Kelly Holmes launched her Native American fashion magazine in June. The online-only issue if full of color, fashion and inspiration, not to mention Native women who are rarely depicted in mainstream fashion magazines.
Native Max focuses on indigenous people, places and cultures with the same sleek photography found in fashion magazines but without the stereotypical headdresses and tomahawks sometimes seen in the mainstream media. The premiere issue, which is online only, features interviews with Native American artists, musicians, designers and models, as well as sections on health, beauty and sports.
“There’s really no magazine, a Native-owned and operated, Native-designed magazine. There’s nothing like this magazine out there. The ones that do have stuff focused on younger people, they’re really vulgar and very revealing,” said Holmes, 21, who now lives in Denver.
The first issue was published online in June. Holmes is not searching hard for investors to help get the second December issue – which will be print only – off the ground.
Rhonda LeValdo, president of the Native American Journalists Association, said Native Max and other Native-focused media show American society that Native Americans are regular people, too.
“They want to be models, movie stars, artists. I think that’s showing the regular side as opposed to that stereotype of just showing us in our dance regalia,” she said.
The magazine’s nine staff members come from all over North America, including the Navajo Nation in Arizona and the Otomi and Yaqui nations in Mexico. Ad director and writer Angelica Gallegos, 20, of Denver, said she has enjoyed learning about new and up and coming Native American artists and musicians.
You can view the June issue of Native Max, featuring “America’s Next Top Model” Mariah Watchman as the cover model – here.