Mona scouted Ashley at the F/W 2012 Helmut Lang Show. After shooting her, indelible in my memory is her triumphant story of how after a grueling day of “beep…beep…” while working at a cash register in a supermarket in Austin, Ashley decided to respond to model scouts who had spotted her unusual beauty at SXSW. The scouts arranged for Ashley to meet with agencies in NYC, where she was faced with the often harsh standards of the fashion business, as she was initially considered “too busty,” “too short,” and her gap tooth, which has become Ashley’s greatest asset, was considered “too big” (A recent Gap Ad campaign is a big picture of Ashley smiling and it says, “Be You,” which is a big part of her modeling career). Unphased, Ashley drew upon her signature attitude of turning the negative into a positive (one of her tattoos says hello to remind her to stay open minded) and flew herself back to NYC for round two of approaching the agencies and landed a contract. The rest is history.
Ashley feels that to be a successful model today, you have to be willing to listen, dig deep into your emotions, and in her case, embrace “imperfections,” turning them into strengths. She is proof that a strong point of view and being true to yourself can take you far, including in your style. She goes as far as to choose to wear colors for their uplifting qualities, like when she wears a sea foam green American Apparel mini skirt, a sheer shirt and an Opening Ceremony tweed jacket. She considers black to be symptomatic of laziness. Ashley often imagines characters when dressing–she feels like a “French architect” when she is in a black turtleneck and Reformation’s Hermes-inspired short shorts, and a 50′s movie star driving a sports car when she dons her red leather gloves, suspenders, over-sized shades, a Zac Posen fitted blazer and pumps. Coming from Texas has kept Ashley grounded, and whenever she is confronted with the pretension of the fashion industry, she just imagines what her friends back home would say. A sense of humor (even if it is about tragic things) is what she most admires in other people, and that is what I most admire about her.
Written by Co-Founder and Editor in Chief, Elisa Goodkind.
Video Edited by Andrea Cruz.
1. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
2. Freddy Mercury’s biography, Mercury
3. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
4. George Orwell’s 1984
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
1. Hedwig and the Angry Inch
2. Fight Club
3. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
4. Pulp Fiction
5. The Sound of Music
1. Fake Blood – “I think I like it”
2. Kid Cudi – “Day ‘n’ Nite”
3. Kano – “I’m ready (on Spank Rocks Fabriclive 33 Album)”
4. Penny and the Quarters – “You and Me”
5. The Kinks – “All Day and All of the Night”
1. YSL Mascara Volume Luxe something and other. The specific name is in French. But it’s the most popular ysl mascara in a gold tube in the deepest black they have.
2. Chanel’s lip gloss #119
3. Helena Rubinstein’s eyeliner pencil in 01 wild black
4. Giorgio Armani’s eyeshadow compact called Maestro
5. Chanel’s rainbow nail polish in 531 peridot