b.Yellowtail is a fashion line that embraces authentic, indigenous design through wearable art.
The Los Angeles-based creator, Bethany Yellowtail, designed her fashion line to reflect her Apsaalooke (Crow), and Tsetsehestahese and So’taeo’o (Northern Cheyenne) Native American heritage. And it’s so incredibly beautiful and enduring.
Native American celebrities have worn her outfits such as Missoula actress Lily Gladstone at the Sundance Film Festival, Grace Dove (actor in The Revenant) for the premiere after-party. Another client that wore her design accompanied Duane Howard (actor in The Revenant) at the Academy Awards ceremony this year.
And most recently Canadian activist Chastity Davis was dressed in b.Yellowtail for this year’s Oscars — stating that her outfit was “designed with love and purpose.”
The featured video is from the b.Yellowtail Spring/Summer 2015 line. In it we see the powerful connection to nature, beautifully accompanied by the voice of Tazbah Rose Chavez — a poet from the Paiute and Dine’ tribes.
Bethany Yellowtail grew up as the middle child, with three brothers and one sister. Her mother was a nurse, and her father was a third-generation cattle rancher. They were part of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, and she grew up with her family on the Crow Reservation.
Yellowtail and her siblings all loved basketball, and she was pretty determined she would become a basketball player. Then, in grade 7 she learnt how to sew, and from this stemmed her new path. Growing up she always preferred to put her own twist to her clothing, and much preferred a hip-hop look to her classmates country-style.
It hasn’t been an easy journey. She studied in Los Angeles in a place she originally felt quite out-of-place. After completing her studies she spent a year of pulling 4 am-12 midday shifts at Starbucks, and working as an unpaid intern for a design company — she was about to give up and go home.
Then she got a call for a job as a production pattern-maker assistant for a luxury brand that dresses celebrities. She spent two years learning as much as she could, and then went on to work as a first pattern-cutter in companies such as Private Label, Baby Phat, and Kellwood.
In 2015 she left Kellwood after teaming up with her business partner, Kim Meraz, to start her own company. A company that celebrates ancestral tradition, beauty, and culture.
And if you like the first b.Yellowtail video, check her most recent “Holiday Capsule,” with a statement from her website:
“This collection captures the wonderment of natural beauty, offering a reflection of sacred creation and connection. The grace of classic silhouettes, the essence of wild roses, and indigenous florals speak to a love that transcends time. Beaded mountain and river designs relay the pure simplicity of an everlasting being.”