Tammy Beauvais Designs is an Indigenous fashion design company based out of Kahnawake Kanien’kéha:ka Territory near Montreal. The company designs and manufactures contemporary men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories that incorporate traditional North American Indigenous symbols.
Beauvais, who was born in Kahnawake, is a fourth-generation Kanien’kéha:ka artist and has been designing clothing since the age of 13.
Tammy Beauvais Designs was founded in 1999, and today sells her clothing primarily online.
The business refers to itself as a “Native Owned and Socially Responsible Company,” and all garments are designed and produced in Kahnawake by Indigenous artisans. Beauvais, who identifies as an activist, believes in giving back to her community. She has stated of her work, “When you buy from Native designers, you’re creating jobs, you’re empowering women and men, you’re creating inspiration for the next generation, you’re raising awareness.”
Interview conducted for Wearing our Identity – The First Peoples Collection exhibition, 2013 © McCord Museum
Since 2018, Native Design Clothing has become the new home for Tammy Beauvais Designs. The online retail platform sells the custom-made work of Beauvais and other Indigenous designers. The website describes how the community of designers “…wanted to take back creative control of our merchandise and go the extra steps necessary to deliver you the best possible native made products.”
Creations by Tammy Beauvais Designs are held in museum collections such as the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.
Her work has been gifted to international heads of state, including a custom-made cape for First Lady Michelle Obama in 2016.
As of 2010, McGill University’s First Peoples’ House gives all Indigenous students graduating from McGill a convocation scarf designed by Tammy Beauvais that features Indigenous symbols.
“Company profile – Indigenous Business Directory” Government of Canada, Government of Canada, 2 May 2018, http://www.ic.gc.ca/app/ccc/srch/nvgt.do?app=sold&profileId=241&prtl=1&estblmntNo=234567126391&profile=cmpltPrfl&lang=eng.
“From Kahnawake To The White House, Designing the handcrafted cape given to U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama was a dream come true for Mohawk designer Tammy Beauvais,” The Montreal Gazette, March 22, 2016, A3.
“Mohawk capes designed for wives of leaders,” The Province, April 22, 2001, A40.
Tanya Lee, “Entrepreneur honors traditions through fashion, activism,” Indian Country Today, September 12, 2007, B12.