The Backstage of a Dream

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Little Brazil, News

The Backstage of a Dream

By Karla Rensch

There are timeless behaviors unrelated to the current economy, politics, beliefs or education level that are directly connected to one’s life ideals and remain inherent as time passes by.

The desire to improve is related to human behavior. The so-desired “American Dream” continues to be the key motivator for immigrants that have traveled the world to come to the United States to restructure their lives and find a place in the sun.

There are many stories of success written regularly by the hands of immigrants, people who overcame their limits to fulfill their dreams, and accomplished something big, notable, ground-breaking and auspicious. Simple individuals who have faced great adversity and elected to not give up their dreams. On the contrary, they rolled up their sleeves and worked hard to get where they are today, making a difference with little or almost nothing they had in hand at the time.

Brazilian fashion stylist Layana Aguilar is part of the group of successful immigrants who never learned to give up. Her story is inspiring, an example of strength and willingness for those who need encouragement.

Born in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, Aguilar is the only fashion designer to be invited by Disney to create the dress of one of their princesses – Princess Elena of Avalor. She has engraved her name in the history of one of the most successful enterprises in the world.

Her journey was not an easy one. When Aguilar arrived in the United States, she resided in Danbury, CT. Like many immigrants, she had to find a job and work hard to pay for her expenses for money does not fall from the sky, especially when you have none.

Aguilar shared that before being able to attend classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), she worked in different places, including Costco.

After graduating from college, she worked for two years on Oscar de La Renta’s fashion team. Nevertheless, when she desired to spread her wings and fly away to invest in her own brand, one of her mentors discouraged her by saying that her chances were not favorable, and that she would need at least $1 million to start. She could not even dream of having that amount of money. Aguilar, however, did not give up because she knew she had something much more valuable than money; she had friends that believed in her creative potential and bet on her talent.

She decided to participate in the reality television show Project Runway. She was selected after participating for the second time. As a good entrepreneur, she took advantage of the exposure she had in the media at the time and with only $5,000 (given to her by her mother), Aguilar launched her brand in the fashion market.

Aguilar designs luxury and unconventional items. Her items carry her identity, allowing those wearing her clothing line to possess a little bit of her. Her clothes also empower women with a creative mix of fantasy, love, audacity, sensuality, smoothness and a fashionable look.

Check out fashion stylist Layana Aguilar’s showroom, located at 520 8th Avenue, 12th floor, Suite 2F, in New York City, or visit her website at

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November 24, 2017

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