As an artist and designer, Yabette Swank has always infused her function with fun. “Joy” is a major word in her philosophy, personality, and style. Underneath that is a steely determination for activism as irresistible revolution. Can you have a profitable mini department store in San Francisco that only carries locally made goods like upcycled art furniture, clothing, and accessories that also doubles as a multi cultural bohemian fantasy event space that was described as the shop you would see in Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley? Yes. She did that. She also traveled around the US performing live electronic music produced with boxes connected with chords and spoke her truth in the mic with layers of reverb and delay as she sat on a mushroom stool like Alice, The Queen, and The Caterpillar combined.
While she went to college on a piano scholarship, her sewing was always part of her creative life. She learned to use a machine and work with patterns as an apprentice to her late Aunt Donna, who sewed continuously with episodes of Dynasty and Knot’s Landing in the background. With her Swankety Swank store, she designed outfits for special events, catering to the more expressive Burning Man crowd. But she also cultivated returning clients and learned what works with combining expression and comfort into everyday outfits. With this year’s Hemp Collection and the rebranding of Swankety Swank , she is bringing her love for bohemian style, her strong ethic for function, and her uplifting visions of the future to the runway. Expect androgyny, expect shine, and expect to want what she’s serving.