art

L.A. designer elevates Native art, women through fashion

If art preserves the culture of the Apsáalooke people, then Apsáalooke women are the keepers of that culture, cultivating it to reflect the modern day.

Fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail grew up “riding horses and running in the fields and swimming in the river and being around [her] people” on the Apsáalooke (Crow) Nation and Northern Cheyenne Indian reservations in southeastern Montana. She knows firsthand the importance of art — beadwork, textiles, quillwork — to sustaining Indigenous traditions, and in 2015 she turned that knowledge into her own brand: B.Yellowtail.

A year later, she created the B.Yellowtail Collective, made up of Native artists, to foster economic opportunities for their communities. Many of those artists and artisans are women — spanning across tribes and peoples — but all of them preserve their culture and move it forward through their medium of choice.

From left, JoRee LaFrance, KamiJo White Clay, Rustin Lane LaFrance and Nina Sanders model B.Yellowtail's Heritage Collection.

From left, JoRee LaFrance, KamiJo White Clay, Rustin Lane LaFrance

Read More