Over the past few months, Native American beauty tips and fashion have been dominating headlines. In the recent past, beauty tips and fashion surrounding Native American culture have highlighted cultural appropriation — but now there are new waves of Native American beauty and fashion that shows the rest of the world the haute couture side of Native Americans in four ways.
Regardless of Native American fashion and beauty tips becoming more common, some of this comes at the expense of bitter experiences with the fashion world in the recent past.
In January, Ralph Lauren was criticized by the Huffington Post and others for maligning Native American culture in his fashion ad. Huffington Post also cited that Victoria’s Secret was previously criticized for appropriating Native American fashion — along with other celebrities.
About the incident with Ralph Lauren, a Native American writer on Last Real Indians says, “Mr. Lauren, you can’t hide behind words like ‘vintage inspired’ and ‘rustic’ anymore. It’s plain to see that you’re right back in your comfort zone; the one where Natives are oppressed, voiceless, and extinct, to be used at your leisure to feed the beast that is pop culture consumerism and line your silken pockets.”
To make matters worse, there was a Native American fashion designer named Bethany Yellowtail (B. Yellowtail) that got ripped off during the Fall 2015 New York Fashion Week.
About the experience, Styleite wrote in mid-May, “Earlier this year Bethany Yellowtail found herself at the center of the ongoing cultural appropriation debate when the label KTZ ripped off one of her B.Yellowtail dresses for their Fall 2015 show at New York Fashion Week. But now the Los Angeles-based designer, who is a member of the Apsáalooke and Northern Cheyenne nations, is gaining traction on her own terms.”
What are Bethany Yellowtail’s beauty tips and future plans? She told Indian Country in a May interview the following.
“So for me this collection is my way of expressing the continuity of the people I come from, sharing an authentic indigenous perspective, and honoring the strength, beauty, and resilience of our women, in the best way I know how…. We brought in Jade Willoughby, Ojibwe, who’s been featured in Vogue India and recently named by Elle & Marie Claire Magazine as one of the ‘Top women who are redefining beauty.'”
Along with Bethany Yellowtail, there are countless other Native Americans trying to make their mark in the fashion and beauty tips world — and many bring their story with them. A good example includes the turquoise jewelry market that many Native American artists are a part of that often has more than crafting significance — but also an elaborate cultural component.
The New York Times supports the idea that there are sometimes deeper meanings that need to be explained when it comes to Native American fashion and beauty tips. In regards to Lee Yazzie’s turquoise jewelry work, that is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Manhattan, the New York Times says the following.
“Forced to drop out of college after his parents divorced in 1969, Lee Yazzie turned to the family tradition of silversmithing to make ends meet. He soon earned a reputation for translating traditional Navajo motifs such as the quadrant division of space into refined silver pieces accented with top-quality American turquoise — jewels that embodied the Navajo concept of hózhó, an idealized state of beauty, balance and harmony.”
Adding to the explosion of Native American beauty and fashion in 2015, Pow Wows Magazine also reports that there is another Native American first in the fashion and beauty world. In Rapids City, South Dakota, the first native-owned boutique and gallery opened on May 8.
Is there a place where Native American fashion and beauty tips fans can congregate to get all the latest information? As it appears, a new Native American fashion magazine emerged in 2012 thanks to 20-year-old founder, Kelly Holmes. To get the latest Native American fashion and beauty tips, consult Holmes’ Native Max Magazine website.
For more information about B. Yellowtail‘s fashion and beauty offerings, consult their website.
[Feature image via Getty Images.]