Ginew’s story sounds like the beginning of a superhero tale. Married duo Erik Brodt and Amanda Bruegl spend their days helping sick patients—as a family medicine doctor and women’s oncology doctor, respectively. But on nights and weekends they design and run the country's only Native-owned, premium denim collection.
Using their family’s history as blacksmiths, farmers, and machinists, they weave motorcycle culture, workwear, and family symbols into high-end Americana pieces.
Photographer Amanda Leigh Smith traveled deep into Eastern Oregon to capture their latest pieces on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The shoot also included a limited edition “We Walk Together” blanket collaboration, with Pendleton representing a fusion of Brodt and Bruegl’s tribal cultures—Ojibwe, Oneida, and Mohican. (There are only 28 blankets available for sale this year.)
Smith shot the lookbook in Tutuilla, Oregon, at the home of Anna and Katie Harris (non-treaty Nez Perce and Karuk, enrolled Cayuse and Umatilla Natives). Among the models are the sisters' gorgeous leopard Appaloosa horses, brothers Ollocot and Thunder, descendants of the horses their ancestors rode.
“We grew up with them. They were side by side with us during some of our most formative years. To say that we love them would be an understatement,” says Anna Harris on the importance of them being part of the shoot for a collection rooted in culture and tradition. “Our two different peoples’ are connected throughout the generations, our homeland, our blood—we even share a similar historical trauma. And that’s a connection that is rare between two people, let alone two species.”