Wendell Sakiestewa

Wendell Sakiestewa

Wendell Sakiestewa (pronounced “Sock-ee-ess-ta-wah”) grew up in Arizona, surrounded by the creative arts of his Hopi heritage. Wendell’s grandmother, a seamstress and patternmaker, taught him to sew, introduced him to buying fabrics, showed him how to make and layout a pattern. She nurtured his talents and entered him in every art contest she could, and he won most of them! As he got older, Wendell was encouraged to follow the artistic family tradition and pursue crafts like carving, jewelry, and painting.

Creativity came naturally to him, and he easily mastered any craft he undertook, whether it was sewing, drawing, or beading. While he loved the arts of his heritage, Wendell wanted to try something new and different, so he decided on a career in electrical engineering. He loved drawing blueprints and schematics and used these skills in a job creating cockpit gears. After five years in that profession, he was ready for a change. Fascinated with interior design, though with no formal interior design training, he had an insatiable desire to learn and succeed! Sure enough, soon he was busy with many interior design projects. He excelled, working with fabrics, colors, and textures. He was on the right track, but it would take one more leap to find his true calling. He took his love of all that was decorative about interiors and transferred it to fashion design.

Graduating from The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Fashion Design Program in 1996, Sakiestewa soon became a freelance designer working with variety of different celebrity clients such as singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson, Madonna’s guitarist Monty Pittman, and more. He also worked with many clothing line companies such as Special Ops Paintball, 4-rth, Evade Armor.

In addition to his contract work, Wendell has been working since 2007 on a deeply personal goal: his own clothing line, with designs inspired by his Hopi Native American roots. His first men’s line featuring Hopi symbols as design elements, launched in 2007, followed in late 2008, by his women’s line, featuring creatively embellished tops and bottoms.

Sakiestewa’s work can be found on http://www.wensaksdesigns.com, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wendell.sakiestewa, and Instagram @wensaks.

IVDM is excited to have 2 works by Sakiestewa as part of Native Voices | Native Truths: A Contemporary Experience.

Men's Shirt; Migration Button Ft. Shirt, 2 Circle Embroidery with Black Hopi Water Symbol Border

white 100% pima cotton

Women's Light Acrylic Feathered Poncho

HWSW-216FP black, polyester, rayon, lycra*