May 2001 M.A. Education, Reading/Language Arts, California State University, Los Angeles, CA

January 2001 Multiple Subject Teaching Credential: Clad, California State University, Los Angeles, CA

February 1983- May 1985 Fashion Design, Otis Parsons School of Design, Los Angeles, CA

1982 B.A. Social Studies, Scripps College, Claremont, CA


​I have been involved within the garment industry as a professional on and off for the past 30 years.
After high school, I earned my BA in Social Studies from Scripps College. Then, I attended Otis, - when it was known as Otis Parsons and located on 6th Street in Los Angeles, back in the early 80’s. It was (and still is) a wonderful institution with knowledgeable caring instructors, readily dedicating themselves and leaving an indelible mark on those of us students lucky enough to attend. After Otis, I started working in a small evening wear couture house, and I loved it. We worked long hours, often 6 days a week to meet deadlines. Fortunately, during my tenure there, I was able to hone my skills in all areas of garment drafting, fine tailoring, fittings, etc. All while achieving the highest quality of craftsmanship. Later, I worked in several other couture houses, further developing my skills and a critical eye toward creating quality garments. I have continually carried these ideals of beauty and perfection throughout my career in the garment industry. In between, I earned a Professional Clear Teaching Credential and a Master’s Degree in Education. In 2007 I began teaching at Otis, in Senior Studio, thus rekindling my relationship with Otis. Since then, I have taught at Otis on and off for a combined 6 1⁄2 years.
As an instructor with a Master’s Degree in Education, I have been able to combine esthetic ideals with my knowledge and love of teaching. As a full-time faculty member and Methodology Specialist, I have aligned my years of experience in the garment industry with the course requirements goals of Otis’ Fashion Department to successfully assist my students in building self-efficacy. I strive to leave that same indelible mark on my students that I happily experienced at Otis, many years ago. I am proud of my past successes with Otis Senior Studio Students’ and I look forward to working with the next generation of Senior Studio Students.


Theresa Arias’s Picture


Professional Accomplishments/Exhibitions:  

Draping, Flat Pattern Drafting, and Garment Construction: 1st through Production
Couture fabrics and couture sewing techniques
Knowledge of fine tailoring construction of all levels of Senior Studio accessories: including inner-corsets, costume jewelry construction, upper shoe/spats/boots in leather, etc.

Construction of Leather garments
Construction of Athletic wear
Knowledge and Safety of Industrial sewing machines and Industrial pressing equipment Supervising and conducting fittings
Supervising professional fashion shows for previous employers

Pedagogical Skills:

Successful experience in mentoring Senior and Sophomore Studio Students in all levels of garment construction.
Successful experience in Classroom Management, creating Lesson Plans, and maintaining a Composite classroom. Experience in developing curricular materials, rubrics, and course syllabi for Senior Studio.
Successful experience in building students’ self-efficacy through knowledge of Student Assessment
Strategies, Comprehension Strategies, Motivational Strategies, and Organizational skills.

Clients/Employment History:  

  • Aug 2011-Present Studio Instructor at Otis College of Art & Design
  • Aug 2011-2013 Freelance Designer/Patternmaker, Evening and Bridal
  • June 2009-2011 Asst. Designer/Patternmaker, Evening and Nightclub wear Guilty Brotherhood, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
  • Sept 1991-2000 Asst. Designer/Patternmaker, Evening wear and Bridal
  • Aug 1989-1991 Asst. Designer/Patternmaker, Evening wear Nancy Johnson, Inc. Los Angeles, CA
  • July 1985-1989 Asst. Designer/Patternmaker, Evening wear, Resort wear Ruben Panis, Inc., Los Angeles, CA. Jarin by Ruben Panis, Inc., Los Angeles, CA.