Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Gaylord News

Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Gaylord News

Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Gaylord News

Oklahoma designers making mark in fashion industry

Dante Biss-Grayson models one of his ranch shirt designs. This one is called “Ace High.” Photo provided by Sky Eagle Collections.

Dante Biss-Grayson and Nicole Moan create designs that are striking and innovative, and they would like to see more Oklahomans enter the world of fashion.

Dante Biss-Grayson, owner of Sky Eagle Collections, designs clothing influenced by his Osage Nation heritage.

SkyEagle Collections is named for his Osage title, Wa-Sa-Ta, which means First Son of the Eagle Clan. He said his collections are meant to inspire his own people and other Indigenous groups.

Running his company with the help of his wife,Yanti, Biss-Grayson celebrates his culture with modern interpretations of classic Indigenous design elements. Serving for the U.S. Air Force in a multitude of countries, Biss-Grayson wanted to celebrate his home, using art as his expression after developing post traumatic stress disorder. His work includes ribbon skirts, dresses, coats, shoes, shirts and more, which can be purchased through his website.

“When I was growing up, looking at the ribbon work, a practice from the Southern Plains tribes of cutting and sewing ribbons into different geometrical patterns, that’s a huge inspiration for me,” Biss-Grayson said.  “And I made it really modern and contemporary.”

Biss-Grayson said the work of Native designers is “reminding other cultures that Indigenous people are still here, but two, that we can also perform shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the biggest fashion houses globally.”

SkyEagle Collections made its mark in the fashion industry a year ago when Biss-Grayson’s runway designs took New York Fashion Week by storm. He said he chose not to participate this year, but with the release of the Oklahoma-made movie, ” Killers of the Flower Moon,” which depicts the “Osage Reign of Terror,” his designs were seen on the Red Carpet during movie premiere events.

“I see this philosophy of we’re here and we’re going to succeed,” Biss-Grayson said. “So I see it as not just men and women, but as these new warriors in this modern world.”

Biss-Grayson said part of the Native culture “is wearing these designs as pride, as medicine.  And I see it as a modern medicine in a new world. So that’s the idea and ethos behind it… it’s very uplifting and empowering for the wearer.”

Oklahoma City’s Nicole Moan started out as a tiling craftsman, and later turned her talent to creating ceramic corsets, which she said she pioneered as a way of combining art and fashion.

“It first started off with me making custom tiles…and here I am 25 years later making ceramic corsets and I don’t know, I’ve probably made over 300 or more by this time,” Moan said.

Nicole Moan poses with models wearing her custom corsets. From left are models Nora Sea, Ah’Lei Nicolé and Mathew Coblentz. Hair is by Misty Byrd and makeup by Nick St. Clair in this photo by Charlie Neuenschwander. Photo provided by Nicole Moan.

Her corset designs have been featured in shows across the world, including this year’s Grammy Awards. Chrishell Stause, an American actress and television personality, wore one of Moan’s corsets as part of her outfit.The designs are not only a work of art but are completely wearable and use a classic corset lace-up style, Moan said.

After her ceramic corsets sparked major interest in the fashion world, Moan wanted to see where her skills could take her. She applied for an alternative fashion week in London and was one of the first American designers chosen to have their collections on the runway.

Moan is also a photographer and painter, and her decorative headpieces, available on her website, include fascinators, tophats, headbands and a feather-trimmed “mad hatter hat.”

After starting her corset business, Moan collaborated with the Oklahoma City Museum of Art to “combine art and fashion,” hosting her first fashion show.

“It really helped work as a community and I really think that’s what we need, we’re really thirsty for fashion here in Oklahoma City,” she said.

“We don’t have enough representation, and yet people don’t see that the fashion world is really that important here in Oklahoma. I really want people to realize that there’s tons of talented people here and we need to show people with their voice,” Moan said.

Her business is still based in Oklahoma, and Moan loves to see other artistic talent within the state. She hopes to continue hosting fashion shows and expand her reach, not only across the state but the country.

“I don’t want to make anything that anybody else has made, I want to change it up,” she said. “Hopefully we can just keep building it and make it [her fashion show] work. You know, an event that people come from all over the world to Oklahoma of all places, to experience.


Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. For more stories by Gaylord News, go to

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