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Fabulous Designer: Orlando Dugi

Each week we will be highlighting one of the fabulous emerging designers from Phoenix Fashion Week 2018. This week, meet Orlando Dugi, the Owner & Designer of ORLANDO DUGI, known for alluring fashion for the elegant woman.

Hometown: Grey Mountain, AZ

First fashion job: I’ve only ever worked for myself.

When did you know you had a passion for fashion: After I designed my first three garments and got to experience them on a model walking down the runway, I knew this is what I wanted to do.

Person who has impacted your life the most: I would say my partner, Kenneth Williams, has impacted my life the most because he is my biggest supporter besides both of our moms.

Your biggest fashion accomplishment in your eyes: So far, it’s being a part of the Peabody Essex Museum’s “Native Fashion Now” exhibit. The exhibition travelled to several cities, including NYC during New York Fashion Week. Many industry people saw the exhibition and its message that Native American fashion isn’t all buckskin and feathers. They were able to see, in person, how many different ways our traditional culture influences our designs. There is a companion publication that you can search for.

The biggest obstacle you have overcome: Not knowing what I wanted to do as a career. I didn’t think about fashion as a career when I was younger. It wasn’t until I was about 34 that I decided, this is what I want to do.

A designer who inspires you: Lloyd Kiva New, a Cherokee designer based in Scottsdale in the 1950’s. He inspires me because he was the first Native American designer and was also an educator. He co-founded the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.

Favorite quote: “Don’t wait until Monday to start your week!”- Chris Detert. I have it taped on a wall in my workroom now.

Advice to someone pursuing a career in fashion as a designer: The quote above is a good start. I would say, you can’t let fear keep you from taking the first step.

How has the Phoenix Fashion Week #DesignerBootcamp impacted your brand? The bootcamp has helped me build the foundation of my brand so that it can move forward with confidence.

Favorite piece you have ever designed: One of my favorite is a cochineal dyed silk beaded gown currently in the International Folk Art Museum’s “The Red That Colored the World” exhibit. I named it, “Red Lady” after my mother.

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If you would like to attend Phoenix Fashion Week 2018, you can purchase tickets here: eventbrite.com. Use promo code FABAZ for a $20 gift card good towards any seat (not applicable towards standing room tickets).

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Phoenix Fashion Week 2018 Emerging Designer Lineup

Thursday, Oct. 18 (Lifestyle):
Activ Intimates
Nani Swimwear
Rockin Street Wear
WVSH

Friday, Oct. 19 (Contemporary):
Being Dapper
Cody Chris Collection
MollyKate Cline
SiSi Aduke

Saturday, Oct. 20 (Ready to Wear):
Amanda Casarez
Chau Chic Designs
Orlando Dugi
Zelenco

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