elevates

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

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Kamala Harris elevates black designers on world stage

<span>Photograph: Melina Mara/AP</span>
Photograph: Melina Mara/AP

In a year where the global fashion industry has faced its biggest ever racial reckoning Kamala Harris, the first black and south Asian vice-president, has elevated the names of black designers by wearing their clothes on the biggest public stage possible.

Related: Biden and Harris dress to reassure that normal service is restored

By wearing fashion labels Pyer Moss, Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson during last week’s inauguration events, Harris was aligning the new administration’s commitment to diversity with the fashion industry’s attempt to move past systemic, historic racism into a new era. A new era where designers of color get the same opportunities that their white counterparts have had for years.

“When it comes to inauguration events, black designers have been almost exclusively absent,” said the author Ronda Racha Penrice, “so it was nice to discover that the fabulous outfits [were] created by black designers.”

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