Fame comes in many forms. For Raini and Autumn Deerinwater it happened on Monday, July 18th, when they premiered on a New York City Times Square billboard.
Autumn, who will be attending college next school year, currently lives in Pheonix and began modeling for Tucker this past year, and Raini has joined her on occasion.
Raini is a Digital Content Coordinator based in Tulsa. She creates beadwork earrings, lanyards, and small pieces and is participating in the Muskogee Nation Festival this weekend.
Native American clothing artist Shelia Tucker, of Phoenix Arizona, has been featured at 2022 Paris Fashion Week and Los Angeles Fashion Week. In August of 2022, she will move into the private showroom of SOHO NYC.
Raini said she and her sister modeled some when they were younger, but as they became more interested in sports modeling took a backseat until now.
Tucker, who is originally from Canada, specializes in garments and jewelry with intricate beadwork.
She strives to increase the visibility of her Native American culture while bringing her designs into the mainstream of fashion.
Raini said Tucker was “really great” to work with and she has a vision beyond her work. She created pieces that were beautiful and the Deerinwater sisters worked with her to capture the essence of how Tucker wanted them to appear.
Tucker says that although she is proud to be indigenous, she strives to be recognized as a couture designer and wants to see her works gain widespread appeal. “I love to create looks that would be worn by everyone,” she said.
The Times Square billboard opportunity came to Tucker via an Instagram message from a publicist who said she loved her work. She says she knew almost immediately that she wanted Autumn to be a part of it. “In some way, she has become the familiar face of my brand,” she said. It was even better when she found that Autumn had a twin sister. “The decision to include Raini was instantaneous,” she said.
The sisters took part in test shots a month ago and they returned last weekend to model for the billboard. She said it was amazing to add makeup and hair to the clothing designs at Salt River near Pheonix.
Raini said, “I have worked hard my entire life to make an impact wherever I go and with those I meet.”
Growing up in Sapulpa, her parents gave Raini and Autumn the drive to develop life skills and a desire to explore the possibilities outside of Oklahoma.
She hopes to inspire younger people and encourage them to take the next steps to achieve their goals. Sometimes it will be one step forward and then two steps back, but there is no limit to what they can do.
“Be positive, bring others up with you and you will get where you want to go,” Raini said.
Tucker says the billboard opportunity came with a high price tag, but she sees it as a “valuable investment for my brand.” The billboard is set to go up on July 18th.
See Tucker’s designs at sheliatucker.net.