If Bettie Page was to some the acceptable and accessible face of 5o’s fetish fashion. Then Tana Louise was the exotic element.
Little is known about Tana’s early life; there are suggestions that she was born in Cincinnati and she has Native American ancestory.
Where she is most recognised are the photos for the grand master of fetish photography Irving Klaw, helped establish Tana as a grande dominatrix. That commanding presence, those burning eyes (bitch eyebrows have never looked so good). If there was a woman born to wear leather, it was Tana. Like so many 50’s beauties Tana doubled as both model and burlesque performer, nicknamed the ‘Cincinnati sinner’. Beyond posing and performing, Tana contributed to Exotique magazine. Both as a model and as a columnist, even marrying proprietor Leonard Burtman. One would think that their marriage would be enduring given their appreciation of (the then) underground lifestyle. However forever was not meant to be and they were divorced by the late 50’s. What happened to Tana? It would appear that while she may well be still alive, much like her fellow pin up Bettie Page. Tana has chosen to stay under the radar.
Now, Tana Louise is only really recalled by fetish aficionados and fans of erotic nostalgia. It would be nice if she could also achieve some level of admiration that Bettie Page. While she may not have been as iconic as Page, but she still must have introduced many young men and women to the other side of sexuality.