Sometimes we meet people along the way in our creative careers who need to be recognized for their zeal, passion for excellence, dedication, and overall effort. I plan to highlight as many individuals as I come in contact with, who exhibit these traits.
This blog is about my vision and interpretation of the world around me. However, I only gain vision and can only interpret what is around me and who has made a positive impact on my creative vision.
Karolyne Ashley has contributed and has been like a creative lil sister to me. always eager and open to helping others. She has an aura that is both kind, genuine and when necessary, frank.
I hope you enjoy this quick interview and glean from it insight into this lil lady’s creative mind, her ambitions and hopefully by the end of this reading, if you are not already a supporter of her work, you will be.
1. When did you first know that you wanted to be a fashion designer and who/what was your first inspiration?
While touring as a background dancer for international music artist at the age of 12, I began to Fall in love with making creative fashion choices.
When I moved on to high school, I was constantly watched to see what I would be wearing to school. Everyone, including my classmates, teachers and the school principal, came to me each day to see what clothes I had decided to put together. Afterwhile, I began to see carbon copies of things that I had warn pop up around my school. This is when I knew that I could make a positive impact on the world of fashion.
2. What has been the most important thing that you have learned about fashion and the art community thus far?
My most important lesson has been that both things and people take time to formulate and solidify. I always have a huge laundry list of things that I am trying to accomplish. Oftentimes I get down on myself when things take longer than I had expected. Overall, I have learned that while you are starting out, there are tons of things that you would like to do but many more things that you have to do in order to build a solid foundation.
In terms of the industry, I’ve learned that everyone’s ideas are useful and important. As creative people we can be very territorial and egotistical when it comes to our work. However the best times that I have had thus far have been on teams of creative people. When we all get together the ideas explode and all that chemistry gathered up make the most amazing masterpieces.
3. Do you think that going to Drexel made you better at designing or better at honing your vision for fashion or do you think that what you learned in school could have also been learned in the non academic world?
Going to Drexel not only made me a better designer, it made me who I am as the creative director of my company. The grind and persistence of school along with the intense technical training, laid the perfect foundation for me to build in whatever direction I chose to go. I am a strong advocate for higher education, especially in the creative fields, which is a bit controversial. I have found that although that undying passion and creative gene comes from within, once it is coupled with practical training, ones potential is sky rocketed. I have always been undeniably talented but, upon my graduation from Drexel, I had the confidence to step out with my talents at the forefront.
4. How have you propelled yourself and kept yourself inspired even when times have been hard?
Great Question! This for me is a constant battle. Times are always challenging in one way or another. In my journey I have decided to go after things that were completely unheard of for someone of my age and background. Because, I delved in with such great intensity, I have felt the stings of the hurt at those same great levels. I stay grounded by staying vey close to my family and close friends. I also keep creative people around me that are equally as passionate about what they do as I am in my craft. When I lack inspiration I look back at everything that I’ve already overcome to remind myself that I am more than capable of moving foreword. Then, I turn on some awesome music and get to work!
5. What is the underlying vision for your brand and what is the single most import thing that you hope to gift to your peers and advocates?
The underlying vision for my brand is to spread love and creativity to all the nations! As I continue to build a platform in the fashion arena, I will be using my voice to be an advocate of love and self-esteem. I want people to know that no matter what they have been through or how they see themselves when they look in the mirror, it is their heart that will spring forth in everything that they do. There is a since of freedom and bliss in the clothes that I create. When people wear a Karolyne Ashley garment I want them to feel liberated to show the true beauty that they have inside. When we are able to be ourselves, we are happier and more open to love and be loved. I think that love is the cure to many of the things that happen in this world.