Inuit designer threads culture, landscape and community in new Netflix series

Christina King attributes her success to being authentic and doing the work from a “place that is filled with love for my culture, my people, my history and my homeland.”

King was approached back in 2021 to work on the show. (Photo courtesy of Christina King)

“I never thought that these opportunities would happen for someone like me. I thought they only happened to people who had a better (life) or were better or more deserving. I think it just goes back to growing up in a small Indigenous community. We grew up in poverty. I was the oldest daughter in a single-parent family and my mom did struggle with addictions. My childhood was pretty rough and it’s been a long journey to get to this point.”

Taalrumiq, aka Christina King, is one of the newest creatives showcased in the latest live-action Netflix series, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

King is a mother of five, a contemporary Inuit artist, fashion designer, and TikTok creator originally from Tuktoyuktuk.

Before working on the show, King says she and her children were already fans of the original animation.

“It was really nice to be asked to be part of this production,” she says, “to have our work seen on such a huge global production is really exciting and representation is so important.”

“My children are so proud of me and just to see their beaming faces, makes me proud,” she says, ” it was a nice moment for us to bond over something that we all enjoy together.” (Photo courtesy of Christina King)

She recalls being hesitant to respond when the producers reached out to her online because she thought it might be a phishing email or simply too good to be true.

“It was surreal,” she says, “I’m just Mom, I’m just a regular Inuvialuk.”

King attributes her success to being authentic and doing the work from a “place that is filled with love for my culture, my people, my history and my homeland.”

King created two sets of appliqué designs and some original geometric patterns for the series, which can be seen on some of the characters in the water tribe. The producers also purchased King’s pair of hand-crafted blue seal gauntlets, with fox fur cuffs and leather mittens.

One of the template designs for the water tribe. (Photo courtesy of Christina King)

The inspiration behind the designs stems from pre-colonization and the first contact with settlers.

“I take my inspiration from our ancestral clothing,” she says, although she was able to adapt some of the designs using contemporary elements like bias tape and rick rack trim.

“It looks like the waves of the Arctic Ocean, or the landscape,” she adds.

When asked how she deals with all the recent attention, she told CKLB News that it’s something new she’s learning how to manage.

“Sometimes it is quite overwhelming and I have to step back,” she says. “It’s a bit tricky sometimes, but as long as I’m enjoying it and spreading love and kindness online; that’s my main goal.”

King jokingly says she might need an assistant.

This week, King is headed to Banff to complete her four-week fashion residency.

When it comes to advice, King says, “Don’t be scared to express yourself.”

“I find that sewing and creating is really healing. It’s a great way to connect to your culture, to strengthen your identity, and to be in community with other artists.”

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. On her spare time, you can find her at your local coffee shop writing songs, poetry and prose or at the gym out-lifting men. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at or call 867-766-2552 Ext 108