ILONKA S.P.  [ ee - laun - kah ] - Director

As a young girl, Ilonka grew up in an environment that fostered artistic exploration. Her mother and grandmother, both Hungarian immigrants, owned a furrier and were a strong influence in her formative years when she became acquainted with sewing machines, fur, leather, fabrics, and a plethora of possibilities. As a teenager, she had a great interest in art, especially oil painting.  Later, she would continue to focus on fashion design, successfully completing a degree in fashion and flat pattern design, after getting a scholarship in INACAP INSTITUTE, Chile - - where she is from. Her interest in Fashion Illustration is key until today.  After moving to Austin, she was re-invigorated by the fashion freedom and artistic atmosphere all around. She has since been actively involved with the local fashion community since 2011, creating pieces for Austin Fashion Week, Fashionably Pink and even showing a whole new collection in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. She considers herself fortunate to work with several exclusive clients in town, while also contributing to the community by participating in many fundraising fashion events, including ART BRA, the signature fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Austin (BCRC) since 2013 until the present year. Ilonka served as the art director and hostess for the first Cycle Chic Fashion Show in Austin sponsored by Capital Metro and She is #ASFD Director, where she also teaches core classes like: Fashion Illustration, Draping and Garment Construction, among other specialty courses and workshops. Very recently Ilonka hosted the first fashion show for #ASFD, where all students had the opportunity to shine on the runway of #Rainbowfashionshow at the Renaissance Hotel, invited by DSHS of Texas. On January of 2017, 'The ASFD Academy for Young Designers' launches successfully, giving a huge opportunity to children from 8 up to 14 years old to access a three to four month fashion program, debuting at Austin Fashion Week by Fashion X 2 years in a row, 2017 and 2018. Photography by Beatriz Medina - Make up by Priscilla Gallardo Black.

LORETTA LEONG is a New York City native, Los Angeles resident and Parsons School of Design alum.  She's had a successful career as an apparel designer in the fashion industry in both New York and Los Angeles.  Since forming her freelance design business, she has been commissioned to design full line collections of clothing, handbags and accessories for various manufacturers and department stores.  She has been commissioned by Los Angeles record labels, department stores and advertising agencies as the art director/designer for photo shoot costumes, album covers, musician's posters as well as for food and product ads and photo shoots.  

Loretta has had a busy career life, is an avid world traveler and thrived in the intensity of Los Angeles and New York.  She is excited to make Austin, Tx the new chapter in her life and ASFD is proud to have her on staff.


Cecelia Gay is a Florida native who now works as a costumer, seamstress, and wardrobe stylist in the Austin area. She's always had a passion for costuming and film from an early age and followed that desire by obtaining her B.F.A. in Fashion Design from the Miami International University of Art & Design with an emphasis on costume design and construction. Her journey beyond college started at the Florida Grand Opera where she honed her skills in both modern and period wear. In addition to her costuming prowess, Cecelia was trained in a multitude of computer related design. This includes C.A.D.(Computer Assisted Design - using Adobe software with a strong emphasis in Photoshop), Textile Design, Gerber (a digital pattern making software), as well as the creation of Technical Packets for foreign and domestic manufacturers. She has collaborated with many theaters and programs in the Austin area including Austin Shakespeare and TexArts.  Cecelia's work has been on display in venues such as The Curtain Theater, Zilker Hillside Theater, and The Wimberley Players Theater.  Cecelia is looking forward to sharing her passion for costuming and construction with all students coming to the Austin School of Fashion Design. Photography by Beatriz Medina - Make up by Priscilla Gallardo Black.




Vanessa Sanchez

Vanessa Sanchez graduated with a BFA in Fashion Design from Brenau University of Georgia in April 2014, with a emphasis in textiles and illustration. She has had her work displayed at the university as well as the High Museum of Atlanta. After her college graduation, she came back to teach classes at the university, such as Kaledo/Illustration Flat design, crocheting and basic sewing. She also has own business creating custom textile patterns and prints online. Vanessa is trained in graphic and web design since a young age, using programs such as Adobe programs, Dreamweaver, and Wordpress. She has also designed for a company in Georgia called Initials, Inc, as well as compiled trend research, create technical packets and samples, worked with companies overseas and took part in and spoke at multiple conventions. She also helped bring in-house textile design to Initials, Inc. Before moving to Austin, Vanessa was a costume seamstress at Walt Disney world in Orlando, Florida, creating and fixing costumes, as well as overseeing costumes across all Disney parks around the globe. She hopes to continue and grow her textile business in Austin and to continue to teach others!


June Higgins

Is a former ASFD student who went on to receive her Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in fashion design from Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York, December 2017. Prior to studying fashion deign at ASFD and in New York, June was a practicing attorney for 30 years, most recently serving as Vice President & Assistant Legal Counsel for Nationstar Mortgage LLC, based in Dallas. She received a BS degree in political science from West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M) in Canyon, Texas, and her law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock. June learned to sew at an early age and fondly remembers visiting fabric stores to help her mother select fabrics made into outfits from commercial patterns – a passion passed on to both June and her sister. While working in Austin as a regulatory attorney, June drove by the original location of ASFD on South Congress and decided to take a few classes. At that time, June was also the co-founder and stylist for her all-girl garage rock band, The Platforms. The band performed at a CD release show in stagewear June designed and constructed (with help from her sister). June resumed classes at ASFD in 2014 and was encouraged to participate in the local design competition Black & Tan II, where her design received 2nd place recognition. She then utilized new skills from ASFD’s Fashion Illustration class to complete her admissions portfolio for FIT, was accepted into one of the top design programs. She graduated cum laude, and her term draping project was selected for the AAS Exhibition, Visionary: Breaking Boundaries. June recently returned to Austin after almost two years in New York where she is pursing legal work, laying plans to launch a sportswear line and sharing her knowledge and love of fashion at ASFD.