Victoria Kakuktinniq

Victoria Kakuktinniq is a talented fashion designer who is originally from Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet), NU. She is now based in Iqaluit, NU where she opened Victoria’s Arctic Fashions in 2013. Passionate about her culture, Kakuktinniq’s designs are a blend of traditional and modern materials and designs.

She began her career by learning to sew in high school in a course taught by elders in Iqaluit [1]. Kakuktinniq then immersed herself in traditional garment-making and learned to sew from women in her community [2]. Pursuing her passion, she enrolled in the MC College in Winnipeg, MB, taking Fashion Design and Apparel Production [3]. Kakuktinniq's work is now well known, in particular her unique interpretation of the traditional amauti (women’s parka), which she modernizes by incorporating different materials and design elements such as embroidery. Kakuktinniq has since expanded her range making atigi (parka) for both men and women, using sealskin, fur and modern materials of ripstop nylon and quilted hollofill

Kakuktinniq uses her platform to promote the use of sealskin in the fashion industry, working to build an engaged audience for Inuit fashion and culture and the use of traditional materials such as sealskin [4]. For Kakuktinniq, sealskin coats and accessories are more than fashion statements; they are a part of her heritage and the use of sealskin garments are also well-suited to the extreme cold temperatures in the north. Sealskin is coated in a natural oil, and when left untreated repels water. Sealskin is also an excellent insulator as it retains a significant amount of body heat.

Kakuktinniq’s coats and accessories are available online through her website as well as in-store. She is part of a new generation of artist-entrepreneurs who work outside the traditional channels of Inuit art distribution [5], using social media sites such as Facebook to grow their audience and sell garments. Kakuktinniq has been featured in the Inuit Art Quarterly as well as FLARE magazine. Her clothing has been shown in runway presentations throughout Canada. In February 2019, Victoria's Arctic Fashion will be featured in two runway presentations during Paris Fashion Week, Paris, France.



Citations/Footnotes

1. Norman Vorano, “30 Artists to Know” Inuit Art Quarterly 30, no. 3 (2017): 112.
2. Sarah Rogers, “Northern Lights conference puts young designer’s work in the limelight” Nunatsiaq News, February 3, 2014, http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674northern_lights_conference_puts_young_designers_work_in_the_limelight/
3. Vorano, "30 Artists to Know", 112.
4. Ashifa Kassam, “It's our way of life': Inuit designers are reclaiming the tarnished sealskin trade” The Guardian (May 11, 2017), https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/11/sealskin-trade-inuit-fashion-designers-greenpeace
5. Vorano, "30 Artists to Know", 112.