Stunning Images Show How Native American Fashion Looks Without Cultural Appropriation
Written by Zak Cheney-Rice for Identities.Mic
Fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail’s latest work is a vibrant, elegant melding of classic style and the staples of her Native upbringing. All of Yellowtail’s collaborators are indigenous and they all have conveyed behind Yellowtail’s vision: a fashion collection that bears the unmistakable mark of Native American influence and history, but with a twist — it’s actually made by a Native American.
“It’s beautiful to see the continuity of our people from then to now,” she told Mic. “I wanted to convey that with my collection — we’re still here, we’re still a reflection of our ancestors.”
Her endgame is to create a space where Native designers thrive, and where support, appreciation and respect for their craftsmanship overtakes appropriative efforts to slap a few feathers and beads on an outfit and call it “Native-inspired.” The richness and diversity of indigenous artisanship deserves to be seen, she says. Native artists deserve to have their own work bought, not appropriated without context or recognition of the original cultures from which it came.
With her collection the “Mighty Few”, she plans to prove just that.
THE “MIGHTY FEW” COLLECTION by Bethany Yellowtail