In The Spotlight: Ashley Chin (Part 2)

About three years ago, I did one of my first spotlights on an upcoming designer, Ashley Chin. At the time, both of us were kind of new at our dreams. I was 20, and had just started Spotlight  a little over a year ago back then, and Ashley was branching out into designing. Time has flown by, and all the while, I saw Ashley's continuous tweets about how her career was growing down in Miami, and was so happy for the progress she was making in reaching her goals! So when she hit me up a few weeks ago on Twitter, it was no question that we had to do a followup! Ashley and I had the chance to catch up on her newest ventures, her styling career, as well as new upcoming boutique Vane For Decades!
Ashley has been steadily building her fashion empire down in Miami. While the area is not big on fashion (the city focuses mostly on music), Ashley revealed a little about the fashion scene in the area. "Everybody's very bright," she said, "but laidback and comfortable." I asked if she ever could see herself moving out of Miami and on to a city that's bigger in fashion, like NYC, which she believes maybe one day might be a possibility if and when she gets steady work. For now, Miami is her scene, and she's making her mark there!

Last time we spoke, Ashley had developed a t-shirt line called Dangerous Vintage. With fierce cuts and hot designs, the line was definitely one to look out for. However, since then, Ashley has moved on from the line, admitting that she still had a lot to learn back then. “I was so young when I did Dangerous Vintage, I really didn't know the sides of the fashion world. I was kind of just thinking, “Put out t-shirts,” she said with a laugh. There's a lot that goes into any venture, fashion or otherwise, if you plan on being successful, marketing correctly, having a great team behind you, etc.

After moving on from Dangerous Vintage, Ashley started styling a little after that, which really took off for her, even styling Teairra Mari and Claudia Jordan. “With styling, I felt more comfortable,” she said. “I've always had interest in it. It's just I put designing first. So now that I put something else first, I feel like it kind of opened the door for designing."

With her growing knowledge and experience in the industry, Ashley decided that it was time to start another fashion line, developing an online boutique Vane for Decades! Ashley takes her inspiration for the designs from the French fashion brand Givenchy, as well as listening to unique artists like Kimbra and Gotye. She also finds Kanye West's fashion style appealing as well. While some of us find Kanye's fashion weird to say the least, Ashley finds it unique and inspiring! Though the line will offer some tees and skullies, Ashley is determined to release quality, unique high fashion pieces that are affordable for the masses AND comfortable!  “I get to kind of form something different, something that people are really going to take to, because it’s not the ordinary," she said.

Instead of rushing to get the brand out there, the budding designer is really taking her time with this new company. “If you want quality, you have to wait, because it takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of money. You want the best of the best," Ashley said. “I’d rather make a big comeback and have people in awe!" The relaunch of VaneForDecades.com is set for September 4th, and Ashley is beyond excited, and definitely prepared for this new phase in her career! “This time around, I feel like I’m more educated, I have a better team, and I think it will be more successful,” she said.

Now Ashley balances styling and designing, which she admits can be a little overwhelming. With a new showroom opening, a new online site, and styling clients, it can all be a little much, but she's up for the challenge! “This is opening the door for my brand. The clothes that I make will be here [in the office] for my clients. Whatever I make doing styling is going straight into the brand," Ashley said. Reaching her goals require sacrifice, as all dreams do, and she is prepared to do that. Because one is opening the door for the other, it’s easier for her to make that sacrifice to balance the two.

As a designer, Ashley is proud of the fact that she's different, determined to stand out from the many designers and stylists out here. “I’m just outside the box. Even just as a person, I’m very in my own world," she said. "When I’m designing, I like to take the risks. I like for people to be like, “Her stuff is weird,” or “She’s weird” because that makes me just like, “Ok, well I’m out the box.” She's really stepping into her own, and giving her all in both designing and styling. "I want to keep everything new, fresh and exciting. I want people to guess what I'm doing," Ashley said.

In terms of her future, Ashley could see herself doing styling for the rest of her life. She hopes to see Vane For Decades go global, definitely hitting the fashion capital of the world, Paris! Ashley also plans to go to school for journalism, and possibly be a fashion editor (as a journalism major this made me smile!). And Ashley has plenty of advice for other upcoming stylists and designers! The first: TAKE A RISK. Ashley took one of her own by reaching out to a celebrity stylist on Facebook, and it turned out to be her gateway to work with Teairra and Claudia. Stay true to yourself, and pay homage to those who helped you. "Don't change for the industry, and don't expect for things to happen overnight" she added, "If you come in with that mindset, you're going to be so disappointed. It could take years before you really pop off. Everybody has their own time. Just continue working very hard." The stylist and designer also stressed the importance of reaching out to blogs and other mediums to get a buzz going! "Don't rush anything, don't feed into the negativity. Keep people around you that believe in you, and believe in yourself!" Ashley said. All great advice for anyone working towards their dreams!

I'm so excited for the work that Ashley is doing in expanding her brand! She's definitely a talented and ambitious young woman who is chasing her dreams full force! Make sure you follow her on Twitter, and check out her official website, Styled By Ash! Also, be on the look out for Vane for Decades when the site relaunches September 4th!

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