Jed Foutz is a fifth generation trading post owner who has been running Shiprock Trading Co. for a quarter century. Since buying the company from his father Edwin back in ’92, he has continued the tradition of doing business with the Navajo — trading rugs for cash, groceries, materials and other items. Now the proud owner of Shiprock Santa Fe, which opened in 2006, he was gracious enough to share about the space as well as his relationship with visvim’s Hiroki Nakamura, whose products are carried there. Nakamura’s inspiration trips, there are well known, but the ability to connect with Foutz yielded a fruitful relationship that has seen visvim alongside some of its very inspirations. In the latter half of last year, we made a visit out to check out the Shiprock Trading Co. and its Santa Fe gallery for an in-depth look at the space as well as a discussion with Foutz.
The Start of Shiprock Trading Co.
“My Santa Fe gallery has become my driving passion, and I have narrowed my focus to this one location in the city I love.”
Jed Foutz speaks about his current passions
Can you introduce yourself?
My name’s Jed Foutz and I was raised at the Shiprock Trading Post. I began my career as a trader during my childhood, selling to accounts around the country with my father since the 1960s. As a young man, I parlayed my experience into a high-end wholesale business that grew during my university experience. I purchased the Trading Post in the early 1990s from my father as well as buying Shonto and Red Valley Trading Posts. Soon after, I opened galleries in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. My Santa Fe gallery has become my driving passion, and I have narrowed my focus to this one location in the city I love.
How did you develop your relationship with Hiroki-san?
Hiroki and I were introduced in a NY showroom and immediately hit it off. When Hiroki wanted to come to the Southwest to visit Native American land and learn more about moccasin craftsmanship, I was his tour guide. We are very like-minded in our approach. Subsequent visits by Hiroki and his team to study Navajo weaving, Plains tipi making and film projects, solidified our relationship and my desire to represent visvim clothing.
Santa Fe and visvim
“visvim at its core is a celebration of handcrafted workmanship and natural materials.”
Jed Foutz talks about what visvim represents
Can you talk a little bit about this space?
Shiprock Santa Fe occupies the top floor of the historic Silver Building overlooking the Santa Fe plaza. Built in the late 1800s with vaulted ceilings and enormous windows, the gallery has incredible light and original hardwood floors. This building has housed art galleries for close to 30 years and I am honored to occupy the space with my version of an antique art gallery. Like Hiroki, I feel the presentation of the material is as important as the works themselves.
For a landscape very much in the heart of Native American culture and creation, what does a brand like visvim represent?
visvim at its core is a celebration of handcrafted workmanship and natural materials. Hiroki has a very innovative way of presenting the methods that drive his aesthetic and fashion trends.
“I feel the presentation of the material is as important as the works themselves.”
Jed Foutz about the Shiprock Santa Fe space
Can you elaborate on how you approach your curation of visvim?
I handpicked from the clothing line and added some special pieces that are only available through Shiprock in the U.S. I show a mix of looks that can translate from day wear in a formal city to evening wear in a casual environment like Santa Fe.
What do you personally enjoy about visvim?
I have worked with multiple fashion houses throughout my career. I was a client of Hiroki’s before we carried the line in our gallery. I travel extensively and his pieces work for my personal style, which is mix of vintage and couture.
For more on Shiprock Santa Fe, head over to the official site.