Ashley Nell Tipton - The Purple/Grey Haired Girl

While in San Diego, I took advantage of location and contacted newbie plus size designer, Ashley Nell Tipton.  We spent the day together having lunch, touring her work space, and having good ol' fashioned girl talk.  For me, Ashley represents the progression of plus size fashion.  She most recently graduated from Fashion Careers College as of Sunday (as in yesterday).  Plus size fashion has become such a movement that finally we have fashion design students actually wanting to design and produce strictly plus size clothing lines.  In my opinion, it's the only way plus size fashion will continue to grow, become more fashion forward, and get its fair recognition. If you're holding your breath for Karl Lagerfeld or any of these other designers to produce plus size fashion then you're going to turn purple and pass out.  Having our own designers, to me, has always been the best option.  

In better news, I got some exciting details from Ashley about her audition for Fashion Star, and her upcoming launch.   Fashion Star is a new show that started last Fall where designers are showcased in front of buyers from major retailers in hopes of getting their lines picked up.  It's like an American Idol for designers.  Ashley met with producers, they loved the line, and required her to do a video talking about her life, her line, and her struggles.  It's a fabulous video where you really get to see who Ashley is as a person.  The thing that stuck out in the video to me was that she states that she is dyslexic.   During our chat, she openly talks about her difficulties with reading and continuing her education.   It's obvious that she's a driven young woman, who won't let her learning disability stand in the way of her dreams.  I don't even really know this girl, but I am so proud of her.  It's easy to do something when it's handed to you,  but when you have to overcome obstacles and you are still reaching your goals that's amazing.  Her spirit, her positive nature, and did I mention her hair color are all just fabulous!  Of course I asked her when the line would launch and she's shooting for Spring 2013 and hopes to keep her prices under $100.  I'll be first in line for my piece.








Here's a side note on our day together.  Ashley and I ate lunch at Cheesecake Factory at Fashion Valley Mall and were literally stared down by the hostess.   I was confused a little.  I didn't know if she was staring because we were fat, fat and stylish, or just stylish.  The smirk on her face said that it was because we were fat and we had the nerve to try and be fashionable.  It was so uncanny that I couldn't even pay attention to the girl seating us because I was trying to figure out if she was going to say something.   (I was kind of wishing she would, so that I could say something back.  I hate rude people.)  Sometimes I think I'm in my own world that I don't notice other people's issue with my size.   In my mind, I am stylish and the size portion doesn't matter.  Maybe Ashley and I were just too much for her that day.  Maybe it was because I was in California and they are used to smaller people.  I've really never gotten a reaction (that I can remember) that was quite like that before.  It was weird.  Thought I would share that moment. 

19 comments

  1. Love Ashley's story so inspirational, I always enjoy seeing a young person with drive and on a quest for entrepreneurial success ESPECIALLY if it has anything to do with fashion. I hope her designs end up in stores soon....you're right there is a huge gap in fabulous plus size fashion right now.

    As for the lunch deal, you could very well be wrong the waitress could have been ogling your bangin' style!

    www.lenasblend.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love her sense of style! Her line is gonna be bananas and I cant wait until its released!

    ReplyDelete
  3. such a great story! Cant wait to see her line!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am "body-checked" by other women all the time and I have to ask my husband, "Is there something on my face? Or on my boobs???" I throws me into self-doubt immediately and I start to wonder if I have the right to wear what I'm wearing. I am by no means a fashionista like you, but I think I dress pretty well, and I think a lot of it is exactly what you said: skinnies don't think we have the right to dress fashionably. You are an inspiration to so many people (including myself) and you have single-handedly given me the confidence to go and buy a bathing suit and dare to wear it on our trip next week! Thank you and forget that cheesecake b(*^*!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is a great development. I'm confident she'll emerge and start a wave of designers making clothes for plus size women that are fashion forward or fashionable. As the stare at the restaurant. It's always shocking when you get confronted with ignorance. But it happens though. I've learned to block out this negativity, life is too short too live it for others.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for sharing this. She's amazing and will be very successful!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I first heard about her through a post on Rez in the City a couple months back. I was amazed at her designs. AMAZED. I can not wait until Spring 2013.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ugh, some people make me sick. You're gorgeous and so's she (amazing hair!) - you've got beauty, style and bangin' booty!
    Ashley's designs look lovely x

    http://that-bird.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amazing clothes, I´m really looking forward for more!! And that girl was stupid. People are close-minded with the fat-girl thing, but hey! that´s their problem.

    XX http://miramodernonosoybethditto.blogspot.com.es

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow! This young lady is SUPER talented! I'll be checking her out!

    www.whatrosereddsaid.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ashley is the just so cute! I love her attitude and her smile is contagious! You know I ain't even gonna comment about lil miss hostess because my momma taught me that if you don't have nothing nice to say then.....glad you got the opportunity to take a peek into Ashley's world. So fun! btw - Cheesecake Factory's Chicken Madeira is my fave! Kiah

    ReplyDelete
  12. Chastity, thanks so much for posting this. Ashley was really lovely to listen to, and I hope that she continues being successful. I noticed that her designs look different from other plus size designers in that they seem based on ideas, rather than a silhouette (jumpsuits come to mind). I guess I'm trying to say they look more like "fashion," rather than "ready-to-wear." Does that make sense? In any case, I'm excited to see what she has in store for us!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey Chastity, I'd vote for contacting the manager of that Cheesecake Factory and complaining. If she was smirking, it probably wasn't friendly, and she's probably done it to a lot of people. It's not appropriate, especially for a business. If enough people complain when they're treated badly, the bosses usually address the behavior. People can have whatever opinion they want, but they need to be polite and respectful in a service situation.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love her work as well! She's amazing! I also hate being body checked... I still don't understand Tito this day!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Way to go Ashley!!!!and Thank you. Ok GarnerStyles you had the hostess speechless, your fashion and hotness took her breathe away :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. That whole hostess situation is such BS. I was born and raised in Northern California and I feel like it can be even worse there since everyone is such health nuts. It drove me crazy for 30 years. Then I moved to the Midwest and people don't really care about that stuff. They want to get to know you as a person. It's refreshing. I am sorry that happened to you!! I think you are beautiful and I always look to your blog for fashion and style insiration!!!
    ~Crystal

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ms. Ashley is adorable! I'm always telling people it's such a great thing that younger plus size women are aware of their beauty and enhance it with their own personal style (my pre-teen and teenage years were ROUGH and sometimes downright oogly--I'm 29 and still traumatized by dreams of granny sweaters and ankle length skirts). I hope she gets further than even she can dream (she's definitely on the right track).

    In regards to the waitress...I learned a long time ago that not everyone deserves my kindness or my attention. You smile at me, I have no problem smiling, interacting or just being downright pleasant to you. It only takes a quarter of a nasty look for that script to flip and that Diva is NOT your cuddly fat girl (it's the Brooklyn in me). Sometimes we have to realize that everyone doesn't know better. I also agree with you Chastity; I'm in my own world 95% of the time too but I think that's what makes what you do wonderful and beautiful. You don't care what anyone thinks. The best outfit any of us can wear is Confidence (add a great handbag and we're unstoppable :)).

    -Tiff

    ReplyDelete
  18. I agree! I am a size 18 and I feel fat all the time. I have a big tummy roll that I am so self-consconscience of. All I can do is love myself, no matter what size I am. I feel sorry for that woman. Obviously she was not raised right, as my mom would say. I almost equate it to being a bully if you ask me! Those people will have their day and obviously, she is uncomfortable in her own skin to make such a point at gawking at your girls like that. Wonder what her problem is? Oh well, she must not have such a great life as we do for her to be that way. Love ya and keep up all the fashionista stuff that we all adore :-)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yeaaahhh... :) You rock my world! :)

    ReplyDelete