Yissel Ayala

Experienced Fashion Designer For Hire


With both a BFA in women's sportswear and over five years of retail experience, I'm ready to provide a fresh perspective and diverse skill set to increase your sales via a creative role in a corporate setting. I live for research and development, and I thrive in a fast-paced environment where every day brings new challenges and surprises.


DC Comics/Vertigo                                         Designer                                         Oct. 2016

  • Contributed designs to Gail Simone’s, “Clean Room,” series, used on main character


Primark                                                             Visual Merchandising Supervisor      Nov 2017 - Present

                                                                           Visual Merchandising Assistant        Feb 2017 - Nov 2017

  • Collaborated with VM Coaches and Department managers to merchandise product to standard and drive sales, leading our store to be number one in the company for those departments a week into opening.

  • Lead our store to be the second highest grossing in the US for Harry Potter sales. I did this through strategic cross merchandising of HP product, creating one stop shops in prominent, high traffic areas. Roughly 95% of our Harry Potter licensed merchandise lives within my areas.

  • Proven commercial awareness through keeping track of and reporting of best selling items, and updating displays to reflect company top fives where possible.

  • Trained management and other retail personnel on store standards alongside Visual Manager

  • Took over Children’s department, maintaining an additional 200 Sq Ft of merchandising space and 50 mannequins

  • Keep track of inventory and reorder product to maintain displays; updating displays according to priority guidelines

  • Point person for VM while Visual Manager was on vacation.

  • Comp shop competitors with Visual Manager

  • Implement Visual Merchandising initiatives for my departments according to corporate directives.

  • Maintain creative control over how trends are displayed while adhering to store standards and “see it, buy it”.

  • Display the appropriate signage for products and sales promotions.


Geek Girl Brunch (GGB)                                 Co-founder                                      May 2014 - Present

  • Ensure consistent brand design and voice by co-managing over 80 international chapters

  • Research geek culture  trends to develop themes for GGB objectives and brand

  • Collaborate with artists and partners to develop visual content for events and campaigns

  • Curate and procure goods and services from vendors and marketing companies through cold emailing, networking

    and following through with warm and qualified leads. This includes coordinating shipments of promotional goods from

    Warner Bros., securing a year-long sponsorship from Forbidden Planet, acquiring free catering for our NYCC afterparty

  • Present at and host various GGB events and comic book conventions


Valiant Entertainment                                   Design & Sales Intern                       May 2015 - Oct. 2015

  • Hand illustrated comic pages for editorial and promotional purposes

  • Conceptualized, designed, and photographed original content for social media

  • Researched graphic design trends for marketing, forecasts, and creative inspiration

  • Created and maintained several ongoing newsletter, sales, and image databases

  • Grossed over 2k in one weekend by hand-selling at a convention


Dr. Martens AirWair USA                          Senior Keyholder                                Oct. 2010 - Oct. 2014

  • Earned the store over 13% of its annual sales via display and excellent customer service

  • Designed, sourced, shopped, and budgeted for in-store displays


Michael Kors Inc.                                      Design Intern – Special Markets        Feb. 2010 - May 2010    

  • Supported all areas of design including: hand drawing and garment specs, CAD renderings of original denim embellishments, updating pieces on PDM, assembling boards for line meetings, managing linesheets, choosing and filing swatches and denim samples, trim sourcing, sewing  

  • Contributed original designs to the Holiday and Spring 2011 MICHAEL Michael Kors collections

  • Maintained the showroom and set up merchandise presentations for client meetings


Intricate Concepts/ Fourfront Clothing     Graphic Design Assistant               Feb. 2008 - Aug. 2008

  • Landed the company it's greatest exposure to date-- 3 million people-- by negotiating a deal to have our product repeatedly featured on a hit MTV Show.

  • Contributed a featured design to client’s brand used in marketing and packaging  

  • Produced full color CAD renderings of garments

  • Assisted in the design of t-shirt graphics and branding for various clients


Museum @ FIT                                           Photography Assistant                   Aug. 2004 - May 2005

  • Organized photographs for documentation, publicity, and promotion

  • Handled museum pieces from Costume & Accessories departments for shoots                



Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York    Bachelor of Fine Arts  - Women’s Sportswear             May 2010

Politecnico Di Milano, Milan, Italy                                                   Knitwear Design Focus                                                 Fall 2008

H. S. of Fashion Industries, New York, NY                                     Fashion Endorsed Diploma                                          May 2004


Hand Sketching, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design, Draping, Flat Pattern Making, Microsoft Office, CAD Design, Garment Construction, Concept and Line Development, PDM, Spanish, Flat Sketching, Spec'ing


Volunteer                                      StyleCareers Fashion Career Fair NY          Fall 2015, 2014, 2011, 2010

Volunteer Food Server               Bowery Mission                                              Winter 2015

Featured Guest Artist                 HarperCollins Publishing                                Spring 2014

Counselor/ Design Teacher       Camp Move IT                                                 Summer 2010           

Volunteer                                       Mercedes Benz Fashion Week                     F/W 2009, S/S 2008, F/W 2007



NJ Comic Expo 2016                    Anime Fan Fest  2016                                   NJ Comic Expo 2015

Ladies of the Con                         Pokemon 20th Anniversary Panel                 DC Comics Dialogues    

#MakeComics: Art of Lettering                                                                            #MakeComics: Designing Spectacular Covers

                                                                                                                               #MakeComics: Digital Comics


TL;DR : Where I've contributed

Geek Girl Brunch, DC Comics/Vertigo, Valiant Entertainment, Dr. Martens AirWair USA, Michael Kors Inc. , Intricate Concepts/ Fourfront Clothing, Museum @ FIT, 

StyleCareers Fashion Career Fair NYBowery Mission, HarperCollins Publishing,  Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, 

among others... 



It serves to prove that the fashion world is full of geeks and people inspired by them and their subcultural interests-be it tech, sci-fi, comics, Steampunk, anime, etc… Designers teach us that what we often consider to be the most geeky — a term that hasn’t always been viewed in the most flattering light — can too serve as a driving force behind a bevy of beautiful, wondrous things, that are seen by the general (read: fashionable) population as commercially viable, praiseworthy, and sought after.

Leave it to the fashion industry to elevate geek culture to haute heights.

Geeks are no longer the underdogs, or the outcasts. We need not be afraid of fashion because, as this blog will prove, we are clearly the ones creating it.

Here’s to bridging the gap between geek and chic.