Having a show at New York Fashion Week is a pinnacle for any designer, but for sisters Aunalee Boyd-Good and Sophia Seward-Good who had a show mere weeks after a massive warehouse fire destroyed much of their stock, the experience was surreal.
"My sister and I just kept looking at each other, like, we're here. We're doing it. It's happening," said Sophia Seward-Good to host Robyn Burns on CBC's All Points West.
"We were so overly excited and happy and sad. I think every emotion went through us at that moment."
The Snuneymuxw sisters are the creative force behind the Ay Lelum Design House. They presented their collection on Sept. 11 as part of the Global Fashion Collective show, a lineup featuring hand-picked talent from around the world.
Though the warehouse fire on Aug. 27 destroyed around 90 per cent of their stock, Seward-Good said, the collection for fashion week was saved, as it was in a different location.
Watch | Models strut the runway showing off the fashion designs:
The collection itself focused on a creation story that was told to the sisters by their father.
"We call it Stqeeye' because we have a creation story where two wolves were put on the mountain by the Creator and they came down the mountain on a cold winter night and when they swam across the Nanaimo River, they had shed their fur and had become the first man and woman of the Nanaimo River area which is actually the territory that our family lives on right now," said Seward-Good.
The collection transitions from nudes and flesh tones representing creation through to oranges and reds.
Watching the models walk down the runway in their creations was an incredible experience, said Seward-Good.
"Just watching everything land the way that we imagined it to was so exciting. We were just beaming smiles back there. Yes, it's happening. The timing is right and to see that people can see the stories being told as they are walking down the runway and listening to the music," she said.
"I think it's the most beautiful thing to see."
Ay Lelum is based in Nanaimo.