Still needing a deeper insight in to the fashion industry, in 2009 Ashley Studied costume design learning the design process for avant-garde designs gowns and stage costumes. The design element of making avant-garde pieces inspired Ashley to learn more and to create his own label where he would be able to display his designs. Ashley Lloyd International is a UK independent fashion label Established in 2012 Ashley Lloyd International is a female Ready to Wear fashion Label creating fashion pieces using a range of eco and animal friendly fabrics to produce unique avant-garde and fashion forward items for the brave and passionate fashion lovers. Here is our conversation with the creative . . .
EGL: When did you fall in love with fashion?
Ashley Lloyd: I fell in love with fashion at a young age of around 5, I always used to help my aunt and mom get ready for family functions, I tagged along for shopping trips to be their personal stylist giving them advice on what they should wear and how to put it together. As I got older I wanted to know more about fashion and began studying dress making and costume design which helped me lay the foundation for what I represent today, I threw myself in the deep end and never looked back.
EGL: What influences do you feel impact your work and designs the most?
Ashley Lloyd: It would have to be strong women and my daily environment. I’m so inspired by strong business women, mothers and grandmothers their journeys through life and how they overcame obstacles. My Mom is certainly an inspiration to me just being a black woman in this world is hard let alone a single parent, ‘to me that’s a super hero for sure’. Growing up in south London wasn’t the easiest thing however I was able take elements of my life and the knowledge I have gained over the years and implement that throughout my work, just being in the presence of such influential people not only keeps me grounded but also feeds my imagination.
EGL: What was your first design job and how did you stumble upon it?
Ashley Lloyd: My first ever design job wasn’t really a job but more of an introduction into the world of fashion. I was invited to an event in London where the organiser wanted me to showcase my ability to design, I had 5 days to create/make and find someone to wear the dress. I literally begged my cousin to model the dress for me on the night; I worked every second of every day making sure the design was on point. From that moment on I never doubted what I was capable of doing in terms of fashion it made me hungry for the successful business I destined, and I focused all of my energy into it.
EGL: Of all the challenges you have faced, which one is the most memorable?
Ashley Lloyd: Wow, now that’s a hard one as I have faced so many, but I would probably say being a part of London Fashion Week was the most memorable. It’s a designers dream to not only be recognised by the Fashion Council but participate in fashion week; I literally cried like a baby I was so honoured to be a part of such a prestigious event. Hands down that was the most memorable moment of my career thus far.
EGL: Who is your dream client?
Ashley Lloyd: I always say reach for the stars and dream big, I’m a huge Beyonce’ and Rihanna fan not only because of their music but what they represent as black women; strong, powerful, unafraid and unapologetic and that’s so inspirational to me. I would love to see Beyonc’e & Rihanna in one of my pieces that’s the day I can say…I finally made it.
EGL: What are you currently working on?
Ashley Lloyd: Currently I’m working on some new pieces for my high street range Ashley Lloyd London which has some really affordable pieces perfect for any woman’s wardrobe throughout the seasons. I also have a few other projects in the pipe line that I’m working on, I’m unable to give away any details as yet however I can say keep your eyes glued to your TV set.
EGL: Where do you see Ashley Lloyd in 10 years?
Ashley Lloyd: In 10 years I see Ashley Lloyd opening successful boutiques across the globe housing my creations, a sanctuary where women can come and not only buy my designs, but have the full red carpet experience clothes, hair make-up the works. For me fashion is more than just nice clothing it’s a lifestyle and one I would like all women to experience fully. I have so many pots I want to dip my hands into but most importantly giving back to the community and the youth is something that’s close to my heart, my journey to where I am now has not been the easiest and helping those that may not have the tools to change their current situations is what I live for.
EGL: What do you love most about being a fashion designer?
Ashley Lloyd: I love all aspects of design, I’m such a huge lover of the arts but I especially love seeing the transformation when someone wears my garments. I design my clothing as armour for women so they’re able to face a day in this crazy world and every time I see someone in my pieces my heart skips a beat, that’s the part that I love the most.
Ashley Lloyd: The world of fashion changes so frequently thing literally go in and out of fashion like every day, my theory is to be you in all aspect of the word. Fashion isn’t about the latest craze and what’s in fashion for that moment it’s about your own individual style and how you put it all together.
EGL: What inspiring advice do you have for up and coming designers?
Ashley Lloyd: Work hard and surround yourself with positivity. People always look at the glitz and the glamour of the entertainment industry and never actually look at how much work and dedication goes into your craft. Hard work and dedication is a must to even be noticed in this industry, when people say no dealing with business opportunities take that as a not now, keep working and grinding they will change their tune when they see you coming up. Surround yourself with positive people being around negativity is not only draining but will hold you back; so if you have any negative friends, family or acquaintances let them go and you will see an instant change in every aspect of your life; If you want something in this world only you can stop you from getting it that’s my motto.
Written by: Joce Blake (Senior Fashion Editor)