Patricia Michaels says she began sewing by helping her mom make Pow-wow outfits around the dining-room table as a child. She then went on the attend the Chicago Art Institute as well as the Institute of American Indian Art before designing costumes for the Sante Fe Opera. Recently, when she presented her clothing line during her audition for Project Runway, she says the judges instantly knew she would bring something completely unique to the show.
“Being from a Native American family where we have to fabricate our own garments, and some of the materials we use are straight out of our environment, we know how to be resourceful and we know how to make something from scratch. It’s the first time they’ve seen Native American design feel modern.”
Michaels knows that by being on the reality show, she’s shattering stereotypes, showing the world that Native American design can be innovative and cutting-edge. She also hopes that her fame will be an inspiration to other Native designers.
Already having made it through four elimination rounds, Patricia Michaels has high hopes to be a finalist on the show come April.