Tanner Jock, a member of the Akwesasne Mohawk community, began making ribbon skirts when she was twelve years old with her grandmother, Joyce Jock. She knew then that it was her dream to design clothing. Not long after, Tanner visited her mother’s Crow homelands, where many elder women wore traditional dress every day, which left an indelible impression on her. Tanner focused on finishing her education and worked to acquire her real estate license. In her spare time she took sewing classes. When she was 22, her mother gifted her a ribbon skirt, and she knew then that she would begin making skirts as often as time would allow.
For Tanner, ribbon skirts represent Indigenous womanhood and are a great canvas for self-expression through pattern, color, and design. Her ribbon skirts recall childhood, family, and tradition. She appreciates that it’s becoming more common to see women wear Indigenous clothing to important non-ceremonial events, and even to work, as a way to represent their culture through fashion.