Tópa: Native Wellness Fashion

Jocy and Trae Little Sky comment on their fashion brand's lastest "Basketball Drop."
Photo; courtesy



Meet Tópa, a rising Indigenous fashion brand with a passion for promoting cultural pride and the four dimensions of wellness: mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. Started by Jocy (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara) and Trae Little Sky (Lakota, Nakoda), Tópa has already made its mark on the Indigenous community with their powerful message and stunning line of clothing and accessories.

Jocy remembers growing up around art her whole life, often being inspired by her family members and their own creative outlets. “When I was younger, my mom painted everything. Clothes, suitcases, hoodies, furniture, lamps, stuffed animals, she paints anything and everything that could be painted. It kind of got me into designing different things for family members and friends, like blazers or backpacks.”

Photo; courtesy

For almost a decade now, the pair had thrown around different ideas and concepts for a fashion brand, all while running another business of theirs, the Great Plains Dance Company. After setbacks and the project being put on hold, Jocy and Trae finally launched Tópa at the 2023 Santa Fe Indian Market. Trae remarked on the experience with: “For the most part, it was good, we got good feedback, people were excited. Our friends and family who knew that we were doing this were really supportive; it was a good turn-out.”

On February 4th, the duo released their latest “Basketball Drop,” featuring designs and products inspired by the pair’s mutual love and history with the sport. “We both grew up loving basketball and the impact it has on communities and bringing family and friends together,” Jocy commented. “When I was growing up, basketball was always the thing to do or the thing to get into. With Michael Jordan, it was how great of a basketball player he is, his style, his charisma, his game, all that stuff was top notch. The whole culture around his shoes, that was part of the thing; let’s make it so we can rock Jordans with it.” added Trae.

Basketball Drop Designs; courtesy

The pair are most excited and grateful to see their audience wearing their clothing, feeling proud because of it, and sharing it online with their communities. After the series of setbacks they went through trying to launch Tópa, seeing the dream realized and being able to share their message with a whole new audience has them even more excited for the future.

“Our message is to promote pride in your identity, being proud of who you are and where you come from, and to promote health and wellness, tying it all together…and just trying to set a good example for our youth,” Jocy said. Trae added: “We’re not trying to tie it down to just Native culture, but as a human thing, for everyone.”

Photo; courtesy

Jocy and Trae hope to one day expand their brand with a line of children’s clothes and continue experimenting with the themes behind their drops and even what type of products they create for them, venturing into blankets and textiles.

To learn more about Tópa, follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok @4topa4, or check out their website here.

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