Clothing model

22Fresh’s newest clothing model strengthens the Aboriginal presence in Saskatchewan. The advertisement

REGINE –

Six-year-old Nijah Eashappie is fairly quiet about his newfound fame. The boy from Regina is the latest model in commercials for a local clothing brand; 22 Costs.

“I feel like he doesn’t even know what’s going on,” said Talisa Eashappie, Nijah’s mother. “He’s just going about his business. He doesn’t even realize the impact of this. But I know that once he’s older, he will.

Nijah’s photoshoot, in which he sports traditional braids, made a big impression online. Talisa is grateful for all the kind messages sent to support Nijah’s modeling.

“The response has been incredible,” she said. “I don’t know if 22Fresh knew how important it was or how important it was to him and everyone to see a First Nations boy in an advertisement for a clothing line. It just blew up with so many positive comments and everyone shared it and had so many great things to say. It just made my heart so happy.

Darian Kovacs is an Indigenous business leader and founder of Jelly Digital Marketing and PR. He is also an advocate for greater diversity in Canadian advertising through his involvement with the non-profit organization POCAM or People of Color in advertising and marketing. He agrees that Nijah’s modeling is a sign of constant improvement in Indigenous representation in advertising.

“There are amazing agencies that represent indigenous talent,” he said. “Whether it’s on the influencer and designer side or just amazing models. And people wake up and realize it.

Kovacs said that while industry-wide change is slow, 22Fresh’s decision is a step in the right direction. He hopes other organizations will follow their example

Eashappie believes it came at the right time with the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation approaching. She hopes Nygah inspires more young Indigenous boys to be comfortable with their appearances, especially those with long hair.

“Now is the right time for us to embrace our culture,” she said. “Be proud of who we are and where we come from. You know, with residential schools, the first thing they did was cut their hair. So, it’s really important for him and for the other little ones too, to know that they are so strong to have long hair and to be proud of it.

22Fresh made a statement regarding the decision to have the Nygah model for the brand. They emphasize that the brand values ​​inclusiveness above all else and will continue to showcase the various representations of their customers in the future.