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Designers' Studio

About the Designers' Studio

The Designers' Studio, initiated in 2015, has evolved into a professional development vehicle vastly different from traditional sample rooms and apparel training programs in that it includes practical advice from entrepreneurs with experts in the fashion industry, seasoned designers, patternmakers and sewists (seamstress who is passionate about sewing). 

The Designers' Studio was started by Julian Asion in 2015.  Asion ​who after more than four decades of collaborating with designers to bring their visions to fruition, was poised to give back to the field by inspiring a new generation of emerging fabric artisans and designers in Harlem.  Born in Cuba and a New Yorker by choice, Julian brought a new level of energy and expertise to the SoHarlem team through the depth and breadth of his experience working in the fashion industry, theater and high society. 

Julian donated his archives to SoHarlem that include patterns and models spanning his years in the industry that are available to the public. 


Katherine Phillips, Creative Director & Founder of Sew-It-Is, who is developing her micro-enterprise at SoHarlem leads the Designers' Studio.  Katherine’s experience spans twenty-five years with major industry labels that include: French Connection, Nicole Farhi, Nordstrom, Talbots, and Bon Marche, Paris.  Like many new market leaders in fashion, Sew-It-Is advocates sustainability in all aspects of fashion creation.  Sew-It-Is is located also in New Delhi, India, its facilities a center where designer fabrics and the various embellishments unique to Indian artisans are created and sourced.

Katherine Phillips’s new company, Sew-It-Is, offers comprehensive pattern and sampling services and small production runs for both aspiring and established apparel designers.

The Harlem location has a team of expert sewists and tailors, notably Germania Fernandez, an established pattern maker who has more than twenty-five years of experience in both traditional and digital pattern making.  Brands with whom she’s worked include Oscar De La Renta, Calvin Klein and Helmut Lang.

Throughout her career Katherine Phillips has mentored emerging designers in the practical and detailed steps for bringing new fashion collections to market.

Katherine has studied at the University of Paris/Sorbonne and Columbia University, New York, NY.