“[my father’s] particular method of grieving was to paint through it. . . Most of his works were of people long passed, whose legacies never left my father for a moment. His subjects were people who’d given their life to spirit and left this earth amidst turmoil. He painted them so they wouldn’t disappear.”
- Robin Brown, Creator & Head Designer of Magnolia Pearl
From both my parents, I learned the practice of keeping close portraits of all sorts of leaders and thinkers, prayers and healers, and brave-hearted fighters. These ever-present guides as eyes were often the only witness I had in my childhood. Chief Sitting Bull was an especially steady and beloved presence for my father, Preston Brown. Dad painted Chief Sitting Bull over and over, hundreds of times - on canvases and brick walls, fences, and highway underpasses. That face that challenged and insisted, whose stare said, “Look at me, and remember.”
I never set out to make clothing that stayed still - movement was always part of the design.
Magnolia Pearl pieces featuring Indigenous Americans represent the beauty of responsibility to our fellow humans, creatures, and beloved planet. They’re pieces intended not only for reverence and remembrance but also endurance - the acknowledgment that the words of Chief Sitting Bull and others are needed now more than ever. These items are created as echoes, reverberating fluorescent neon reminders to stay in service to the awe at the heart of it all - to contribute to the world all the beauty you can muster and be brave for others.
A portion of the proceeds of Magnolia Pearl designs featuring Indigenous Americans goes to Musically Fed, a multifaceted 501c3 non-profit that not only works with some of the biggest-name bands in the music industry to donate food and supplies to the homeless but also closely with the Indigenous populations of Arizona (primarily through the dynamic work of the Indigenous-led community organization, Native American Connections).
* “Each man is good in the sight of the Great Spirit.”- Chief Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa Lakota)
“If we aren't trying to work together...then we are just growing farther apart.”- Jeremy Gauna (Choctaw/Mexican), actor, friend & Magnolia Pearl model
We can’t change the past, but we also can’t forget. We must learn and try to build a better future for ourselves, our children, our planet. Instead of being a glimpse into his own soul, each of my father’s paintings was like a little mirror, reflecting our shared responsibility. The clothes I make are in homage to this process and to the people depicted upon them. They are pieces with implicit Care Instructions: Put this on, then get out there and make the world a better place.