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Feature No. 1:

DANIELLE PUSATERI

Occupation: Fashion designer
Birthplace: Cleveland, OH
Current Location: Cleveland, OH
Instagram: @danni_p_
A word I'd use to describe myself is: Cogitative
I feel most like myself when: I'm around the people I feel most comfortable with.

What does being an american maker mean to you?

Being an american maker to me means having the ability and freedom to do what I love and create my own path and career. It’s about having the ability to make decisions that will allow you to shape your life. It’s also about practicing and instilling a great work ethic in those around me.

Was being a fashion designer always your passion?

While fashion design wasn’t always my passion, I’ve always been into fashion. I loved clothing and fabrics, even from a young age. I remember going to Joann Fabrics and the excitement I felt looking and feeling all the different types of materials. However, not knowing how to sew, I didn’t feel I had enough experience to pursue it. In school, I was taken by graphic design and declared it my major early in college. But, after attending a fashion show at Kent State, I knew it was my calling. There were long days and nights transferring into their fashion program, but I am happy that I made the switch.

What is your daily routine to keep you on track and motivated?

I make a to-do list every day. Usually, I start it at night before then add and edit throughout the day. If I have an idea that is holding my attention or a task that needs to be done, I need to get it out of my head and onto paper. This helps me keep a clear and open mind, and helps me stay organized and focused on my priorities.

Why does no one else design and make clothes like you?

It’s my full creative process when it comes to designing. Even if it seems unnecessary or a waste of time. I always start with research, searching for inspiration and analyzing trends. I’ll then pin things on pinterest, screenshot images, colors, and patterns. Once I have my inspiration, I print everything out and put it into a sketchbook or organize it into a mood board. From there, I have to start drawing. Hand sketching designs on paper. After, I go through what I’ve drawn, narrowing down designs, and transfer them onto my computer.

If you were to become well-known for something, what would it be?

As a woman who knows her sh** in a largely male dominated part of the industry, I’d like to become well known for streetwear. There are a lot of people, mostly men, who don’t really think that I am capable of designing, sourcing, or running production. It’s just…they don’t expect me to. In fashion school, it’s mostly women. However, streetwear is much different. It’s guys designing clothes for other guys. Even brands that develop a women’s line, it’s essentially the same as the men’s but just with different sizing. Yet, there are women that gravitate to streetwear, whether it’s for design or as a consumer. Right now, both sides are largely geared towards men. For that reason, people will assume that I don’t know what I’m talking about. So yeah, you know...I want to be known for knowing my sh**.

What are you going to take away from this time in your life?

I’ve learned how important it is to think before I act or make a decision. I can be impulsive, which comes from wanting to just cross off things on my to-do list, and say that it’s done. But, you need to take a step back and look at your work, and think about it. Then you can go back and make a clearer decision. You need that moment of reflection in order to react and see what does and doesn’t work.

I’ve also learned that it’s okay to say no to things. Whether it’s for work, friends, or for yourself, it’s okay to say no. Saying no helps you maintain balance in your life. Even if you have a super successful career, it can still get stressful. It’s just life, not everything will be perfect all the time. Balancing a career, social life, traveling, hobbies, and an adequate sleep schedule will help keep you well-rounded in all facets of your life.

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