Istituto Marangoni Miami Joins Fashion Week El Paseo Lineup

Top-tier design students from the renowned Miami school showcase their debut collections in a March 20 runway show presented by education sponsor Jordan Schnitzer.

Site Staff Fashion & Style, Fashion Week El Paseo

Designs by Camila Balleste.

To see what’s next in the sartorial sphere, look no further than Istituto Marangoni Miami, the fashion school that’s radically embracing innovation.

Founded in Milan in 1935, this leading university now has locations all over the world. Its most recently opened outpost, Istituto Marangoni Miami, harnesses the spirit and energy of the dynamic South Florida city while nurturing the next generation of designers and industry creatives.

Now poised to make Miami the next fashion hub, the institution takes a cutting-edge approach to fashion alongside guidance from distinguished instructors. Each program is rooted in the Italian tradition of craftsmanship, encouraging students along their creative and entrepreneurial paths.

Twelve Istituto Marangoni Miami student designers will present their debut collections during Fashion Week El Paseo.


Istituto Marangoni Miami
7 p.m. Cocktail Reception
8 p.m. Fashion Show

Give back

Through the Bobbi Lampros “Giving Back” program, this show offers an opportunity to support and learn more about the DAP Health, an advocacy-based healthcare center in Palm Springs that provides medical and mental health services for more than 10,000 patients.


Through a generous donation from education sponsor Jordan Schnitzer, 150 Coachella Valley high school students will attend this show and receive an exclusive preshow backstage tour.

Paula Alduncin design

Sketches by Paula Alduncin.

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Paula Alduncin.


This 21-year-old fell for fashion and art at a young age, fueled by an unwavering curiosity and an innate creative spirit. The designer’s aesthetic is dreamlike and unconventional, plucking a heavy dose of inspiration from surrealist art and blurring the lines between fantasy and reality.

Influences: “Salvador Dalí, the maestro of surrealism. Dalí’s eccentricity sparks a journey into avant-garde silhouettes, intricate embellishments, and audacious color palettes.”

Audience takeaway: “I hope they take away how fashion and art movements can intertwine so beautifully.”

The future: “I’m thrilled about the fusion of technology and fashion, opening doors for innovative designs. The industry’s shift toward sustainability resonates with me, and I look forward to contributing to ethical practices.”

karla urdaneta

Karla Urdaneta's sketches.


Hailing from Venezuela, Karla Urdaneta presents her collection, “A Rebellion to the Ordinary.” A devout fan of major luxury brands such as Balmain, Carolina Herrera, and Alexander McQueen, this designer positions herself at the intersection of elevated style and the business of fashion.

Color palette: “This palette is composed of neutral colors resembling sobriety, sophistication, and a classic touch like black and off-white, but at the same time with vibrant colors like royal blue and magenta to give an innovative touch.”

Materials: “Wool was the main protagonist of this capsule collection due to its functionality and versatility when sewing with pieces having structures such as corsets, padded shoulders, and hand-embroidery in pearls.”

Workroom vibe: “The vast majority of the time when I’m designing, I prefer to be in complete silence. I find I have better concentration when I can focus on what I want to accomplish.”

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Karla Urdaneta.


Born in Fujian, China, Chenqi Jiang arrived in the United States at age 13. Driven by a childhood dream of becoming a fashion designer, Jiang’s journey has led to this present moment, showcasing refined ideas born of integrity and empathy in a collection entitled “Creation of Faith.”

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Chenqi Jiang.

Inspiration: “Inspired by the aesthetics of the Catholic Church, I aim to infuse a divine and hallowed faith into the ultimate fashion garment.”

Design philosophy: “At the core of my design philosophy is trying to craft garments that go beyond mere functionality, aspiring to fashion pieces that not only command admiration, but also effortlessly blend into the fabric of everyday life.”

Audience takeaway: “I hope audience members take away the beauty behind the Catholic aesthetic and the way I interpreted the divine in my garments.”

Chenqi Jiang's designs.

Chenqi Jiang's sketches.

ANABEL Montiel

Originally from Venezuela, this designer spent several years in the modeling world, an experience that offered a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion industry. In pursuit of her dream to become a designer, Montiel emigrated to the United States during the pandemic and enrolled at Istituto Marangoni Miami.

Design philosophy: “I like to design so that women feel empowered, elegant, and at the same time, comfortable.”

Anabel Montiel

Anabel Montiel.

Anabel Montiel's swimsuit design.

Anabel Montiel's swimsuit design.

Muse: “I am inspired by a type of woman, a woman who is active, knows what she wants, a woman who wears her personality: confident, determined, risky.”

On the desert: “Deserts inspire me with a lot of tranquility. I like to be inspired by their colors, different textures, and the lines created by the movement of the sandy mountains.”


A designer from Turkey, Ilayda Polat’s enthusiasm for fashion blossomed while shadowing her father at his textile company and finding inspiration in the fabrics and designs. After studying at Istanbul Fashion Academy, Polat received a degree in fashion design and marketing at Istituto Marangoni London before moving on to Istituto Marangoni Miami.

Ilayda Polat's designs.

Ilayda Polat's sketches.

Inspiration: “My collection is inspired by the movie Victor Victoria, which depicts a woman’s journey of adopting different identities to establish herself in a male-dominated world. The designs reflect the strength and determination of women in overcoming challenges.”

Materials: “My main focus was on combining high quality with uniqueness, ensuring that the empowered businesswoman wearing my pieces stands out.”

Audience takeaway: “My goal is to make a lasting impression, sparking conversations about challenging gender norms in fashion and the changing role of women in traditionally male-dominated environments.”


With a keen eye for beauty, this designer has a degree in industrial design from
La Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. She has worked in interior design and event planning, in addition to launching a handbag business and raising three young girls. Her collection, “Kintsugi – The Joy of Being,” encourages the viewer to see the unique beauty of their individuality and life experiences.

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Veronica Espinosa.

The collection: “My collection embraces the philosophies of kintsugi and wabi-sabi, challenging the Western interpretation of beauty, rooted in perfection and symmetry. I celebrate imperfections, flaws, and scars, as they are the markers of our unique stories and experiences. Through my designs, I inspire individuals to appreciate and cherish their own journey.”

Veronica Espinosa's design.

Veronica Espinosa's sketches.

The process: “My favorite aspect of the design process lies in transforming an expression of my soul into tangible form. As designers, we have the power to convey what resides within us through our creations.”

Audience takeaway: “I yearn for the audience to embrace imperfection and grasp the inherent beauty that lies within our individuality as they witness the graceful flow of stunning aesthetic garments on the runway.”

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Ryan Hamilton.


Ever since he was a child, fashion design seemed like a dream for Ryan Anthony Hamilton. Now, the student designer is flourishing in the field and already working around the world with industry powerhouses, including an internship at the Brazilian headquarters of luxury shoe designer Alexandre Birman. For Hamilton, fashion is a communication system, conveying ideas and messages within a wordless dialogue.

The process: “My favorite part of the design process is sketching. I like to take my time with my sketches, and I’ve even started making editorials through my drawings in order to feel the full energy of the designs.”

Influences: “Nicolas Ghesquière during his time at Balenciaga has always been an inspiration for me, I loved the detail in his work. Miguel Adrover, he was always unapologetic; and Yohji Yamamoto is incredibly poetic and dark. I always loved his experimentation with shapes and silhouettes.”

Ryan Hamilton sketches.

Ryan Hamilton sketches.

Ryan Hamilton

Ryan Hamilton.

The concept: “The concept of ambiguity holds a significant place in my creative process. It has been a constant subject throughout my life, as I’ve consistently sought to embody an enigmatic and undefinable essence as an individual. This personal inclination toward the untouchable and elusive finds its manifestation in my designs, where I deliberately channel these sentiments through shapes and forms.”


Influenced by travel, rock music, and fine art, third-year fashion design student Jancarlos Cruz discovered his sartorial interests in high school. He dreams of working for a major fashion house to continue growing as a designer and ultimately wants to launch his own label. Through his Fashion Week El Paseo collection, “Le Punk Reverie,” Cruz hopes to demonstrate that rebelliousness can indeed be elegant.

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Jancarlos Cruz. 

Influences: “Rock subculture in particular has been one of my biggest inspirations, as I enjoy the rebellious spirit mixed with musicians’ expressive ways of dressing up to evoke emotion. Art is also a huge influence in my design process, as I reference different art movements in order to convey specific emotions.”

Jancarlos sketches.

Jancarlos' sketches.

Color palette: “Whites, blacks, blues, and gold, giving the collection a sense of formality mixed with beautiful patterns.”

Design philosophy: “To incorporate all of the things I love about society into a huge ball of inspiration to [provide] a unique perspective and make people feel 100 percent authentic in the clothes they wear.”

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Camila Balleste's.


Growing up, Camila Balleste spent summers working for her dad’s aerospace company,
selling airplane parts. Over time, the intricate parts informed the designer’s perspective of shape, material, and design; they now serve as the impetus for Balleste’s collection, “Aviator.” The collection aims to make the world of aerospace wearable and showcase the expansive, limitless quality of fashion. 

Color palette: “The color palette represents the world of aerospace through technical tones. In detail, the collection displays an array of neutrals and pops of color, such as grayscale tones, icy blues, off-white, and red, elevating the concept of wearable aircraft.”

Materials: “The choice of materials echoes a plane’s textures, luminosity, and linearity. To create this effect, I used a combination of tweed, silk mikado, silk wool, double satin, poplin, and unconventional materials.”

Camila Balleste's sketches

Camila Balleste's sketches.

Design philosophy: “Fashion is a language that communicates an evolving story spread through the clothes we wear. I see a disconnect between emotion and creation today and would love to tie them together again.”


Fabiana Polito aims to create garments that provoke connection and inspiration, with a perspective shaped by her interest in architecture and the work of legendary designer Alexander McQueen. With a deep appreciation for precision in tailoring and a commitment to perfection, Polito’s focus on detail will be on full display in her collection, “The Worn Pages.”

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Fabiana Polito.

The collection: “This collection is a nostalgic journey through the vivid pages of my childhood’s sketchbook. Each piece is an homage to cherished memories and pivotal moments. Each garment embodies the form of my childhood drawings, transformed into stunning, wearable art.”

Color palette: “Given that my collection is set to be showcased in Palm Springs, I will be employing a color palette that authentically mirrors the natural hues of the desert landscape, a gesture intended to pay homage to the extraordinary surroundings of this stunning location.”

Fabiana sketches

Fabiana Polito's sketches.

Workroom vibe: “I value concentration and strive to cultivate a focused atmosphere, allowing my mind to wander freely and engage in uninterrupted creative exploration.”

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Sofia Lemann.


After beginning her studies in graphic design, Sofia Lemann found her true calling when she switched to studying fashion design at Istituto Marangoni Miami in 2021. Fascinated by designers who push conventional boundaries, Lemann draws inspiration from Martin Margiela, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, and Issey Miyake, among others. Beyond the design studio, she finds solace in the rhythmic beats of running, the serenity of yoga, the depths of scuba diving, and the composure of golf.

The collection: “Exploring vintage horror and thriller cinema, my collection, ‘Silhouettes in Suspense,’ pays homage to the timeless charm of suspense and elegance from the golden era. Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock classics like The Birds and Psycho, each of the 20 carefully crafted looks captures the mystique of these films.

Design philosophy: “This was the year that I challenged myself to start letting go of the idea that everything has to be ‘perfect’ and that I have to please everyone. When I let go of that, and when I let go of the fear of being judged, that is when I start creating my best designs.”

Workroom playlist: “I like to listen to loud music, and when I’m inspired, I sing while working. Some favorite singers include Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Ariana Grande, and Bruno Mars.”

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Sketch by Sofia Lemann. 


Daniel Uribe brings the collection “Redifini Noire” to Fashion Week El Paseo with the intention of showcasing black and red in a new light. With gowns and separates that fuse art and architecture, embracing form and function, Uribe employs high-quality, structured fabric to accentuate each silhouette. 

Color palette: “The color palette is inspired by architectural art mashing together various shades of black and gray and bringing in red to give it a depth.”

Daniel Uribe

Daniel Uribe.

Daniel Uribe's sketches.

Daniel Uribe's sketches.

Design philosophy: “Architectural shapes mashed with fine art and flowing lines.”

Favorite part of the process: “The production. And conceptualizing the final garment, seeing everything come to life.”