Miami Fashion Institute at MDC

This is an industry driven program that prepares students to work as creative professionals in the fashion industry. From concept to production, students learn the process, skills and language of fashion design and technology, combining business and creative skills to develop an individual portfolio that expresses a solid understanding of the fashion industry.

  • Learn the business and art of fashion
  • Develop competitive skills and techniques for the fashion industry
  • Innovate, explore and nurture your creativity
  • Prepare for a dynamic career in fashion

Courses are led by renowned faculty members who bring decades of real world experience into the classroom. MFI's instructors are artists, designers and business professionals who have worked with some of the most notable names in fashion including Calvin Klein, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jason Wu, Mara Hoffman, Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen.

Meet the people

Photo of Asanyah Davidson



I love design and the way a designer’s mind works. I spent several years in the industry in New York and after completing my graduate degree in London, I returned to the States and worked at Macy’s Florida Division as an assistant buyer. During that time I also started teaching at Miami International University of Art & Design and Broward Community College while working on my own mini collections. I most recently took my love of teaching and knowledge of fashion to West Africa where I taught at schools in Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana. That year on the Continent allowed me to learn extensively about native techniques and the ever popular Ankara fabrics. I love mentoring and sharing my passion for design with students. My areas of interest are education, global studies, design and fashion as communication.

M.A. Design Studies from Central Saint Martins London, England,
B.S. International Trade and Marketing for the Fashion Industries from F.I.T.,
Studied abroad in Polimoda, Florence, Italy,
A.A.S Fashion Design from F.I.T.,
Design and Architecture Senior High

Alberto Rovelo

Alberto Rovelo


I have been working on developing my private label specialized in menswear and womenswear. My work is bespoke and expands to red carpets, stage performances, ballet, prom and wedding dresses. With a science background and more than 15 years of experience I own very strong technical skills, my patterns are precise, with very accurate proportions and fit. My goal is to train students' imagination and advanced understanding in the application of creative and interpretative skills required to translate designers' drawings into three dimensions.

Graduate of Central Saint Martin's Innovative Pattern Making Course

Photo of Anthony Millero


Adjunct Faculty

My entrance into the fashion industry started with internships at Elle and Harper’s Bazaar magazines while at NYU. After graduation I worked as a design assistant at Calvin Klein for his women’s collection, an assistant at DKNY Jeans, then merchandiser at Claiborne and Laundry by Shelli Segal. I did sales at Juicy Couture, after which designer Tess Giberson brought me to TSE as product manager. I returned to DKNY for many years, eventually becoming the director of merchandising. I have also consulted with Manhattan Portage and JOLN.

My expertise lies in planning apparel lines from a business perspective and collaborating on product development with design and production teams. I have extensive experience in denim wash development and have had the opportunity to visit mills and factories. I'm interested in digital marketing and sales and supply chain management. I have also conducted research on sustainability in regards to the fashion industry.

Master of Professional Studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Global Fashion Management Program.​

Desirae Allen

Desirae Allen

Adjunct Faculty

Following the completion of my M.B.A studies, I gained experience as a Freelance Fashion Colorist, Fashion Design, and Production Assistant for companies such as Liz Claiborne Inc., DKNY Jeans International, and Warnaco/Calvin Klein Jeans. Desirae extended her time abroad and traveled to countries such as Japan and South Africa; in addition, interning at Diane Von Furstenberg Studio in London as a Wholesale Sales Assistant.

M.B.A studies in International Business Administration in London, England.
B.A. in Fashion Design/Merchandising from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Ga.

Jeanie Lisenby

jeanie lisenby

Adjunct Faculty

I began my career in the apparel industry during the 1980’s and I have held various positions including sales, merchandising, design, product development, brand management, and sourcing. My experience spans from the retailing selling floor to the manufacturing facility, and I have worked in Texas, New York and Florida in the fashion industry. My early fashion design work has been featured in major department and chain stores in the United States under various brand names. I was also involved in import/export activities through my work in international materials sourcing and creating technical packages for overseas garment production. I am currently at Miami-Dade County’s Office of Film & Entertainment where I coordinate resources for film production companies, issue film/photo permits, and provide logistics assistance and production information to the fashion, film and entertainment industries. I also own an ecommerce design company specializing in art, apparel and gifts. My favorite thing about teaching is building a positive relationship with students and helping them obtain their dream in life.

M.B.A. in International Business from the University of Miami
B.S. in Retail Merchandise Management from Lamar University, Texas State University System
A.A.S. in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology New York

Photo of Juanita Alcena

Juanita Alcena

Adjunct Faculty

I have 30 years of experience in the fashion industry and have been teaching for more than 25 years. Originally from Haiti, I have worked for many different companies in the industry and have always had my own design business. Now, I spend most of my time teaching. Teaching is where my heart is.

Master's Degree in fashion design from the Paris American Academy, Paris

Photo of Leonardo De Armas

Leonardo De Armas

Adjunct Faculty

I started my career as a student at Parsons School of Design, in New York City, I had the opportunity to learn the disciplines of design, clothing construction and illustration from some of the most legendary names in the American fashion industry. Right after graduation, I opened my design studio, creating luxury ready to wear lines and exclusive bridal and evening gowns for a demanding global clientele, while also devoting time to a life-long passion; teaching and sharing my expertise in different educational institutions and art foundations throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean.

I strongly believe that a truly successful professor is a communicator who is capable of inspiring and motivating aspiring designers by leaving on them an indelible mark of honest work ethics and values, while nurturing their abilities and talents.

B.F.A. Fashion Design, Parsons School of Design
Gold Thimble Award for Design Excellence.

Photo of Joanne DeMartini

Joanne DeMartini

Adjunct Faculty

I have over 25 years of experience in the fashion industry in various positions. I started my career in the Intimate Apparel department of Lord & Taylor, and then went on to become a buyer for Saks Fifth Ave and a Divisional Merchandise Manager for Designer, Dresses and Coats and Suits at the late Bonwit Teller. I changed to the manufacturing side and became President of R & K Originals, a moderate dress company. After being in my own fashion business twice, I joined The Jump Design Group where I was President of the Marina brand and also V.P. of International Sales for all the Jump brands. I became the On-Air personality for Jump’s “Tiana B” brand for QVC in the U.K., Italy, and Germany, for TVSN in Australia, and even CNR Mall (a QVC partner) in China. Jump actually shipped U.S. made apparel TO China!

Along with teaching in New York at F.I.T. and L.I.M and now Miami Fashion Institute, I continue to be the On-Air guest for Tiana B in Canada at The Shopping Channel.

M.A. Liberal Arts Queens College
B.S. Art History Queens College.

Natali Udolkin

Natali Udolkin

Adjunct Faculty

My journey into the apparel industry began many years ago when I attended Design and Architecture Senior High in Miami. It was there that I discovered a love for design and creativity. I moved to New York to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology and received a degree in design and a bachelor's degree in merchandising. I spent many years working for both retailers and manufacturers in the luxury and mass market sectors, specializing in retail planning, merchandising and sourcing. In addition, I spent a few years developing a program in sustainable manufacturing and corporate social responsibility for a major apparel company; this has been an area of special interest to me ever since. I was also involved on the creation of the now industry-standard menswear trade show, Project. I made a move back to Miami to pursue a Master's in Business Administration at the University of Miami. Currently, I work for Perry Ellis International as Vice President of Planning and Inventory for domestic and global accounts.

It is my hope to share my experience and knowledge of the business of fashion with the students at MFI, and to inspire and engage the students in real-world discussion and applications.

MBA, University of Miami
BS Merchandise Management, FIT
AAS Fashion Design, FIT​

Photo of Prisca Milliance


Adjunct Faculty

After receiving a BA in Journalism from Georgetown University in 2005, I revisited my childhood love for art and fashion when I enrolled in a costume design class at Boston University. When my sewing instructor recommended I enroll in the Master's of Science program at Drexel University, I considered it to be a call from the universe to pursue my lifelong passion. However, I took the year before starting my graduate degree to travel across the US as a costume attendant for the Ringling Bros Circus. I have worked as a technical designer for contemporary brands including Mara Hoffman, Tracy Reese and Vanilla Beach.

I have a strong affinity for the use of technology in creating fashion including Digital Illustration along with Patternmaking in CAD. Nevertheless, the love of art and fashion history is what drew me to this profession. My goal is to share that curiosity and interest in research with the MFI community.

Master's of Science in Fashion Design at Drexel University
BA in Journalism from Georgetown University

Vanessa Ochaita

Vanessa Ochaita

staff, Lab manager

I received my bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design from Universidad del Istmo located in Guatemala City. I interned and worked in Central America for manufacturing companies learning the back end of the fashion industry from pre-production to production working side by side with textile mills and manufacturing factories, gaining experience in technical design, textile design and product development.

Six years ago I moved to Florida with my family and worked in the retail industry with Macy's and Forever 21 gaining experience in fashion merchandising, marketing, branding, packaging, customer service, product placement, etc.


Brenda Byrd-Rosario


staff, MFI Academic Advisor

A lifelong administrator, facilitator and advocate of the arts, I believe whole heartedly in the transformative power of the arts. As such, my professional endeavor for over 20 years has been to inspire, defend, cultivate and preserve the study and expression of art across all disciplines.

Throughout my career in the non-profit sector, I built a reputation for effective operational/organizational management, student development, performance excellence, and impeccable customer service.  My disciplined, yet compassionate approach in a classroom as a teaching artist is the core value that continues to influence her management style today. Areas of interest include art and design education, visual culture and arts administration.

Master’s Degree in Business Administration at Florida International University,
Bachelor of Art in Art History at Florida International University

Member of the National Society for Hispanic MBA’s, the Golden Key International Honor Society and the College Art Association.

Board Members

Thank YOU for your support

Taylor Anne Abess

Founder & Creative Director, Parlor Miami

Stephen Brunelle

Vice President & General Manager Neiman Marcus – Shops at Merrick Park

Oscar Carvallo

Artistic Director OCP USA, LLC

Mayda Cisneros

Fashion Designer Mayda Cisneros Couture Collection

Barbara Hulanicki

Founder Biba & Hu Design, Inc.

Elysze Held

Stylist/Consultant, Founder Style Out of the City

Cathy Leff

President Leff Initiatives, LLC

Rene Ruiz

Founder & Creative Designer Rene Ruiz Wholesale

Secundino Velasco

Partner & Producer Miami Fashion Week

Julian Chang

Fashion Designer Fashion with Intension

Oscar Feldenkreis

CEO & President Perry Ellis International

Naeem Khan

President NAEEM KHAN, LTD.

Juan Lopez

Vice President & General Manager Saks Fifth Avenue, Dadeland

Craig Robins

President & CEO DACRA

Silvia Tcherassi

President & Founder Silvia Tcherassi