THE FASHION SQUAD FAMILY
MEET OUR FOUNDER
LAYANA AGUILAR H.
Layana Aguilar is a fashion designer, mother, and alum of Project Runway and Project Runway Allstars.
Born and raised in Brazil, Layana came to the US to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She then worked as a top designer at houses such as Oscar de la Renta. But Layana hungered for more self-expression. In 2013, she took a risk and launched her eponymous womenswear line, feminine with a streetwear edge to celebrate the strength of the modern woman. Layana was immediately cast for Project Runway Season 11.
After the show, Tim Gunn introduced Layana to Disney, where she was asked to design the gown for Elena of Avalor, Disney’s first latin princess. Layana drew upon her South American heritage and tapped into a memory of her grandmother embroidering colorful mandala flowers. In Sanskrit, mandala means “circle.” The flowers on Elena’s gown represent the quest for personal discovery and fulfillment.
As Layana started her own family with her son and her daughter, she found a way to combine her two greatest loves: fashion and children. Thus the Fashion Squad School was born.
MEET OUR TEACHERS
AKA "The Creator"
Born and raised in Colombia, Laura is a Visual Artist and a big fan of books! Her passion for photography and films were always encouraged by her mother, who thought her everything she knows from an early age.
While in college in Colombia, Laura spent a lot of her time surrounded by children, teaching them the beauty of the creative world. Her Favorite quote is:
“LIFE IMITATES ART”
AKA "The Sewing Master"
Born and raised in a small town in Brazil, Elissa is living her American dream!
Elissa graduated with high honors with a degree in Fashion Design and pattern making.
She discovered her passion for Fashion Design in her early years.
At only 10 years old, she was already making her own clothes and wearing them proudly. Elissa's hobbies are sketching, sewing and reading. She absolutely loves teaching children. Elissa is fascinated by how fast they learn and by their unbound creativity.
Elissa found her home and everything she loves at The Fashion Squad School. "Seeing the smile on our students faces, when they put on the clothes they made is priceless!"
Born and raised in Harlem, Shatani is an aspiring model and fashion stylist. She is always on the search for a new experience and ways to express herself using art and fashion. She has previous experience as a sewing teacher at the Lower East Side Girls Club and has a passion for social justice!
Shatani spends her free time making fashion video blogs on TikTok and YouTube.
Nicole started sewing at a very young age. When she was 11, she wanted a very specific handbag and couldn't find anywhere. After her mom taught her how to make it, she fell in love with the process and it led her to a career as a fashion designer.
Nicole was able to get a spot at the prestigious FIT in NYC and Central St Martin in London. Her parents are both teachers and now she found her love for teaching at the Fashion Squad School, where she passes along the magic of sewing to our students!