An icon in contemporary Inuit fashion, Victoria’s Arctic Fashion founder and designer Victoria Kakuktinniq is no stranger to the global stage. The designer from Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet), NU, has her designs gracing the February-March 2022 cover of Elle Canada magazine, showcasing her latest Canada Goose parka collection as part of Project Atigi. The pieces are modelled by herself and three other trailblazing Indigenous women—Shina Novalinga, Marika Sila and Willow Allen. The cover, and Kakuktinniq’s parka designs, are gaining widespread attention and admiration.
Sealskin and leather jacket with beaded embroidery by Victoria Kakuktinniq
EARRINGS BY UGLY FISH DESIGN PHOTO MARIANA B. GUARDADO
Kakuktinniq’s designs have received significant acclaim in previous years as well. In 2021 she designed a pair of mukluk boots for the brand Manitobah Mukluks, which were released in November that year. In February 2019 her signature designs hit the runway of Paris Fashion Week, with a feature in the world-renowned New York Fashion Week following a year later in February 2020.
A fashion-design graduate from MC College in Winnipeg, MB, Kakuktinniq has made a name for herself with her form-fitting sealskin parkas, tie-up bodices and asymmetrical zippers in sealskin, seal leather and commander materials. Her signature designs expertly marry traditional Inuit style with modern couture; they are fresh reminders of the distinctive Kivalliq traditional clothing worn by Inuit for centuries, with thick round fur hoods, colour-blocked contrast hems and sleeves and often embellished with her distinctive embroidery.
LEFT Leather crop blazer with beaded embroidery, leather sealskin skirt and chiffon train by Victoria Kakuktinniq EARRINGS BY UGLY FISH DESIGN PHOTO BY MARIANA B. GUARDADO
RIGHT Beaded dress by Victoria Kakuktinniq BEADWORK BY LORI TAGOONA AND NANCY GOUPIL EARRINGS BY MATHEW NUQINGAQ PHOTO BY MARIANA B. GUARDADO
Kakuktinniq also designs enormously popular sealskin headbands, cuffs and mitts, and has worked with other Inuit designers and makers to incorporate jewellery and beading into her work. Some of the standout designs that have helped Kakuktinniq make an international name for herself include tunniit-inspired chevron designs, amauti-style hemlines with a modern curve and expertly crafted seal leather and sealskin designer blazers and parkas. Kakuktinniq’s contemporary aesthetic, combined with her thorough knowledge of distinctly Inuit patterns, make for the wildly successful and distinctive clothing line which can be found in stores ranging from boutiques in Newfoundland, Manitoba and Nunavut to high-end shops in Nuuk, Greenland.