Fashion teacher Ana Ortega-Johnson is a beacon of inspiration and individuality.— CERCLE MARISTE

According Forbes, Marist College has been ranked among the top ten colleges in the world shaping the future of fashion. Naturally, those who curate the perfect mold for the next generation mirror that of style icons, expressing and encouraging individuality without limits.

Assistant Fashion Instructor Ana Ortega-Johnson is no stranger to everyday glamour. From moon boots to bows, Ortega-Johnson refuses to categorize or limit himself.

“I never got into anything that you would have to be an identity. I’ve never done goth, but I love black leather, so I’ll wear black leather with a pink bow,” Ortega-Johnson said. “I want me out. I can’t be just one thing.

Avoiding identities and never succumbing to trends, Ortega-Johnson prides herself on her uniqueness. “I like to look different. My tendency is to break the trend that everyone else is doing,” she said. “I don’t like to follow.”

Even if it doesn’t look like it, our clothes have a lot of power. They have the ability to create character, tell the world who you are and who you want to be, inspire creativity, and even influence others.

For some of Ortega-Johnson’s students, she serves as a beacon of inspiration and individuality.

“She inspires me to be bold and confident in my own style and it encourages me to tell my own story through what I wear,” said Jo Anna Valdez ’23.

Ortega-Johnson credits her mother and all the women in her family for sparking her passion for fashion and inspiring her effortlessly glamorous style. But she wasn’t always the classy teacher she is today. As a young girl, all she wanted to wear was Levi’s, a T-shirt, and platform shoes.

Now, Ortega-Johnson finds complete joy in dressing with the utmost originality and style. As she washes her hair in the morning or feeds her chickens and goats, Ortega-Johnson often visualizes her next outfit. “For me, it’s like cooking or painting. It’s nice to put things together and project something,” she said.

While she relishes the fashion world’s ability to create and project something beautifully unique, she recognizes that there is still a long way to go in inclusiveness, honesty and educating people. fashion industry. Although the industry has opened up considerably by showing the backend and the process of creating an item of clothing or the elements of a photoshoot, it would still like to see more highs and lows for people to understand that glamor is sees that it takes a lot to get there, and it’s not always so glamorous. Perfection is not reality.

Often, she is saddened by the restraint of her students in the fashion industry. She has seen those with great vision turn away from design because they are not good illustrators. However, Ortega-Johnson reassures his students that you don’t have to be an artist to create. It encourages and emphasizes the will to learn and grow.

She hopes to see the industry focus on education, bringing more hands-on learning to students and highlighting the other elements that exist beyond design and merchandising. Ortega-Johnson hopes to enlighten students about the endless opportunities and directions in fashion and teach them that it’s okay to change your mind and that it’s important to grow.

“I learned that later in life and I wish someone had told me. Because you’re this today doesn’t mean you’re going to be that at 24, at 27, at 32,” Ortega-Johnson said. “Keep evolving. Keep learning.”

As the Marist Fashion program continues to nurture growth and expansion, Ortega-Johnson is among many faculty who seek to encourage their students to embrace their uniqueness and think outside the box through experimentation and innovation. education in all aspects.

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