SMC Fashion Design & Merchandising Faculty


Jan Ardell

Faculty member Jan Ardel has been in the fashion industry for over 30 years and been teaching for 15. She graduated from University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) with a BFA degree.

Jemi Armstrong
As a professor, illustrator, and author, Jemi teaches fashion sketching and illustration at Santa Monica College and holds a Master’s degree in science along with several undergraduate degrees and professional designation certificates in fashion and art. As an illustrator for retail and manufacturing clients including Medi Spa, The Colleagues, Fred Segal, and Michael Stars, Jemi has been involved in costume illustration for film, TV, and digital illustration along with fashion drawing.

Recent projects include co-author and illustrator for the books; Affordable Couture published by Vivays Publishing, The Fashion Design Drawing Book published by Thames and Hudson, The 10 Principles of Fashion Design published by Vivays Publishing, From Pencil To Pen Tool Understanding and Creating the Digital Fashion Image published by Fairchild Publishing Inc., I Sketch Therefore I Am. The 2009 gallery show event “Fashion Warriors” was a series Jemi designed, illustrated and executed based on historical research and extensive European travels.

Jemi was the featured guest on HGTV’s “Awesome Interiors” a Home and Gardens cable show that showcases creative design endeavors.

Wynn Armstrong

Professor and author Wynn Armstrong teaches the computer-aided design classes for the fashion department at Santa Monica College. He has developed curriculum for Digital Portfolio Development and bridged the Photoshop/Illustrator gap between graphics and fashion industry users. Jemi Armstrong, M.S., Wynn Armstrong, M.Ed. and Lorrie Ivas, M.S., combined efforts to co-author two books on fashion and the digital world entitled From Pencil to Pen Tool: Understanding and Creating the Digital Fashion Image and Fashion Design Drawing Course: Principles, Practice, and Techniques: The New Guide for Aspiring Fashion Artists.

Marina Boyadzhya

Bachelor’s Degree from California State University, Northridge in 1990 majoring in Apparel Design and Merchandising, from Family and Consumer Sciences. Master’s Degree from California State University, Northridge in 2007 in Apparel Design and Merchandising, from Family and Consumer Sciences. Currently, Marina Boyadzhyan is a part-time lecturer at Santa Monica College. She teaches courses such as Beginning Clothing Construction, Advanced Clothing Construction, Pattern Making, and Tailoring.

Lorrie Ivas

Twenty seven years of teaching and curriculum-building experience at the state and independent university level (Santa Monica College, Mount Saint Mary’s University – Brentwood and Doheny, American College for the Applied Arts and American InterContinental University, as well as guest lectures in the Design Dept at USC) enables Lorrie Ivas to bring the fashion and retail industries into the classroom. She blends the contemporary fashion field with the visual arts world through her experience in visual display/propping, retail design consulting, and design line sheets and website editing. She conducts seminars and workshops specializing in fashion and media-related topics as well as directing specialized study tours in New York City. Lorrie has co-authored a book on fashion and the digital world (2006) by Fairchild Publications/Condé Nast (New York) entitled From Pencil to Pen Tool: Creating the Digital Fashion Image, with another Fairchild textbook coming in 2010/11. She is completing research for a two-part volume involving fashion advertising and photography.

Sofi Khachmanyan

Sofi Khachmanyan first learned garment construction when she was in high school, in Armenia. Her further education in Armenia was in Embroidery arts, after which she was teaching, also participating in a variety of exhibits in the former USSR as a Master Embroiderer. Her professional training as a fashion designer, patternmaker, sewer, and textile specialist was in America. Sofi has her AD from FIDM, BA, and MA, both in Fashion and Textiles from California State University of LA. She worked for a number of Fashion houses as a fashion designer and patternmaker. From 1993 to 2006 she had her own small company of high-quality knitwear. Sofi did some projects for the costume industry as a designer and costume builder and has an award for the Best Costume Design in LA from LA Weekly. Currently, she is an instructor at Art Institute of Hollywood for more than a decade, teaching pattern making, draping, sewing, Textiles, Fashion History, and Costume specialties. One of her major interests now is doing research about historic costumes and textiles.

Susan Kolko

Susan has a Bachelor's Degree from Syracuse University in Retail Management and a Master's Degree from Antioch University in Organizational Management. Her professional work experience includes; department/specialty store buying, merchandising and management, jewelry/apparel design and production for NY/LA markets. Currently, she works as a business and fashion consultant. Her teaching encompasses business, fashion, and general education courses. She is the author of “100 Things Every International College Student Ought to Know.” She is an accomplished triathlete and enjoys coaching lacrosse.

Robin Gallison Lake

Education: BFA, Temple University
Experience: 20+ years in the textile industry as a textile designer, art director, and consultant; 18 years of teaching experience including Santa Monica College and Woodbury University.

Barbara Rain

Barbara Rain earned a BA at Stanford University and an MA from the Eastman School of Music. She received her fashion education from Otis Evening College. Ms. Rain has been a public school educator since 1984. She taught English and English as a Second Language at middle school and high school for 18 years. She went on to run a high school fashion program in downtown Los Angeles for six years, where she taught design and garment construction, coordinated a fashion internship program, and produced the annual senior fashion shows. Ms. Rain is now in her eighth year teaching Apparel Construction at Santa Monica College. She is also the Costume Designer and Coordinator for SMC’s Synapse Dance Theater. In the spring of 2012, the graduating international students named her as one of the college’s Outstanding Instructors.

Helene Reiner

Helene Reiner has been an instructor in Santa Monica College's Fashion Department for over seven years teaching Fashion Trends & Design, Color Analysis, and Fashion Illustration. She comes from a background designing contemporary sportswear for a handful of major manufacturers including her own brand. With 15+ years of experience teaching both fashion design and illustration, she says what keeps fueling her desire to teach are our creative and passionate student's. The rewards are great when you observe how they learn and grow!

La Tanya Louis

La Tanya LouisLa Tanya Louis is currently a Fashion Professor at Santa Monica College and Woodbury University where she teaches Fashion Design Studio Courses, Fashion Merchandising, and Digital Fashion Design. She also holds the credit of producing the LA Mode Fashion Shows since 2015 which she thoroughly enjoys. She holds a BA in Fashion Design, an MBA in International Business and finalizing her MFA in Fashion Merchandising. She continually positions herself to learn and to be an inspiration and source of knowledge to others.