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November 06, 2022 3 min read 2 Comments

Once in a while, you find someone with a talent and a vision that resonates and inspires. Once in a very rare while, that someone finds you.

Our paths first crossed with Penelope Joe’s when she reached out to us, interested in modeling for Double D Ranch. Fortuitously, we were able to coordinate a photoshoot and feature the bold Navajo beauty in the pages of our Fall 2021 Grand Canyon catalog, and we got to spend the day getting to know the tenacious young woman and learn her story of ambition and adversity.

“The way Penelope presented herself made an impression on all of us,” Cheryl said. “We knew she wanted to model, and we were thrilled we could make that happen, but by the end of that shoot, we knew that was just the beginning of our working relationship with her. It was evident she had a genuine passion for her art and her Navajo roots, and an earnest desire to foster a relationship between Native American culture and the Western fashion world. I think I knew immediately that we wanted to collaborate on something.”

Beyond modeling and being a student at Diné College, Penelope is a talented award-winning artist, one of the youngest ever to be admitted into the renowned Santa Fe Indian Market. And now, at the ripe age of 20, Penelope can add Double D Ranch Collaborative Creator to her already impressive list of accolades.

“Penelope is uniquely talented and her art aligns well with our aesthetic,” Cheryl said. “This collection has strong Southwestern influence, and that is something authentic and innate to Penelope; we’re very pleased with the pieces and prints we designed with her, and we’re very proud of this collaboration.”

As for Penelope, she sees this as a momentous milestone in her life and career. Growing up on the reservation without electricity until she was a teen and still without running water, art served as both entertainment and escape, and now it serves as an avenue for entrepreneurship.

“This collaboration is the biggest honor of my life,” Penelope said. “I’ve been working toward this since I was 11 years old. I wanted to know where art would take me. Now I’m collaborating with one of the biggest high-end Western clothing companies. Chili Patine is an amazing collection, and I’m very thankful for this opportunity.”

Penlope’s artistic contributions are featured on all of the Dragonfly Riders pieces, the My Firing Yellowhorse Top, and the Telling Stories Jacket. The designs showcase her signature style, presented in a sort of contemporary spin on traditional ledger art.

“Double D Ranch is doing something different, which I think more of these clothing companies should do,” she said. “Asking us Indigenous artists to be part of these Native American designs. Most of my art design that I did with DDR has meaning in my culture, and I was able to share my horse symbols.”

Perhaps one of the most significant iterations is the season’s signature scarf*; a collectible that commemorates this collection and collaboration, and immortalizes her talent in a wearable work of art. It’s almost a tangible homage to her elders who introduced, inspired, and encouraged Penelope’s art from the time she could first hold a crayon.

“My uncles gave me this gift,” she said. “They gave me something to survive with.”

*You can score Penelope’s signature scarf with your Chili Patine purchase of $300 or more.

2 Responses

Alicia M.
Alicia M.

November 20, 2022

~ Thank you Cheryl, for your collaboration with Penelope Joe and her fabulous artwork. Continued success to Penelope in receiving the recognition she deserves. ~

Millie Arnold
Millie Arnold

November 10, 2022

such a great success story

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