Visual and performing artist, Dionne "Brownskin" Fraser-Carter, is a woman of many talents. From a young age she knew that her life would revolve around the Arts. She moved to the United States from Guyana in the early 80’s with her family spending most of her childhood in Cincinnati OH. While growing up, she spent most summers in New York visiting her father or other relatives and traveling across the country and back to her native homeland. In 1995 Dionne went on to attend Eastern Michigan University with a major in Interior Design and other interests in music and poetry. In 1997, while living in Detroit, the fire of fashion was ignited when she began working with a local designer who was the wife of one of her band mates.
Dionne moved to Chicago in the spring of 1999 and wanted to infuse something unique into the Art and Fashion industries in her new city. She founded DI-O Original Wearable Art in the fall of that same year. Her designs are a mixture of Funky-Fly and Sexy-Chic as she incorporates unique fabrics and beading with the ancient art of crocheting. She designs for men, women, and children of most sizes, but her creations are particularly, extra flattering to the curves of the female body. She is a completely self-taught designer, using sewing influences from her grandmother and drawing most of her color inspiration from her native country of Guyana, in the West Indies.
Unlike traditional designers, Dionne does not use patterns. Instead, she sketches or just visualizes what she wants the finished product to look like, then creates the design completely by hand without the use of a factory or manufacturing team. This keeps her garments authentically, “One-of-a-Kind.”
In 2000, she was commissioned to make her first wedding dress for a girlfriend’s Caribbean island nuptials, which sparked the launch of an exclusive bridal collection, called “Original Bridal”. She was actually the first designer to grace the Chicago runways with crochet apparel as she showcased an impressive 22 piece collection in her debut at the Holiday Inn Merchandise Mart in 2001. From beaded crocheted handbags to woven leather tops and exotic eveningwear made of fine silks and natural fibers,
DI-O (pronounced dee-oh) is sure to have something for everyone.
In the summer of 2007 Dionne was invited to become a partner and in-house designer for ACA Boutique in Chicago’s Gold Coast. ACA was the only all custom design house on Oak Street, and thrived along side of her neighbors, such as Jimmy Choo, Vera Wang and Prada.
In the early fall of 2008, Dionne relocated to the city of Atlanta where she is balancing the full time job of being a wife and mother of six beautiful children and pursuing her dream as an innovative designer.
DI-O can be found across borders and seas as previous clients have included Musicians, Visual Artists, Actresses and everyday fashionistas. DI-O has made television appearances from local news features on ABC 7 to major film and network productions, providing guest wardrobe on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Star Search, previously on CBS. Press has also included national and local publications like The Chicago Reader, The Chicago Sun Times, Grace Today Magazine, The Chicago Dailey Journal, and Ebony Magazine.
• The Essence of my designs comes from a cultural utopia of creative expression.
• DI-O is more than just clothes.
• It is an experience of the creative arts through fashion and jewelry.
I feel that it is important to instill this into every single garment or accessory that I create for you. You must be able to feel as well as enjoy this essence with every wear or encounter. This makes the line superior to average and commercial, "Copy-Cat" designers.
"I don’t create for a market. I create for the individual."