say. Judging by her dazzling 'Spirit' collection, Chloë is well on her way. "People around the world covet Indigenous art and you can't find it anywhere else but Canada." At home and abroad, her fashions are an instant hit: "It is a contemporary line for all women, and we already have a large following."
Chloë's creations of unique flowing lines and striking contours - splashed with vivid Aboriginal archetypes - take one's breath away. Using only the highest quality fabrics and materials, Chloë has dressed everyone from our former premier, Christy Clark, to British Royalty - Kate Middleton. The Duchess of Cambridge, sashays through Buckingham Palace in Angus' world-class designs.
Despite being a fascinating journey from "wood shed to the red carpet", the fashion professional's life has not been an easy one. Ever since a tumour on her spine caused paralysis from the waist down a few years ago, Chloë has had to get used to a new life in a wheelchair. But she seems to be tackling that challenge with the same bravado and ingenuity that fuels her design work. Chloë is involved with a Vancouver-based company that is using the science of robotics to help people walk again.
When someone dons a Chloë Angus shirt or jacket, they are also wearing a legacy and a promise -- the proud culture of the first people who walked this land and a pledge to honour them as a valuable part of our lives.