My name is Duane Clauschee and I am the designer of Nizhoni Way Apparel. I attended design school and worked in and around the fashion industry in Los Angeles, California. My design style is more modern. I use techniques I learned in design school and what I picked up working with design houses. I used fashion as a way of presenting myself to the general public. Subject matter is for a more open-minded individual.
My goals are to take my label, Nizhoni Way Apparel, to a boarder audience. I don't just want to design for Native America but America as a whole. I want to change peoples perceptions of what it means to be a Fashion Designer (who happens to be a Native American). When you tell people your a Native American Designer--they assume Native Ceremonial Wear or Pow-Wow costumes-not that there's anything wrong with that. I feel that it does not fully grasp my design skills.
I attended The American Intercontinental University (formerly, The American College for the Applied Arts). While I lived in Los Angeles, I use to work as a dresser (someone that is hired to help models backstage to get dressed) behind the scenes with such design labels as Phat Farm, FUBU, Tommy, and Sean Jon. I also worked with the Halston and Escada design houses to prep gowns for the 1999 Oscars. I prepped the gown Tyra Banks wore to the ceremony that year.
I currently work to promote Nizhoni Way Apparel. What Nizhoni Way Apparel strives for is to create original designs that are in step with modern fashion while paying homage to the traditional ceremonial clothing of the Navajo. I am the designer that is changing the Native American Market.