A School With Style by Gigi Johnson

Rucht D’Oleo and her class present us with their latest projects.

The Fashion Institute at Miami Dade College

Erika Hanna is one of the youngest students at the Fashion Institute, providing a fresh new vision and inspiration.

Miami has become one of the most up & coming cities when it comes to fashion;  Our home city has been considered one of the most exotic backdrops for designer houses, trends, fashion bloggers and fashion stylists alike.  It is most fitting that the Miami Dade College alongside with writer, designer and business woman Rucht D’Oleo took the initiative to provide fashion lovers alike with a learning environment where they can develop their talent, passion and skills.

Juanita Alcena teaches one to one hand’s on

The Fashion Institute was born in the Spring of 2014, opening its doors to students with a wide range in age and backgrounds. It provides a place where young people like Erika Hanna can learn the skills needed to share her ideas with the world; at the same time, it’s an excellent outlet for veterans like the adorable Bernadine Schacht, who has been sewing for over 65 years. The Fashion Institute is where the generational gap meets and creates in harmony. It truly is the perfect vessel for knowledge and inspiration.

Bernadine Schacht shows us her full circle skirt

The program is part of the School of Continuing Education & Professional Development, and students are privileged to receive teachings from seasoned designers like Juanita Alcena, who received a Master’s Degree from the Paris American Academy in France.  Ms. Alcena’s passion for her trade is evident in the care and dedication she provides for her students.  Born in Haiti, teaching in Miami seems to suit her well with its diversity and warm climate.  When asked about the origins of her love for fashion, Ms. Alcena explains: “In Haiti, you have to have a habit.  You have to find something to do.” Ms. Alcena explains she found something she loved to do in Fashion.

Designer, writer, and entrepreneur, Rucht D’Oleo is a true visionary. Her dedication, true passion for her trade and focused endeavor have helped others by providing a place where they can learn and be inspired.  A native of the Dominican Republic, D’Oleo received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design from Miami International University of Arts & Design.  Since then, she has been the subject of many accolades, awards and success stories. Most notably, she is known for authoring the book “El Negocio de La Moda” which she launched in late 2013 and was illustrated by renowned designer Sully Bonelly. Hers is the only book in Spanish that describes in detail the steps necessary to establish a fashion brand; It has everything from how to manage your fashion business, to designing your collection and actually materializing your own fashion line.

Gisela who is originally from Panama loves making her own clothes.

The program itself at The Fashion Institute seems like a work of art, designed with 12 courses that provide students with the foundations needed to develop a career in the Fashion industry. From pattern making, fashion design, draping and textile classes, fashion lovers in Miami now have a place to call home.



Gigi Johnson

About the Author: Gigi Johnson is a Fashion Stylist and Image Consultant based in Coral Gables, FL and Santo Domingo, D.R.  Contact her at Cherchezgigi@gmail.com