Updated: Feb 8, 2019
A look at some of fashion's finest and their relationship with the ever-changing, ever-growing and ever-moving world of fashion.
I have come to a realization. I’m in a college town that revolves around fashion and art, so there are plenty of interesting fashion-orientated people around me at all times, that I never engage with, and thus, I never get to hear their stories. Well, I guess I kind of already knew that, but I realized that this is pretty much the only time in my life when it's acceptable for me to walk up to someone on the street, and say “Hey, you look fashion-forward, let’s have a conversation.” But this is only because more than most likely they are a student like me, and that's definitely not the weirdest thing to happen at SCAD, *cough* we have Furries?!? *cough.*
Anyway, I’ve decided to take advantage of my situation. I'm starting a series in which I talk to some pretty cool people going into the fashion industry, or currently in it, or even just interested in the world of fashion. Hopefully, just maybe, you will enjoy listening to what makes their relationship with fashion special just as much as I do.
My first victim is Ashley Romasko, a senior fashion design major, that is in the middle of creating her senior collection at SCAD. I met Ashley at a meeting for our school fashion magazine where she was the editor-in-chief, and I was just a freshman trying to figure out how to get where I want to be. Quick update: I’m no longer a freshman, she's now working for Louis Vuitton, but I’m still trying to figure it all out.
Alyssa: So, first of all, you’re a senior! Are you ready to get out into the world?
Ashley: Yes! I’m too tired to stay at SCAD, but at the same time, I’m definitely not counting down the days until I have to leave because I get to do whatever I want here. I can make anything, which is super cool, but I’m also ready to get paid for what I do.
Alyssa: Yeah, I completely get it, have you got a plan for what you’re going to do next?
Ashley: That’s super up in the air right now, I actually just rejected an offer from Kohl’s because it was for accessories and I just don’t have the same sensibility for accessories that I have for clothing. I have options though; I just got offered a summer internship at ID magazine which may be a good transition. But ideally, I’d love to go to Europe for 6 months.
Alyssa: Wouldn't we all. Each option seems so different, but as a designer have you found your niche or a place you would love to work?
Ashley: I think where I’m finding my place is higher-end, but not too luxury, sort of within the Calvin Klein, Coach area. I guess, the middle ground, where there still is a business focus, but I can always design cool & creative things. That being said, my dream is still Balenciaga, they are casual yet sophisticated- they make ordinary, extraordinary, which is what I want to do.
Alyssa: You obviously are passionate about what you do, what is it that you love about fashion and design?
Ashley: Well, even at 8 years old I was drawing the same blue dress in my notebook over and over, and no one was really doing fashion where I was from. I remember when I was in fifth grade I had this idea for a store that I wanted to do that was a ROYGBIV wall, and then recently, I walked into Uniqlo and was like this is it, this was my vision. So I guess I've always just loved fashion. But what I love specifically about design is that I get to tell a story through a product. I love the freedom. Just being able to be in New York and seeing red everywhere and then saying, "Hey, I’m going to design with red today."
Alyssa: Speaking of stories, everyone has one in regards to what they love to do. So the big question today is, what is your relationship with fashion?
Ashley: I was actually thinking about this yesterday. I have a very love-hate relationship with fashion; I don’t particularly love materialistic things. I love the glamour- sometimes, but on the opposite side, I’m just like, I don’t give a shit. I’m going to wear my jeans and a t-shirt every day, and be okay with that. I guess my relationship with fashion is within storytelling. I can tell the world whatever I want through this particular medium. If I didn’t have fashion, I don’t think I could communicate what I’m seeing.
Alyssa: Looking at fashion through a story-telling lens must be led by some incredible inspiration. It seems like its a way for you to tell the world what you see. So what drives you to create?
Ashley: I feel like it’s a lot of different things, but usually it’s my own experiences. When I travel, I’m just so immediately inspired that I typically create a collection right afterward because if I were to write it down, I couldn’t communicate my visual experience. Of course, I’m also really inspired by the work of fine artists such as Derek Lerner and Yves Klein. When I went to Centre Pompidou in Paris, I was in heaven. I like them because they take a lot of inspiration from urban landscapes and regular people. I love interacting with people. I mean, my senior collection is based on the middle class, and looks at how they live and work. I studied them for three months. They are the people that serve you coffee, and drive dumpster trucks, but they inspire me because I’m familiar with that way of life.
Photography Courtesy of Ashley Romasko's Instagram: @theneedleandthread
So there it is -the first "Fashion Figures" of hopefully many. Ashley has yet again proven that fashion is like a language, entirely personal yet unites many. It means something unique to every individual, but it creates a story that can bring people from all areas of life together.