The Raiderettes perform at halftime in their D.A. Designs holiday dresses. Photo by Tony Gonzales
The Oakland Raiders cheerleading squad, The Raiderettes, go through a rigorous process to get from auditions to practice to game days. And D.A. Designs Dancewear, a dancewear company based out of Clovis, Calif., has been there every step of the way. D.A. Designs has created many of the audition costumes for Raiderette hopefuls, designed the game day holiday dresses, and most recently, designed the bathing suits for the 2012 Raiderette Swimsuit Calendar.
One of the first uniform sets D.A. Designs created for the Raiderettes was a warm-up outfit that included custom-made pants, jacket and sports bra. The Raiderettes wore this outfit for appearances when their regular uniform was not required. Since then, in addition to the holiday dresses and calendar bathing suits, D.A. Designs created a sequined zebra dress for Football's Fabulous Females, which was a hit at the 2010 Raiderette Calendar Release Party. Each Raiderette wore the dress in a variety of styles including halter, strapless, and one-shoulder.
"We custom make dancewear for groups and teams – pep, cheer, dance, color guard, kick-line - you name it," said Dennette Nakamura, owner of D.A. Designs Dancewear. "We have a superior fit and we understand how to fit the female body, especially when we're dressing a pro-team or [creating something for] a pro team tryout. We understand how the outfit needs to fit in order to flatter the girls and we design them in such a way that they will be flattering on the body types that we're working with. Our outfits are of such quality and style that they can be worn year after year."
The 2011 Raiderette of the Year and 2012 Pro Bowl cheerleader, Anna, used D.A. Designs Dancewear for her audition. "I love D.A. Designs Dancewear," said Raiderette Anna. "They custom make all of their outfits to flatter your body perfectly, plus you can custom design them to fit your personality too."
Raiderette Diana wore D.A. Designs Dancewear for auditions as well and has been happy with the results. "D.A. Designs Dancewear makes amazing audition outfits," said Raiderette Diana. "For my second year [of auditions], I wore a teal outfit that was designed by D.A. Designs. The material was secure and flexible for me to feel comfortable to dance full out."
Raiderette Mallorie has used D.A. Designs fashions for her auditions every year. "D.A. Designs makes the most high-quality, fashionable outfits I've seen," said Raiderette Mallorie. "What's best about them is that once you design your outfit they will never duplicate another with the same color scheme [in a single season], so you will always stand out."
Raiderette team choreographer Shawna Zimmerman also uses D.A. Designs for competition attire and costumes for her own dance studio.
This year, D.A. Designs Dancewear will be creating the signature Raiderette uniform.
The D.A. Designs team enjoys making dancewear for Football's Fabulous Females. "Doing a high profile team like the Raiders, it's rewarding," said Nakamura. "It's something that's fun to do and it's good to be able to tell people, 'Hey, we did the Raiders.' We enjoy what we do and try to have fun. We love to get to see our stuff in action, so that's a lot of fun."
Nakamura and her team are in a business they understand, appreciate, and love, and the Raiderettes have benefited from their expertise. "We enjoy what we do and we have an understanding of how dancewear should fit and how to flatter the female body," said Nakamura. "That's why we enjoy this business so much."