For those of us in Central Canada and further east, there’s something so alluring about the West Coast. The culture seems chill, relaxed, and very stylish. When it comes to fashion, there are incredible west-based brands that we should all have on our radar… no matter which part of the country we live in!
Bethany Yellowtail is the designer & CEO of B. Yellowtail and B. Yellowtail Collective, a fashion brand and retailer that is Indigenous owned and operated. These brands specialize in storytelling through wearable art. Bethany uses a signature Elk-Tooth Motif. Elk teeth are traditionally used by the Crow Peoples and many other tribes in the Northern Plains in dress and adornment, as a way of symbolizing cultural wealth and prosperity. She really does a beautiful job of weaving narrative into her fashion.
From the mind of artist and designer Vina Brown comes a beautiful assortment of Indigenous jewelry. Her creations are modern, on-trend and infused with elements of coastal Indigenous culture and identity. Her work is inspired by the land, sea, sky and her grandmother who is a master weaver. Vina Brown herself is a Haíɫzaqv and Nuu-chah-nulth scholar, certified yoga teacher, artist, entrepreneur, writer, and mother.
This brand is for anyone who loves looking put together but still being extremely comfortable – so pretty much everyone! Founded by Julia Lefeaux in 2012, Jackson Rowe is a Vancouver born and based brand that focuses on sustainable fashion. Its clothing is made from materials like beech tree pulp and recycled bottles and plastics, and is a great place to find some staple pieces for a wardrobe.
A textile artist from the Gitxsan Nation, Yolonda’s traditional name is Sugiit Lukxs, which is also the name of her company, which means “When the Whales Crest.” Her fashion designs are inspired and created from traditional oral stories told to her by her late maternal grandmother Lily Jackson.
When you wear one of Yolonda’s pieces, you are wearing literal art in the style of Indigenous Canadians. Her pieces are elegant and timeless, and can become a heirloom to be passed down.
This copper and silver jewelry is hand-crafted by award winning Tlingit artist Jennifer Younger. Each piece of jewelry is handmade and assembled by her. Every engraved creation is unique, as she does not use patterns. Freehand design work ensures everyone has their very own one-of-a-kind creation. She draws inspiration from traditional Tlingit formline designs, historic artifacts, spruce root basket weaving patterns, and from the contrast and texture of metals.
We love putting Canadian designers on our radar, so be sure to check these ladies out. For more Indigenous fashion, check out Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week.
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