Navajo-inspired designs have been sought after by art enthusiasts and fashionistas for a very long time. Ask Steve and Gail Getzwiller of Nizhoni Ranch Gallery, located in Sonita, Arizona. They have been offering Navajo rugs and high-quality Native American art with the public for the past 40 years.
And beginning June 2018, they will reach a wider audience, thanks to a collaboration with AYA Optical. Since its founding in 2003, AYA Optical has stayed true to its vision of creating beautiful eyewear and accessories that make a difference.
Says AYA Optical creator Carla D’Angelo “AYA is a celebration of Indigenous Art, through collaborations that look to the past and future. I work together with indigenous artists with the goal of making their work less obscure by bringing their art and stories to a wider audience via our eyewear.”
“I have always been drawn to the beauty of Navajo textiles and love the strong geometric patterns in the weaving, and I am excited to incorporate this historic tradition into a modern medium,” continued D’Angelo.
That said, it is not surprising that AYA Optical’s latest collaboration is with Navajo master weaver Kathy Marianito. A descendant of master weavers and hailing from deep in the desert of the Southwest, amidst the dramatic scenery of Coyote Canyon, Kathy’s work is often sought by collectors.
“AYA Eyewear has collaborated with indigenous artists in the past, so when Carla D’Angelo contacted us about using one of Kathy’s Navajo designs for an eyewear collaboration, we were thrilled,” said Gail Getzwiller of Nizhoni Ranch Gallery.
Here’s a look at the 2018 AYA capsule collection with Kathy Marianito ($169) which will be available online at claudiaalan.com and at select opticians across North America. And as always, with every AYA product purchased, proceeds are donated to indigenous communities in need.
Navajo Chief Blanket Design by KATHY MARIANITO. This design drew from a gorgeous 3rd Phase Chief Blanket, Kathy created based on a memory of a blanket her Great-Great Grandfather Manuelito owned. AYA worked with Nizhoni Ranch to bring this rich design to a new style – Aspen. This style is lightweight and very comfortable to wear. The semi-rimless front allows for progressive lenses and the frame has adjustable nose pads to allow for a more customized fit. Aspen is available in a sleek matte burgundy or a staple color matte black. $169
Navajo Chief Blanket Design by KATHY MARIANITO. The artwork featured represents a gorgeous 3rd Phase Chief Blanket that Kathy wove and is based on a memory of her Great-Great Grandfather Manuelito. The rich colors of the rug – beautiful browns, indigo, cochineal red, and white – are revealed on the temple of the glass and complemented with a satin brown front or satin black front which makes the style very wearable for every day. Lightweight and stylish this sharp looking unisex frame is great for mid to larger sized faces with adjustable nose pads to get the fit just right. This style is available in two sizes for varying face shapes and in particular for larger faces. Ryan can accommodate progressive lenses and is a full rim lightweight metal glass.