Fashion Squad School owner sewing masks for hospitals

I visited Layana Aguilar and her students at the Fashion Squad School in late February and had a post ready to go when, well, you know. So when we all return, I will cue up that post. In the meantime, she’s been busy.

So first a little background: Layana is a fashion designer whose work on Project Runway got her noticed: she would go on to design the gown for the Disney princess Elena of Avalor and start her own label. (She and her husband, Philip Hordjik, and kids Henzo and Kaya live on Hudson.) But when she was asked to teach a young neighbor to sew, she loved it enough to open classes up to more kids, and until the virus hit, was running two-hour classes daily out of her sewing studio at 19 Hudson.

Now she has classes running on Zoom, and her seamstress Laura Oscam, who moved in with her so they could keep the business running, are also sewing masks for hospitals. They are working with a Brooklyn upholsterer called Stichroom, which is coordinating a citywide effort to make masks and distribute to local hospitals. Layana and Laura have made 200 to date.

But there’s is a catch: all her regular suppliers have run out of elastic until they restock in May. Layana was only able to finish her order for Stichroom by cutting some elastic out of projects the kids had done earlier in the semester. She’s got some ideas in the meantime: asking her Garment District suppliers to open up for a curbside delivery, or redesigning the masks as tie-ons. “We are pretty resourceful.”

She has also launched a series of videos for her students and the family has taken to TikTok to stave off boredom — in matching homemade outfits, of course. More when we are back.

@layanaaguilarOur first family Tiktok !! Thank you @cloudtalk for the inspiration @theweeknd 😘💕 ##blindinglights ##distancedance ##boredathome ##fashionfamily ##foryou♬ original sound – thefashionsquadschool