Meet The Designer
Niio Perkins is an acclaimed Mohawk designer. Her jewelry is immediately recognizable in the Indigenous fashion world for its precision, masterful use of color, and innovative expression of Haudenosaunee cultural design motifs.
She was raised in Akwesasne, New York, a Mohawk territory situated on both sides of the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ontario.
Niio grew up in a fashion house, studying under her seamstress mother, Elizabeth, who sewed traditional ceremonial clothing. The popularity of Elizabeth’s vibrant garments grew just as Mohawk and Indigenous pride intensified throughout the '80s and '90s. Inspired, Niio eventually began to create looks of her own.
Today, Niio’s eponymous brand is defined by its authentic representation of a generations-old Haudenosaunee art form known as raised beadwork. The technique requires sewing glass beads in layers to create intricate, three-dimensional designs. Her designs have appeared on television, runways, and red carpets, and in exhibitions and galleries throughout the United States and Canada.
In 2022, after a decade of operating a thriving retail and maker space in Akwesasne, Niio expanded her business across the river with a design studio in Cornwall, Ontario.
She enjoys a fruitful relationship with Toronto-based Indigenous Fashion Arts (IFA), which introduces broad audiences to the intersection of mainstream fashion and Indigenous art.
In 2023, Niio unveiled her Icons jewelry collection at Milan Fashion Week as part of a partnership between IFA and the WHITE Milano trade event. Icons represents the most popular, beloved designs throughout her career.
Niio has been featured in Vanity Fair, Italia, Vogue Canada, Women’s Wear Daily, Elle Canada, Native Max, and Native Peoples. Her collections have appeared at SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market, Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival in Toronto, and Native Fashion Now in New York City. She has produced limited collections in collaboration with Canadian fashion retailers Hudson Bay Company, La Maison Simons, and Manitobah Mukluks.
Niio won major awards at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, and Phoenix’s Heard Museum. She is also proud to say that in 2016, she received the Arts award at the Akwesasne Business Excellence Awards in her home community.