Merrell®, the world’s leading hike and outdoor footwear brand, announced a collaboration with artist Jordan Ann Craig. The partnership features all-new designs and bold prints by Craig herself while celebrating Indigenous design and the world in which this art was meant to traverse.
Craig is a painter born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, now residing in northern New Mexico. Her work is changing the definition of Native American art as a Northern Cheyenne artist. She creates new narratives within her art while celebrating her ancestors and Indigenous land. Her work includes paintings, prints, collages, textile prints, and artist books.
“It’s so important for art to live off of walls, traverse the earth, and be a part of our daily lives,” said Jordan Ann Craig. “The shoes are not only my art, but they look like where I live and what I experience. We were able to celebrate that belief by taking abstract designs and bringing them to life through this collection with Merrell.”
The collaboration includes five pieces of footwear, one beanie, one sweatshirt, and one fanny pack. Craig energized Merrell classics, including the Embark Lace, Embark Moc, Encore Ice 4, Bravada 2 Demi, and Bravada 2 Mid.
Merrell’s recent Inclusivity in the Outdoors Report found Indigenous Peoples face discriminatory barriers to being in their natural homes, with 22% indicating they have experienced discriminatory treatment when outside. A 2021 study found that Indigenous Peoples in the U.S. have lost nearly 99% of the land they once inhabited despite having a traditional, deeply connected relationship with Earth.
“As we all have vastly different views on what art is, so too are our perceptions of the outdoors,” said Merrell Marketing Manager Regina Hill. “It’s essential to create a narrative of those diverse points of view. We were able to tell that story through our work with Jordan Ann Craig. This collaboration helps highlight the barriers found in our report and give a voice to a community with a deep connection to, relationship with, and respect for the outdoors.”
In tandem with the collaboration, Merrell is supporting the Fort Robinson Outbreak Spiritual Run with a $45,000 donation toward the 2024 run. With $3 from each item sold in the collection benefitting next year’s run. Merrell also outfitted each child in the 2023 run with head-to-toe apparel and shoes, which was held January 8 through 14.
“Art can be a healing piece, and I hope others are able to find that space within my work and through this collaboration,” said Craig.
The annual 400-mile run commemorates the Northern Cheyenne breakout of Fort Robinson and began as a tribute to its ancestors. Now, in its 27th year, the run is a forum for healing and wellness; youth leadership and empowerment; cultural and language preservation; environmental justice; and creating social change.