Beyond Buckskin launched in 2009 as a website dedicated to showcasing and promoting our continent's first artists and original designers. The origin story of this boutique is rooted in positive activism and a desire to share our culture with the world through fashion design.
In 2011, something interesting happened: Urban Outfitters got caught. They had labeled over 2 dozen of their products as ‘Navajo.’ They sold the Navajo sock, the Navajo flask, and the Navajo panty. But these products had nothing to do with Navajo people or Navajo culture, and certainly none of the revenues were going to the Native people they purported to be inspired by. In addition, the Navajo Nation has trademarked their name, and any unauthorized use of their name is a direct violation of trademark law. So the Navajo Nation team of lawyers stepped forward and sent Urban Outfitter a cease and desist letter.
The major international company ignored the legal warning, however, so bloggers and journalists set out to make the public aware of what was going on. We asked people to boycott Urban Outfitters and to support actual Native American artists instead. You like the tribal trend? Then consider buying Native fashion from them. But, at this time in 2011, Native-made fashion wasn’t readily available to the average person – you’d have to attend a Native American event or visit a Native community. So we decided to make a change and create an easily accessible online boutique that specializes in promoting and selling Native-made fashion. In 2012, to meet the needs of our readers and featured designers, Beyond Buckskin expanded to include a retail business.
Based out of North Dakota, Beyond Buckskin is dedicated to advancing creative small businesses located throughout rural and urban communities by providing an online store where customers can connect with Native American fashion designers and jewelry artists.
We currently work with over 40 individual artists and small businesses to get their incredible and unique work out to a broader audience. Our designers all advance traditional Indigenous artistic practices by bringing ancient designs, natural materials, and cultural stories to modern fashion. Diversity, beauty, utility and tradition come together in the garments and accessories we share with the world - from our hands to yours.