Arlene is the owner and founder of Fashion Lab NY.
Her passion for design started when she was six, making clothes by hand for her dolls, and herself. Once she got a sewing machine there was no stopping her. While her high school friends were at the mall buying clothes, Arlene was at the fabric store designing something that would express her uniqueness.
Always knowing she wanted to be in the Fashion Industry, Arlene went to Philadelphia University where she received a B.S. degree in Textile Design. Now, a 30- year veteran in the fashion industry, Arlene has led design, product development and merchandising for global brands including New Era Cap, Life is good, Timberland and OshKosh B'Gosh.
In addition to FASHION LAB NY, Arlene has taught Fashion Forecasting at Buffalo State College and holds a position on the Advisory Board for The Harkness Center Fashion Design Technology Program. Inspiring and mentoring others to develop their creative talents is what drives her today.
Carly Richardson - Assistant and Instructor
Student – Artist - Sewist – Creative force
Carly is a fourth-year student at SUNY Geneseo pursuing a degree in Sociology. She and Arlene were fortunate enough to have been brought together about 3 years ago now.
Raised with a long line of artists, Carly grew up with everything she needed to be creative. For her twelfth birthday she received her own sewing machine. She proceeded to design and sew her own costumes for musical performances in high school. In addition to sewing, Carly also enjoys painting, hand embroidery, upcycling clothing, and hand lettering among many other hobbies.
“I was lucky enough to have creativity encouraged in every portion of my life. I got that at home. Many kids do not have the same experiences as me with creating and art, especially as schools lose funding for art programs. FASHION LAB NY gives children and adults the tools, resources, and creative energy everyone deserves to have as part of their life.”
Carly is thrilled to be able to share her passion for creating with the next generation.
Johanna Brassel - Instructor
Johanna Brassel is a Fashion Designer in Buffalo, NY. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Upon graduation, Johanna joined JC Penney in Plano, TX as an Assistant Designer. After her term there, she returned to Buffalo, NY where she accepted a job at New Era Cap as the Assistant Designer for the Men’s Apparel team. She was soon promoted to Designer, a position in which she continued to develop her fashion design skills.
While Johanna was working for New Era Cap, she joined the Genesee Community College Fashion Business program as an Adjunct Instructor. There she realized her love of teaching and began instructing at Buffalo State College and Villa Maria College in their Fashion programs, teaching a wide variety of fashion design courses.
Johanna is currently the Cut and Sew Production Supervisor at The Factory Buffalo, a cut and sew garment manufacturer, where she plans and executes successful garment production. In addition, she continues to expand her teaching career as an Adjunct Instructor at Buffalo State College in the Fashion Textile Technology program.
Beth Adams - Instructor
Designer - Sewist - Creator - Teacher
Beth’s passion for creating beautiful fashion was born in her teens, when modern stores were unable to satisfy her personal flair. After her father gifted her with a sewing machine for her 16th birthday, she began whipping up prom dresses, and her calling was clear. Beth went on to study fashion design at the Academy of Design in Toronto. Her curriculum included construction, draping, pattern making, and color theory, which helped develop her eye for striking pattern mixing and fabric combinations.
Among Beth’s most notable accomplishments are the 2004 creation of her successful brand Dungaree Dolly’s, which includes her trademark Dolly Bags, a handmade line of handmade retro purses, along with Dolly Valentine, her children’s line of 50s style girls’ dresses. Beth was also featured on the cover of Buffalo Magazine’s July 2012 issue as one of Buffalo’s best young entrepreneurs.
A passion for the art of sewing has been formative in Beth’s life. She looks forward to using her skills and knowledge to teach and help others find the same joy and fulfillment in creating.
"My daughter loved working one on one with Arlene to create a romper. Her garment is amazing. The stitching is professional. Every detail is immaculate. Arlene really drove my daughter to complete this as her own so she really learned from the experience. I would highly recommend any course offered."
- Bridget L.
"Both my girls came out of the camp with the confidence of having sewn their very own scarf as well as a desire to continue learning the art of sewing! In the words of my 10 year old, "this was the best 6 hours of my life!" Thank you for your hands on approach in teaching my daughters a skill that hopefully will be used for years to come!"
"My daughter loved fashion camp and obtained great skills! She became more confident with the sewing machine, learned more about the fashion industry, and had a great time putting together her hand-picked fabric into a great outfit. I love it that Arlene showed the participants how to sew a basic outfit, but also allowed them creativity to make it their own."
- Amy J.