Art Institutes

Fashion

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Make a name for yourself.

Whether your dream is designing clothes or developing business plans, the fashion industry needs your creativity and passion. Find out where your talents fit.

Program Areas

San Antonio Fashion Design Programs

Fashion Design

You can build skills in traditional and computer-generated design, pattern-making, and more as you have the opportunity to learn to move your vision and style—and future—forward.

Fashion Marketing Management Program

Fashion Marketing & Management

Channel your creativity and business savvy into preparing for a career where you can develop, analyze, and implement sales strategies based on consumer insights and trends.

Meet our Faculty

  • Penaranda HS

    Martha Penaranda

    Fashion Design

    "Don't just dream about your fantastic ideas, get started—even if it's in the wrong direction."

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    Martha Penaranda

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    It’s hard to isolate a single moment. From an early age I’ve been fascinated by the possibility of transforming what’s in front of you...the what if. I have to admit, all the cutting, gluing and painting things around the house got me in trouble a lot.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    Throughout my career I’ve worked in quite different settings. As a computer pattern design developer for a knitwear firm in Florence, Italy; running workshops in coloring and dying with indigenous communities in rural Colombia; and designing costumes and scenery for a great variety of plays and audiences. That wide range of experiences gave me the ability to recognize the value of the task at hand, and taught me that every individual has something to offer. My goal in the classroom is to recognize that diversity of aesthetics and skills, and develop them according to the individual.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    A creative career is a process of discovering possibilities. It’s the what if that drives us to explore different paths. I’m a firm believer in research. I urge students to look beyond the obvious. The web is a panacea of information, and we greatly benefit from its richness. But we should look beyond the computer. The world is full of patterns, colors and motifs. I want students to take risks, step out of their comfort zones, explore, discover, act on their ideas, fail, recover, and keep going.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Theater is the most collaborative art form. The work of playwrights, directors, actors, designers, and crew come together to provide the theatrical experience. Everyone contributes their craft to create what the audience ultimately receives. Here in school we have such a big pool of diverse talent talent under one roof. I’ve brought together visual artists, musicians and photographers, and I’m looking forward to much more collaboration.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Be flexible, be open-minded, rely on good research, but most importantly, take action. Don’t just dream about your fantastic ideas, get started—even if it’s in the wrong direction. Mistakes can take you to great discoveries.

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  • San Antonio Fashion Instructor Karen Henry

    Karen Henry

    Fashion Marketing & Management

    "I've learned that it's extremely important for students to know they have someone to help guide their success."

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    Karen Henry

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    Owning and operating an apparel store opened my eyes to the importance of being creative in the retail industry. And it inspired me to share what I’d learned with Fashion students in the classroom.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I share everything from what to expect when attending tradeshows to how to be a great retail manager to the importance of knowing your customers, and choosing the right product mix for stores. And because I know how important it is to network with key people to get a good start in the retail industry, I arrange field trips so students can speak with industry professionals—and invite those professionals into the classroom.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    For my Sales & Event Promotion class I assign a visual merchandising (window display) project. Students work as a team to come up with a theme, budget, props, background, visual elements, and ways to communicate their message. Using this approach with a window display assignment allows the students to work as a team, be creative individually and collectively, understand budgeting, and learn how to communicate a message visually.

    How do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their perceived limits?


    As an example, the window assignments with visual merchandising force students to push themselves creatively in ways that they haven’t before. After completing the assignment, they’re extremely proud to have work they can add to their portfolio

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?


    It lets them network and learn about each other and their various projects. They get a deeper understanding of an area that may not be their strong point, learn to take responsibility for themselves and each other, and build positive relationships.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    I think the most valuable thing is my time and attention. I work with students one-on- one to make sure they succeed in my class and the real world. I’ve learned that it’s extremely important for students to know they have someone to help guide their success.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?


    Always do your best, be professional and punctual, and work as if someone’s watching you at all times.

    Anything else?

    I thoroughly enjoy teaching students about the fashion industry, using my expertise to equip them for success.

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  • Rick

    Rick "Coach" Green

    General Education

    "Setting goals is critical, in and out of the classroom."

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    Rick "Coach" Green

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    My junior year in high school, I was in the food service program. The drama teacher encouraged me to try out for the school play, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. After the director of the food service program saw me act in the play, she encouraged me to go back into regular studies and join the speech team. The next year, I was state champion in Duet Acting and fifth in the nation for Prose/Poetry…and I knew performing was my destiny.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    Adults learn by doing. So when I teach the communication process model, my students act out the different components of the model. It’s an approach that’s based on collaboration and student-centered learning.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    I always have students set goals for their learning experience. Setting goals is critical, in and out of the classroom, to help you get and stay motivated.

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  • San Antonio General Education Faculty Christina Dixon

    Christina L. Dixon

    General Education

    "A closed mind never grows."

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    Christina L. Dixon

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    My purpose in life is to educate people, whether formally or informally. I‘ve always had a strong desire to help others understand the importance of diversity and acceptance. As an African-American woman, I learned very early on that the world isn’t always friendly. But one experience turned it around for me. Early in my professional career, my professor asked me if I’d ever considered teaching. She’d seen my work, and worked with me at charity events. She told me, “If more people had been introduced to the world the way you see it, it might be a better place.” That’s when I decided to try my hand at teaching.

    The change didn’t happen instantly though because I wasn’t swayed.  It took a couple years of convincing from my faithful, persistent mother to get me to go out and actively pursue teaching.  I never saw myself teaching professionally but from what my mother and my professor saw in me, it must have been meant.  Here I am now, enjoying the interaction—both teaching and learning from the many students I encounter each day.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I bring the real world of psychology into the classroom...and show that it doesn’t have to be boring or hard to understand. If I can reshape how my students think and behave by teaching some of the core principles of psychology, they’ll be better prepared to adapt in an ever-changing world—and more open-minded about the people they encounter. I do this by challenging their beliefs and exposing them to fresh insights about people and cultures around the world.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    All my class assignments are focused on discovery. I ask students to research and explore both common, everyday issues and those that are monumental and life-changing. As the quarter progresses, I ask them to explore their own lives...to apply what they’ve learned in class to reshape their lives for the better. Through this process, they learn to appreciate diversity—hopefully to accept themselves despite their flaws, and create unique and personal pieces of art.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    A closed mind never grows. An open mind is more exposed to the world. Art demands that you see the world through different lenses. If you want to be successful, you must be open to seeing the world untainted, in its true form. This is how the wise get their wisdom.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    You’re not coming to my class for a counseling session...but you’ll be calmed and enlightened when you leave.


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  • Marilyn Ibey HS

    Dr. Marilyn Ibey

    General Education

    "Attitude is the aroma of the soul."

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    Dr. Marilyn Ibey
    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    The defining moment of my life was the two successful heart surgeries of my third daughter at age 6 in 1984.  It was then that I devoted my life to the health, education and welfare of my four children and to my future grandchildren, and to my future students in teaching science.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?


    I received my Bachelor in science from McGill University in 1972.  I married and raised my four children while getting my Secondary Science Teacher Certification, working part-time in retail, and doing volunteer work.  After I started teaching science at Northside ISD , I earned my Masters of Arts in Molecular Biology from University of The Incarnate Word in 1997.  Then in 2013, I earned my Doctorate in Educational Policy and Leadership from University of Texas at San Antonio. I published an article in the European Journal of Math and Science in January 2016.  I guess you could say that I am a life-long learner and science educator, as well as the matriarch of my family.

    I have taught secondary science for 20 years and  college science for the last five years. I know how to impart the interdisciplinary science knowledge and skills needed for science literacy to sustain life on this planet in this day and age.  I also impress upon my students that success any professional capacity requires self-discipline. critical thinking, and teamwork beyond having  the necessary knowledge and skills.

    Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    I interview each student about their art and aspirations.  Then I assign them a Power Point and oral presentation about one career in Biology.  The students come to see that Biology is a huge and diverse area of scientific endeavor and that biologists, as artists, are very  passionate and devoted to their fields.

    What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

    All future professional jobs require some degree of collaboration or teamwork to produce a top quality product.  Considering others’ contributions and  perspectives from inside and outside the field, and receiving support from team members are the keys to success.

    In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

    I tell students to follow their professional passion and their careers will always be a source of joy and inspiration.

    Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?

    Science teaching at The Art Institute of San Antonio has broadened my art of teaching diverse students. I am inspired by the contagious creative passion!


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  • Pachecano HS

    Robert Pachecano, M.A.

    General Education

    "The most critical advice I give to students is to never accept things at face value."

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    Robert Pachecano, M.A.
    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I have come to find a home at The Art Institute of San Antonio.  I thought it was going to be a challenge to teach the discipline of Sociology in a creative environment but I come to find that it blends very well in the creative environment of Ai San Antonio.  If I can point to a defining moment, it would be when my first term teaching, on the last day of class, some of my students’ final words to me were, “This is the BEST class I have ever taken.”  “I learned A LOT.”  “You are the BEST instructor I’ve EVER had.”  “I didn’t think I was going to make a connection with sociology and ________” (insert graphic design, game art design, interior design, fashion management, culinary, etc.).  The impact that I have had on students has been far reaching and rewarding at the same time.  


    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?


    I often tell my students on the first day of class that teaching sociology is only one of the many jobs I have had in the community.  Along with a career in academia, I have been a social worker and a case manager.  I have worked with diverse populations in this area:  from single mothers, to survivors of domestic violence, from homeless veterans and veterans undergoing drug treatment, to people coming in and going out of the federal prison system, witness protection, and federal probationers.  I very much draw from the experiences and the interactions I have had with different people and this has given me the unique perspectives I take in class.  It has also given me ability to be patient and really listen to what people are saying, or trying to communicate to you.  Making a connection is often the simplest thing someone can do, to make the biggest impact on anyone you meet and interact with.  

    Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    If I can point to one particular assignment in my course, it would be the paper and presentation.  The paper involves them choosing a current social problem in our society today and they have to incorporate a chapter from the textbook, along with other sources online and research.  This allows them to synthesize everything we’ve discussed in class and apply it in some way in the analysis that goes into their paper.  THEN, they also have to present their paper to the class as well.  Those who are writing challenged are challenged to really focus their thoughts unto paper.  Those who are presentation shy are challenged to come out of their shells.  These are two skills that students must master before they get out there in real world.  They have to be able to effectively present their thoughts in writing AND they have to be able to express those thoughts to other people.  I simply use the perspective sociology gives students to help them accomplish this. 

    I often say, no matter your major:  graphic design, game art design, interior design, fashion management, culinary, etc.; you will be dealing with people, as customers, as clients and the like.  Sociology as a discipline helps you do this.  Understanding the groups people inhabit and the effect groups have on people as individuals  gives students, who are future creative professionals an edge no one else has.  The most critical advice I give to students is to never accept things at face value.  That, the real challenge lies in seeking the real reasons why things happen, why people act the way they do.  This is critical because we live in a world now where things are just accepted as truth, because it’s on a website, or someone important said it. 

    Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?

    I do what I do because of education.  Education is many things.  Education is empowerment.  Education is liberty and liberation.  It is a driving force that fuels the future; that enables people to carry on even when the odds, the challenges the barriers seem insurmountable. I am living proof of this.  I am proud to say, I am from the westside of San Antonio, born and raised.  I come from humble beginnings where sacrifice for education was the mantra; was the mission statement; was the vision.  Education above all else was something my migrant worker grandparents and parents instilled in me from the beginning, for two simple reasons.  That is the only way you can be truly free, and it is, “the only thing that they can’t take away from you”, as my mother would say.  


    Education is my mission. Sociology is my passion.  Service to others and empowerment fuel my values.  This is all I know.  It is all I have grown up with, it is what was given to me and what I give to students in class.  Because I am still a student (in a doctoral program), being able to relate to students and all they go through is just as important as course material and concepts. I know I have faced the same, exact odds, barriers and challenges. Every day I step into a classroom, I carry all of this with me.  I pride myself on being flexible and understanding; but still expect everyone to give all they have to their educational endeavors.  This is because this is what was expected of me, not just from teachers and professors, or researchers; but from my family, alive and in heaven now.  No matter what you have going on, how bad it seems, how impossible things seem to get; education is the solution to it all.  It is what will ensure a brighter future.

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