Kansas City Fashion Week is back for its sixteenth season. We spoke with Jazmin Ayala, one of this season’s new designers.

Now in its (sweet) sixteenth year, Kansas City Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 is here, with a runway full of local and national names. After making his KC debut last year (featuring a line of glitter suits that celebrities like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Cardi B have donned) Any Old Iron’s Andrew Clancey is back, along with KC fashion staples Georgina Herrera and Nataliya Meyer’s Lucia’s Sarto.

Those big names are sure to wow on Union Station’s runway, but we’re also interested in checking out newcomers like Jazmin Ayala, a current student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, who will show on Wednesday. In June, Ayala won the Designer Challenge put on by Oak Park Mall, KC Fashion Week, and Kansas City Fashion Council, and her design scored her line, Fashion by Ayala, a spot in this season’s show. We caught up before Ayala’s debut walk.

Your line fuses elements of nature and geometry. Where did the inspiration for that come from?

Growing up in Kansas City with Colombian roots, I have always been drawn to the natural beauty of the Midwest and the landscapes of the Andes region. Fashion design has a lot to do with artistry, but it also includes a lot of math. I love working with shapes and manipulating them to compliment a woman’s body. As a designer, I want to be able to turn math into wearable art, much like the Mod Era of the 1960s.

What was it like winning the Oak Park Mall Challenge? Tell us about your design.

Winning the Kansas City Designer Challenge was a dream come true. After leaving Kansas City to complete my first year at the Fashion Institute of Technology, it has been amazing to come home to this opportunity as a new and improved designer. I am proud to say that my journey as an emerging designer will begin in the city that raised me.

My designs for all four challenges are a reflection of what I was doing in school at the time, because I was actually creating these garments during finals week. Each design has a different inspiration resulting in a different aesthetic and silhouette. Yet, all of my designs are cohesive in construction and were created from geometric motifs.

As a young designer, what are your future goals?

In the future, I want to build my brand and manage my own business as a womenswear designer based in Kansas City and New York City. My sisters are also artists with talents in poetry, folkloric dancing, painting, music, and photography. As a designer/future entrepreneur, I want to build a family business so we can have the opportunity to create and collaborate together.

You’ve mentioned you’re interested in “life imitating art.” How do you incorporate that into your designs?

A majority of my inspirations come from my surroundings and inner self. My designs speak for myself. It is my way of expressing my creativity, sharing my experiences, and letting my voice be heard, all while giving women the confidence and strength to do the same. 

What can we expect from your Wednesday show?

My debut collection Paradise will bring a new point of view to Kansas City Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020. Paradise is a ten-look resort wear collection inspired by my cultural roots as a Colombian-American. Since this is my first collection as an emerging designer, I wanted it to be very meaningful. My looks will tell my story and also interpret how I see the modern Colombian woman. You can expect a contemporary twist on traditional Colombian clothing, including feather details and weaving techniques incorporated within my designs.


Fashion by Ayala

Wednesday Evening Runway Show
September 18 at 6:00 p.m.

Union Station
30 West Pershing Road,
Kansas City, MO, 64108

Categories: Culture