VIFW Interview with Fashion Designer Pam Baker of T.O.C. Legends

Pam Baker will be showing her collection on Nov. 23 - Spirit of the West Coast. 
Celebrate designs with a signature West Coast spirit that highlights the uniqueness of this land and people. More info and Tickets HERE

From the VIFW Press Release -

Pam Baker is of Squamish ancestry on her father’s side and is of Musqamaqw Dzawada’enuxw/Kwaguilth/Tlingit/Haida ancestry on her mother’s side. Many years ago, she began a lifelong search to provide First Nations people a stage to showcase their culture and mentor indigenous youth and work with her First Nations communities.

In regards to textiles and clothing for hot weather, Himikalas attended Capilano University where she trained in the Textile Arts Program. What breathes and what would be appropriate for office wear.

As a single mother Himikalas moved with her two sons age 4 and 10 to Los Angeles, California to study at Otis College of Art and Design where she obtained her degree in Fashion Design. Her newly acquired degree provided here with the technical skills and business acumen to focus on designing a future honoring her ancestors.

Baker started creating her own unique fashion and jewelry with her First Nation West Coast design. She recently completed the FIND program at The Wilson School of Design at KPU, and graduated top of the class. Where she has updated her skills in Photoshop and Illustrator as well as am now a certified operator a laser cutter.

Baker has been showcasing her one-of-a-kind pieces since 1988, as well as coordinating fashion shows and models since then. Himikalas was also selected as one of the top 3 designers in Canada to design for the 2010 Olympics Fashion show and designed regalia for our Squamish representatives for the opening ceremonies. Pam has also owned T.O.C.N.T.I fashion school, and Copperknot Jewelry and Touch of Culture since 1988 and is now collaborating with Roz Stanton in designing metal art.

Interview -

How did you learn your skills?

The art from my family lineage. Sewing was not my favorite, so I decided to go to Capilano University to take a 2 year program in Textile arts. I loved it.

Then my Squamish career counselor asked if I would like to pursue a degree in fashion design, either at Parsons in NYC, or Otis in LA. Otis it was. After a very, very challenging three years, I received my BFA in fashion design and won two prestigious awards.

Who are you as a designer? 

I am the owner of T.O.C. (Touch of Culture), T.O.C. Legends Fashion Design House, and Copperknot Jewelry. 

What comes easiest for you as a designer? What is hardest? 

Finally today is easier. I have my dream team. I love doing the art first, then applying it to my designs, which makes it easier. My training at Otis College of Art and Design taught me to create, develop and DO.

Where do you find inspiration for new collections? 

My Art!

How important is color to your design process?  

I do check out the year's new color predictions, but most of the time I use our traditional colors. For ready to wear I can have fun with color

Readers would love to know more about the current collection you showed at Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week 2023.

I am showing 3 different lines inspired by my Kwakiutl and Tlingit side of my lineage. Chilkat Elements will open, The Wealth of the Copper comes next, and Spirits of the Universe to end my show.

Do you have a favorite look in this collection?

Most are my favorites. It's hard to say

Where can readers purchase your designs? 

They can email me for custom orders, They can also go to the Hudson's Bay's flagship store in Vancouver, 3rd floor. Ready to wear can be found online at

What's next for you as a designer and your brand?

Having more ready to wear for retail, and designing for Sante fe Fashion week in May and August.

In closing is there anything else you'd like to share with readers? 

I always share the following when offering a success tip. Eliminate the following words from your vocabulary: try, can't, should, but, hate and lastly like. You will find you will just do!

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