Where to Discover Santa Fe Style
The City Different has its own look that goes way beyond turquoise jewelry and a cowboy hat.
Santa Fe has always walked to its own rhythm, thanks to its isolated perch in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, coupled with an intricate history and fascinating amalgamation of residents. “Santa Fe style has been different things in different decades. But underlying that are the different cultures that make Santa Fe,” explains Jed Foutz, whose Shiprock Gallery downtown has become a destination for its mix of traditional and modern furniture, fine art, and design objects. “It’s always had very free, independent, strong individuals and this elite mix of East Coast society and Hispanic and Native American cultures.”
This centuries-in-the-making mélange goes beyond turquoise brooches and Navajo blankets, says Foutz, who was raised on a Navajo reservation in the state’s northwestern corner, and is the fifth generation in a long line of trading post owners. “I learned so much from growing up with a Navajo perspective, surrounded by those amazing artists,” he says. “There’s an innate way that they design—beauty comes through from their day-to-day life.”
Showcasing the talents of more than 120 artists, Foutz hopes to elevate Native American art and textiles from function-based craft, as they are often viewed, to the true art form that it is. To that end, he also shows select pieces of midcentury furniture, so viewers can appreciate how the traditional works are relevant in a modern setting. “We try to find things that really speak to us as far as beauty and value, and put them together in a way that makes people see all of it in a different perspective.”
Foutz laughs when asked about artist Georgia O’Keeffe and her current status as something of a style icon for women in New York and Los Angeles. He points out that the artist is just one of myriad influences for sartorially inclined locals. “Everybody here just wears what they like. That’s the thing I love about Santa Fe—almost anything goes.”
Want to discover your own Santa Fe Style? Here’s where Foutz recommends.
Santa Fe Dry Goods. For current styles, Foutz suggests this boutique that purveys both fashion and home goods. “It’s kind of what’s happening in the fashion world, but with a unique Sante Fe spin,” he says. A curated mix of both local and global designers, the shop, adjacent to Shiprock, champions unique adaptations of texture, color, and shape—from flowy cashmere scarves to spiky vetiver-grass baskets.
Nathalie. A local institution on Canyon Road, Natahlie stocks one-of-a-kind items like handmade boots painted with the Virgin of Guadalupe and ruby-red deerskin gloves. “Nathalie, more than anyone, epitomizes fashion in Santa Fe, from cowboy to Native American,” says Foutz.
Spanish Market. Time your visit for this annual event, which takes place July 27 and 28 in Santa Fe Plaza. More than 200 artists from New Mexico and southern Colorado show works ranging from decorative arts to weaving, pottery, and wood carving.
Santa Fe Indian Market, Another must on the Santa Fe calendar is this weeklong celebration of Native arts and culture that covers 14 blocks in downtown Santa Fe. Held this year from August 13-18 it’s the city’s most celebrated event, drawing more than 1,000 artists and 100,000 shoppers. “There needs to be places that help Native American art develop honestly and forthrightly, to teach people the difference between inspired and true Native art,” says Foutz of the market’s impact.
Shiprock Gallery: 53 Old Santa Fe Trail; +1 505-982-8478
Santa Fe Dry Goods: 53 Old Santa Fe Trail; +1 505-983-8142
Nathalie: 503 Canyon Road; +1 505-982-1021
Spanish Market, July 27-28, 2019: Santa Fe Plaza
Santa Fe Indian Market, August 13-18, 2019: throughout downtown Santa Fe; +1 505-983-5220