The life of a mover and shaker fashionista is one that a vast majority of the female population envies. Much credit goes to media phenomena such as The Hills and America’s Next Top Model, for glamorizing the increasingly competitive and nitty-gritty world of fashion. Meet Miss Ashley Rowe – someone who has managed to snag internships at FLARE and FASHION Magazine, as well as a role at Holt Renfrew as a Style Assistant, and has been living a fashionable life for four years. Jealous yet? There’s still more.
- What makes miss rowe so different, in that it’s simplistic yet full of personality?
- What elements of London and American Rock do you take from?
- How do you think you address the “women on the run” demographic?
- How do you make black and white shades creative (how do you renew it each season)?
- In your biography it says that you were your mother’s muse – does your mother’s style still inspire you in your clothing choices or your designs?
- What was your experience like in the Toronto Fashion Incubator New Labels contest?
- You recently paired with Jessica Jensen to throw an afternoon tea and cupcakes event – how do you feel interacting with other up and coming designers, or the fashion industry in Toronto?
- What’s the most memorable commentary that you’ve heard about your label?
- Where can we find your label?
- How’s life changed after new labels – what path is miss rowe on now?
I design to fit a niche market – I like to combine designer quality that is well made, classic, and can stand the test of time. I want people to remember these pieces and to be able to wear them season after season. I design for myself, and I create pieces that I would completely love to wear.
Well, my dad’s from England for one! I’m inspired by fashion, their accents, and that they’re willing to take risks. The rock and roll influence can be seen in the leather pieces that I incorporate into the line.
I’m also really into the music – the designs I create are tied to the music I listen to, and I have a unique playlist for each season. I love the Rolling Stones, and I’ve incorporated some American rock into my runway show for last season (tracks like I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, Kanye West’s Homecoming, and artists like Lenny Kravitz made the cut).
The key idea is that each clothing item can transition from day to night – women can wear a piece from my collection to the office, then switch it up with accessories, pumps, clutches, and different lengths that I have in my line, to take it into the night.
I work a lot with textures and fabrics so I’m sure that it doesn’t get boring – leathers and silks are great for eye-catching attention.
Next season I’m actually preparing a line that will have pops of colour – a first! Electric blue, hot pink, yellow, and orange are going to be the new elements in my line.
She definitely still inspires me! She’s always dressing in monochromatics, going to New York, and she’s completely inspired by fashion. She also happens to design her clothing too because she can never seem to find the clothing she’s looking for. Who knows, maybe we’ll do a collaboration in the future she loves to wear miss rowe pieces.
It was a huge learning experience, having mentors to guide you along the way and getting invaluable feedback was what I needed to build my line. I showed my clothing in a fashion show for the first time – while it was crazy and hectic, to be able to put on such a huge production and seeing my clothing on models was absolutely incredible. I had the opportunity to work with George Antonopolous from the Artist Group (he styled my show) who has been an inspiration since I met him while interning at FLARE.
That was an amazing event – I had a chance to invite my clients, family, friends, and it was just a great networking opportunity. As soon as it ended I knew I would be doing it again, and the best part was that I didn’t really have any expectations for it and it was a huge success!
Well, seeing my name in a magazine for one – FLARE came out this week and they have an interview on their website with me as a former FLARE intern becoming a designer. Everyone’s so excited for me and supportive of my growth.
I’ve had comments about how people love the details, (such as the covered buttons, or exposed zippers for the Spring/Summer 2009 season), how all the pieces are lined in silk, and how all fabrics are purchased in Toronto and the pieces are created in Toronto. It’s so flattering to have people love select pieces and requesting them.
Debut, New York – that’s the only place you’ll find my items in retail. The only other way to purchase my clothing is through private sales or trunk shows.
Life is definitely still a whirlwind, it’s calmed down a little, but it’s still busy! I’m working on the next collection, establishing my business plan, deciding what market to enter, and bringing on my mother as Sales Manager. I’m constantly learning from all my mistakes which is more valuable than going to any school, I’ve made great connections from my past internships, and really, I’m starting to get set on my path.
My advice to get into the world of fashion is to set yourself apart – do things the old fashioned way sometimes and send a thank you note after an interview, or just make sure you follow up on every lead you get. You’ll realize that it’s the experience that counts, not just what you have on paper.
> check out the full collection at missrowe.com