August 31, 2017
The September issue of Los Angeles magazine has a feature entitled, "11 Women Who Are Making L.A. a Better Place," and FIDM Grad Bethany Yellowtail is one of them. The Native American fashion designer, who was raised on Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations in southeastern Montana, learned to sew from her grandmother and discovered the art of powwow shawls from her aunt. After graduating from FIDM in 2009, with a degree in Fashion Design, and working as an assistant pattern maker at BCBG, she struck out on her own in 2014 with B.Yellowtail, a label that has attracted a celebrity following and press in People and Vogue.
From LA magazine:
The brand melds her Native American roots with modern silhouettes: Silk wrap dresses printed with elk teeth are a nod to traditional Crow Nation regalia; tribal patterns adorn tank tops and maxi dresses. The company also partners with Native American artisans who craft jewelry, bags, and quilts as part of an artist collective—an effort on Yellowtail’s part to give them a platform in an industry that freely poaches their aesthetic. “Brands like Pendleton have built a business on indigenous design,” she says. “It’s not OK. There’s something missing when it’s just topical.”
Yellowtail has made a name for herself among the celebrity set, and while her success is exciting, it’s also a reminder. “When I look at my designs, I see my ancestors,” she says. “There needs to be space for someone with a perspective like mine—someone who can give an authentic voice that comes directly from our people.”
Categories: Fashion Design, Alumni News