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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jazmin Ayala

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jazmin Ayala. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I am a Colombian indigenous designer born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. As a child, one of my major influences was Project Runway and soon enough I started my journey as a self-taught designer with my father teaching me how to operate a sewing machine. In 2015, I had the opportunity to attend a fashion design camp (led by designer Tessa Clark, Project Runway season 17) at the University of Cincinnati where I learned the basics of patternmaking. Attending this camp helped me grow as a creative and build my portfolio throughout high school. I now attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City to pursue a degree in fashion design. I sought out to create my womenswear brand, Fashion by Ayala, after completing my first year at FIT. Since then, I have been named the winner of the 2019 Kansas City Designer Challenge held at Oak Park Mall where my designs were placed on display. Fashion by Ayala has also been featured on the runway in Kansas City Fashion Week and Jersey City Fashion Forward. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The most important lesson I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is that being self-taught means trial and error. It is easy to become discouraged when a vision does not turn out the way you planned, but finding another way to get there is what matters most. Being positive and a problem solver will definitely take you places. I also find myself struggling with the fashion industry as a whole. From mass production to large amounts of waste, our current fashion industry lacks a safe and healthy way to create. Luckily, fashion is always changing and I look forward to creating with sustainable approaches to make a difference in the way fast fashion is dominating the industry today. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Fashion by Ayala is a womenswear brand that aspires to influence others by bringing art to life through fashion. What sets me apart from other designers is my own story. My work is deeply inspired by my culture and of course my home, Kansas City. Everything I make is made sustainably with love and a purpose. I am most proud of my recent collection, ASCENDANT, which was shown at Kansas City Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021. The design process for this collection was created around sustainability, where the pieces were mainly created from preloved clothing and the patterns were created on recycled paper. Sustainability has allowed me to experiment and create with new techniques while bringing awareness to the runway! 

What’s next?
As of now, my main goal is to finish up my Bachelor’s Degree at FIT and to take all the opportunities that New York City has to offer. I look forward to creating new projects and collections as a means of being vocal in my work on current issues in our society. I also hope to one day return to Kansas City where I will be able to work full time to nurture my brand, Fashion by Ayala. 

Contact Info:

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Image Credits
Ayala Larry Levenson

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