Board of Directors
Paul Matthew Layne


Paul Matthew Layne  was raised in  New York’s Capital District and was educated in both the highly regarded Niskayuna school system and prestigious Syracuse University.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design, otherwise known as consumer product design.  Shortly after graduation, Paul was hired by well-known designer Neville Lewis as a Junior Designer with his NYC interior design firm.  From the onset of his career Paul interacted and participated in many high profile commercial design projects with Neville Lewis Associates including the corporate headquarters for major publishing conglomerates, brokerage firms and consumer product companies.

Later, Paul  worked for a San Francisco-based interior architecture firm in both their New York City and Los Angeles, CA offices.  Once in Los Angeles, he participated on projects for law firms, real estate development companies, automotive retailers and others.

In the early 1990’s after completing design work for the new UCLA Medical Plaza in Westwood, CA, Paul was hired by California Business Interiors to design and programming for remodeling in all Southern California hospital and medical office locations within the Kaiser Permanente Hospital Network.  This led to the genesis of a new healthcare division at CBI, whose clients Paul led and project-managed.

In 1995, Paul stepped into a corporate facility management position with a national career management firm.  This role involved design, planning, staffing and training for as many as 25 office locations throughout the United States.

After 8 ½ years in this position, Paul ventured into the entrepreneurial arena by purchasing and reinventing a Ventura County design firm in December 2003.  The business provided all facets of commercial, institutional and residential space planning and design related disciplines including occupancy planning, relocation management and coordination, space planning, and facility management.

Recent projects have included major universities and colleges, manufacturing and technology companies, world famous talent agencies and upscale home retailers and a host of residential clients throughout Southern California.  Paul’s business has often interfaced with the fashion industry as well. In addition, Paul’s business often interfaced with the fashion industry including such clients as Lucky Brand Jeans, Michael Kors-Beverly Hills, Sak’s Fifth Avenue and Pacific Sunwear.

In addition to his prolific fashion designer cousin, Joy Kingston, Paul’s family has been involved with the fashion industry on many levels for generations, including a great-great-grandfather who owned a large and prosperous tailoring business in 19th century Europe; a great-grandfather, who was retained by the premier New York department store, B. Altman Co., as designer and tailor of ladies’ attire; and Paul’s father,  who was an owner and franchiser of premium dry cleaning stores.

Other family members have also had extensive fashion industry exposure.  Paul’s cousin was the owner of Townley Frocks, a New York-based fashion house that employed and partnered with well-known fashion designer Claire McCardell .   Another cousin was a highly successful fashion model and modeling agent, and an aunt modeled for I. Miller in New York City.  Renown designers Eve Stillman and Sol Meyerson, each highly respected for their respective fashion specialties, are both related through marriage to Paul’s family.

With great enthusiasm in 2011, Paul established and launched the Joy Kingston Foundation with the goal  to foster growth and perpetuate  arts education.  Additionally, in honor of Joy’s fashion legacy, Paul plans to reintroduce the “Joy Kingston” brand with a new line of Joy’s classic fashions interpreted for the 21st century.

Ann Avrashow


Ann AvrashowAnn Avrashow was raised in a family where business, fashion and the arts played important roles.  Born in New York City to a corporate executive father and a Radio City Rockette mother, she grew up in upstate New York. Ann’s grandfather was the owner and creative force of Joan Claire Fashions, a successful ladies’ clothing line in the 1950’s and 1960’s, with factories and offices in New York City and Benton, IL, until his death.

Enrolled in dance classes from the age of five, Ann studied ballet, tap and jazz for many years, performing in numerous stage productions in the Capital District.  A former model and beauty queen, Ann pursued a career in the communications side of business.

She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in journalism (specializing in advertising and public relations) and moved to Los Angeles. With twenty-five years of business experience in the consumer products and high tech industries, Ann is the General Manager of VESOFT, Inc., a multi-million dollar computer software and marketing firm headquartered in Los Angeles.  She is responsible for all aspects of the business and its day-to-day operations, including sales and licensing, customer relations, contract administration, and marketing.

Ann has been active in the community, both philanthropically and politically, serving on several non-profit boards and government commissions.  She was a member of the Board of Directors of Pet Orphans of Southern California, the oldest private non-profit animal welfare group in Los Angeles.  In addition, she was an Executive Board Member of the Maryvale Orphanage Guild Juniors, supporting abused and neglected children at the Maryvale group home.  Ann was also a long-time member of the Junior League of Los Angeles.

As an appointee of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, she served on the County of Los Angeles Commission on Judicial Procedures and was Vice-Chair.  Ann donated her time and skills to the City of Los Angeles as well.  She was appointed by Mayor Richard Riordan to the Los Angeles Convention & Exhibition Center Authority and served seven years, including a term as Vice-President and then as President.  Ann was also a Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Commission, first as an appointee of Mayor James Hahn and then of Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine.

Ann believes in the power of creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit as embodied by the accomplishments of Joy Kingston, and looks forward to promoting Joy’s legacy through the Joy Kingston Foundation Advisory Board.

Ann lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Wayne.


Wayne Kastning


To some, a childhood spent growing up on a farm in the hills of northern Arkansas may not seem the best possible preparation for a career in fashion, but that’s not how Wayne Kastning sees it.

Wayne was raised on a farm near Yellville in the Ozark Mountains.  What his childhood home lacked in modern conveniences – electricity and running water – it more than made up for in adventure and creativity.  At the age of seven Wayne learned how to sew on his grandmother’s treadle sewing machine.  Evenings were spent reading and drawing by the light of a kerosene lamp, experimenting with fabrics or helping his great aunts fashion aprons and sunbonnets out of printed cotton flour sacks.

In 1973 Wayne left home to study architecture under the tutelage of renowned architect, E. Fay Jones, at the University of Arkansas.  Following his graduation, Wayne moved to New York where he enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  His days were spent working as an apprentice in the garment center gaining hands-on experience while his evenings were spent studying all aspects of fashion design. These pursuits led to him becoming the designer for Firger’s Fatigues, a children’s wear manufacturer, followed by four years assisting evening wear designer Jonathan Hitchcock.

Couture designer Carolina Herrera hired Wayne to develop and design her first ready-to-wear collection, “CH by Carolina Herrera”. Wayne created four seasonal lines a year for CH, each of which was a critical and commercial success in major department and specialty stores across the country.

Wayne was lured away to become the designer at Adele Simpson, one of the original Seventh Avenue designer dress companies.  At Simpson, Wayne refined his signature look of updated classics for the professional woman.  His collections of suits, dresses, cocktail and evening wear were well received by both the fashion press and the buying public.

In 1991, Wayne moved to the West Coast to be the Design Director for Helga, Inc., a Los Angeles fashion house founded in 1947.  After six years designing “American Couture” suits and dresses, he was ready for a new challenge and opened WK Studio, a fashion design and consulting service.  Utilizing the skills and knowledge gained during his 30 years in the fashion industry, Wayne worked with European, Asian and American companies seeking to expand their market share in the highly competitive clothing business.  A partial list of companies Wayne has consulted with includes Amy Michelson, Ryan Roberts, Barry Goralnick Architects, Pleats Collection, Da-Rue of California, Draper’s & Damon’s, Travel Smith, Rocket Garment.

In the fall of 2007 Wayne was asked to design a collection of dresses and separates for Melrose Alley Boutique in the Melrose Heights section of West Hollywood.  With sales of over 800 pieces in its first two years the WKLA collection was a huge success.

During his career Wayne has been privileged to have his clothes worn by many of America’s most prominent and influential women, including First Ladies Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barbara Bush, Pat Nixon, Lady Bird Johnson, Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Mrs. Lloyd Benson, Mrs. Ross Perot, Evelyn Lauder, Sally Jessy Raphael, Betty White, Doris Roberts, Jane Wyman, Mary Alice Williams, Sue Simmons, Eva Marie Saint, Ann Jeffreys, Joan Fontaine, Dionne Warwick, Katherine Jackson, Mrs. Lamont Dozier and Barbara Cane.