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This fashion designer is ripping up New Yorkers’ coats and turning them into art

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A New York fashion designer is stopping people on the street, taking the clothes off their backs and tearing them apart — and people are begging to be next.

No, it’s not some sort of strange performance art or form of protest: Layana Aguilar, a former “Project Runway” contestant, is revamping strangers’ clothes into one-of-a-kind, handmade pieces — which she typically charges at least $600 for — free of charge.

The New York fashion designer is stopping people on the street, taking the clothes off their backs, tearing them apart and upcycling them. EMMY PARK

Since posting videos of several jackets she’s transformed, strangers have been flooding her DMs with requests to revamp sentimental pieces, including a wedding dress from a failed abusive marriage and a grandfather’s military jacket — which she plans to do.

The 39-year-old has always known that designing was her “superpower” and that with it, she could “genuinely make people happy.”

The 39-year-old has always known that designing was her “superpower” and that with it, she could “genuinely make people happy.”

EMMY PARK

“You know, as an immigrant, you have something to prove. When I was growing up in a small town in Brazil, I didn’t have a voice, the clothes gave me power, so I want to share that with the world,” Aguilar, who graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology, told The Post.

‘You really can do anything in New York’

Since her Bravo TV debut, Aguilar has used her skills to give back to the city that launched her career and eponymous brand, teaching young girls to design and sew at her Fashion Squad School in Tribeca.

But she wanted to give back in a bigger and more personal way.

Since her Bravo TV debut, Aguilar has used her skills to give back to the city that launched her career and eponymous brand, teaching young children to design and sew at her Fashion Squad School in Tribeca. EMMY PARK

Inspired by the many man-on-the-street interviews that populate her social media feeds, Aguilar added her own fashionable spin to the format — asking strangers if she can rework their jackets into upcycled couture.

Her team thought she was crazy, but she knew: “You really can do anything in New York.”

So Aguilar and her cameraman hiked up to Washington Square Park — where content creators are a dime a dozen — and began asking people for their jackets. For anyone who agreed, they had replacements available.

‘Sheer happiness’

After four hours of approaching strangers on the street, she finally found a brother and sister duo who agreed to hand their jackets over and meet her back in the same spot in three days.

Tatiana González, 25, was showing her brother Diego, 31, around her new city when Aguilar approached them in the park. The pair were caught off guard but eased by her kind smile and infectious energy, so they gave her their coats and walked away feeling excited.

When the siblings returned to the park a few days later, they were “very surprised” and completely in awe of how Aguilar had transformed her basic black puffer and his classic blue jean jacket into funky one-of-a-kind creations. They now refer to it as “art” instead of clothes, Tatiana told The Post, calling it the “best experience.”

Tatiana González, 25, was showing her brother Diego, 31, around her new city when Aguilar approached them in the park. They now refer to their reworked outerwear “art” instead of clothing, Tatiana told The Post, calling it the “best experience.”

“I feel very unique,” she said, adding that her brother has been showing off the special piece back home in Colombia.

Seeing “the sheer happiness” that her designs brought to Tatiana and Diego kept Aguilar going.

“They were so happy. And I said, ‘OK, I’m on to something,’ ” Aguilar said, remembering how Diego stood a little taller in his customized creation.

‘It’s very intense’

But the process of revamping strangers’ clothes isn’t all smiles.

“It’s a lot of work,” Aguilar said. And despite her years of experience, it’s still nerve-wracking to tear up a stranger’s garment.

Once she finds the perfect subject, she asks them a few quick questions, such as their favorite color or style icon, and sets off to her studio where she races to redesign the jackets.

“I don’t have much fabric, so the clothes tell me what they want to be,” she said. “I have to think about the person’s essence, but I barely know this person. I had, like, a five-minute interaction, and what if they hate it? How am I going to know? It’s very intense.”

But Aguilar’s sewing needle has yet to miss the mark. Everyone who has had their jacket revamped by Aguilar has been amazed by her work — including Jawan Harris, 26.

“When I saw the jacket, I was genuinely surprised. Not only because it looked so well, but the way that she designed the jacket had almost a personal connection to me,” Harris told The Post.

“When I saw the jacket, I was genuinely surprised. Not only because it looked so well, but the way that she designed the jacket had almost a personal connection to me,” Jawan Harris, 26, told The Post.

Harris’ colleagues asked questions and called him “crazy” when he returned to the office mid-day with a new jacket and wild story — but judgment turned to jealousy when they saw the final result.

“I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so many compliments on a jacket before, to be honest,” Harris admitted.

Aguilar’s sewing needle has yet to miss the mark. Everyone who has had their jacket revamped by Aguilar has been amazed by her work. Emmy Park for NY Post.

He admitted he was “extremely skeptical” when a woman claiming to be a fashion designer approached him while he was on his lunch break and asked to take his coat, but her confidence convinced him to hand it over.

“Knowing that what you’re wearing was made specifically for you, tailored to fit your body and reflect your personality, is incredibly empowering,” Aguilar said. “It gives you a sense of ownership and confidence, knowing that you’re wearing something uniquely yours.”

“Wearing a custom [piece] is like wearing a piece of your own story. It’s not just clothing; it’s a statement.”

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