Indigenous Fashion Week: Dusty Le Grande, MOBILIZE

As Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto (IFWTO) goes completely virtual, we wanted to take the opportunity and introduce you to five extraordinary Indigenous designers. Each day we’ll feature someone new and ask the same set of questions, from what gives them joy to how important community is. Our series will showcase their stories, offer a glimpse into their signature pieces and hear their personal visions for the future. Today let's meet MOBILIZE. Join us and be inspired by Indigenous art and culture. IFWTO runs November 26 – 29 at 

Dusty Le Grande, Owner, MOBILIZE

Runway showtime: Nov 26 at 7pm ET

Can you tell us the story behind Mobilize? How did the company get started and what is your role?

The intention when conceptualizing and dreaming of creating a streetwear brand was that it must be intentional and impactful. The building stages of Mobilize happened while working alongside Indigenous youth, it became very evident that clothing was a huge part of how they identified – among the major streetwear brands there was no Indigenous representation. The brand started with an Instagram page that grew into an initial drop x website launch. The first launch sold out within a few days and from there began a journey of sharing Indigenous art and knowledge through streetwear.

To this day it’s about creating representation and a product that can contribute to the next generation being empowered. I am the owner, designer, creator, shipping guy, etc.

As a streetwear brand, what distinguishes you from other creators?

I have always loved streetwear because of the intention and message that are present within the clothing. I am creating solely from an Indigenous perspective but I acknowledge that everything I create has elements and influence from all parts of the world around me, as well as ancestral and spiritual guidance and influence. I create art and share stories that have deep meaning. I want to create things that have never existed before, always seeking evolution.

What has inspired you? How do you incorporate this into your designs?

I am constantly inspired by my children and the world around me. I try to find colour combinations from everyday life. I also find a great deal of inspiration studying nehiyaw historical art and clothing. Mobilize is a blend of street style, Indigenous clothing, and futuristic evolution.

Can you point out a few signature pieces and tell us about them?

The very first design produced was done in collaboration with my sister who created the art. It is a hoodie called the “Matriarch” and is intended to honor the Matriarchs who have led Indigenous people for all time. Our mothers, the life givers, are the reason we have survived and continue to thrive. “Lola” is a design launched by my oldest kiddo when they were 4. I share nearly everything I do with my children and my oldest had presented an art piece to me one day and told me, “papa this is my very first design”, the “Lola” hoodie features this art work. It is extremely special to watch my children dream. This hoodie will always be one of my favourites!

Do you see clothing as an important form of expression? In what way?

I believe clothing to be one of the most impactful forms of expression as well as self-love. When we walk into a space the first thing people see is our clothing. It is the initial moment where without words we can speak volumes. Furthermore, clothing when used intentionally, can speak loud, soft, gentle, harsh, and in many many other ways.

How does community play a role in your vision for Mobilize?

Community is the basis of everything I do. The Indigenous artistic community is filled with inspiring people who share knowledge and nurture the next generation. Our communities exist in many different forms and hold importance in every way. This is not only about the present community but the seven generations before us, the ancestors, and the seven generations to come. As Indigenous people, our communities are what has allowed us the resilience to heal and grow from the gross impact of colonialism. Community is everything.

What are your goals for the brand? Has your vision changed with the pandemic? If so, in what way?

My goals are always to empower and inspire others. When we have a world full of artist who can flow freely and share their art, we will have a much more beautiful world. I dream to take this brand to a global scale and hold space as an Indigenous creative for my communities. I would love to take the Mobilize experiences to fashion weeks such as London, New York, Tokyo.

What gives you joy and satisfaction in your work?

Creating things that I have never been seen before or bringing to life designs/creations that come through dreams and spiritual influence. Art is an amazing tool to share fluid art that has influence on the energies and world around me. I acknowledge that nothing I create comes solely from my being but has important aspects of all that is around me.

Where can our readers see your designs and purchase your products?

The main source is the website at and the primarily social media space is on Instagram @m.o.b.i.l.i.z.e

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