Layana Aguilar
"Project Runway All Stars'" Layana Aguilar to design the ballgown for "Elena of Avalor," Disney's first princess inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore. courtesy

Disney's first-ever Latina princess, Elena, will soon make her debut on the small screen in the Disney Channel original series "Elena of Avalor." Young actress Aimee Carrero is the voice of Elena, a brave and adventurous teenager who saves her kingdom from an evil sorceress and must now learn to rule as crown princess until she is old enough to be queen. Now that you have a better understanding of what to expect on the show airing in July, meet one of the women behind the cartoon's wonderful clothing: Layana Aguilar.

Perhaps her name rings a bell as Aguilar is a former contestant on the popular reality show "Project Runway." She has now teamed up with Disney to design some of the ball gowns Elena will flaunt on the show. Elena is Disney's first princess inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore, and one of the gowns Aguilar designed fits the vibrant culture.

“The feeling to it is very Peruvian, Inca-like,” she said to Women's Wear Daily of the gorgeous red dress with an elegant floral print. “When they first showed me Princess Elena and I read a little bit about that story, it took me back to that memory. “

Elena of Avalor
Red gown for "Elena of Avalor" designed by Brazilian fashion designer Layana Aguilar. This is the first gown with a print for a Disney princess. courtesy

For Aguilar, who was born in Brazil and resides in the U.S., working with Disney is the opportunity of a lifetime.

“This experience opened my mind to other experiences you can have as a fashion designer. We’re often so caught up in designing lines and doing trade shows. At the end of the day, you get so much more money and exposure from collaborations with major brands,” she said to WWD. “This is a dream come true. I really wanted it to be something that has to do with my upbringing.”

Here are some things to know about Layana Aguilar!

  • Aguilar was born five hours north of Rio de Janeiro in a small farmer's town called Nanuque.
  • She moved to New York City in 2008 to pursue a careen in fashion.
  • She differentiates her style by blending her experiences from living in New York City with her native Brazilian culture.
  • She was a fan-favorite contestant on "Project Runway" Season 11 and "Project Runway All Stars" Season 5.
  • Aguilar has gone on to create her own successful brand including a contemporary womenswear label designed to celebrate the many roles that women play in their day-to-day lives.
  • Beyoncé, Heidi Klum, Dascha Polanco and other top-notch celebrities have worn her collection.
  • She currently resides in Connecticut with her husband and two young children: Henzo, 3 and Kaya, one month old.
  • She is already collaborating with Disney on another project.
  • According to WWD, the pay is "considerably more than her own collection’s $50,000 annual sales."

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