ACONAV is a Native American owned & operated fashion brand specializing in women’s couture evening wear, based in Phoenix, AZ. The brand was founded on the idea of connecting with the world through shared cultural beliefs expressed through art and fashion. The mission of the brand is to respectfully represent a part of the Native American culture in high-end fashion, with the idea of evoking the empowerment of the female spirit. ACONAV strives to be a recognizable & reliable entity in the fashion industry, while working to establish meaningful relationships with groups and individuals in fashion and the greater community.
ACONAV represents the cohesion of cultures between the Native American founders Loren (Acoma Pueblo) and Valentina (Navajo) Aragon. The brand began as a collaborative effort to promote the artwork of Loren Aragon. Over the past 6 years the brand has progressed and encompasses the talents of Loren Aragon in illustration, sculpture, jewelry and fashion design.
Loren Aragon is a Native American fashion designer and artist from the Acoma Pueblo of New Mexico. Aragon was introduced to the arts at an early age with his mother as his mentor. He maintained a connection to the arts throughout his academic career while in pursuit of a degree in mechanical engineering. After attaining his degree from the Arizona State University in 2004, Aragon embarked on the career path as an engineer living and working in the Phoenix, Arizona area.
Living outside his Acoma community and establishing a career in engineering has led to a number of new experiences for Aragon. It has also allowed him to observe a necessity to find a means of cultural preservation for his people.
Aragon ventured back into the arts in 2008 and found the passion to express his artistic talents outside of being an engineer. He continues to promote his work through Native American art exhibitions throughout the Southwest including the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum Indian Market, and the Indigenous Fine Art Market (IFAM).
Fashion design is another means for Loren to express his artistic talents. It allows him to capture ideas predominantly influenced by the pottery culture and traditional dress of the Acoma people. The ACONAV collections display the influences of the pottery designs of the Acoma people with traditional dress elements as highlights to modern looks.
"I am motivated by the stories and life lessons of my culture and the neighboring cultures of the Southwest. My response to these revelations is an exploration of ancient ideas applied to modern life. These ideas are orchestrated and visually vocalized on a canvas of my choosing.
My study and practice as a mechanical engineer further fuels my artistic passion and defines my abilities as an artist. My work is the result of a combination of my artistic vision and technological discipline.
It may seem that my work is severed from the conventional practices of my Acoma people. Truthfully, I value and sincerely appreciate the ancestral arts of my people. However, I feel it necessary to demonstrate an investigation into other art forms, in parallel with observing historic and cultural preservation. I challenge myself to find new and undiscovered ways to represent Indigenous art with the hopes of igniting the interests of future generations.
Art is my connection to my cultural and spiritual identity and more so my bond to life. Through my art, I am able to create my dreams and make my visions tangible. Each creation becomes an extension of my life, love, creativity, and prayers. Through my creations, I am able to share my beliefs, maintain a connection with my origins, and reveal my individuality."
- Loren Aragon