INTERIVEW: ASHLEE GRAHAM
Interviewing up & coming designer label ‘Ashlee Graham’ via new fashion blog ‘Fashion Global’ by Frances Smith!
Hi Ashlee, first of all, it’s nice to ‘cyberly’ meet you, I’ve been admiring your Graduate Parade collection, the hand textured garments – did you do that yourself?
The Copper? I did it – It was all hand moulded.
It’s really an amazing talent you have, and we’re extremely excited to feature you on Fashion Global and FatefulFashion.
So, a bit about yourself, what got you in to fashion, and designing in particular?
Photographed by Jackie Tran, hair and make up Kelle Kim and Model Matilda Gordon
I’ve always been into fashion, as long as I can remember. I started a stall at Gilles St Markets in Adelaide about 5 years ago with one of my closest friends Rach, mostly vintage and up-cycled pieces but that pretty quickly led to designing
How old were you when you first started pursuing?
I was 20 when we started at Gilles st
Did you study?
Sure did! I knew if I was going to really make it as a designer I needed to know more about construction and the fashion industry. It took 3 years and now I have an advanced diploma of fashion design
What made you decide on using your name for your brand?
It’s the same reason I love fashion and don’t have a tattoo, every day I love something new! I must admit though I’m still not used to seeing my name on clothes and in stores
Where you are at right now with your business?
I graduated last November so the business is only 6 months old, were still in beginning stages but ive just had to hire another seamstress to keep up with demand so it is all going really well.
What has been the biggest highlight or most enjoyable aspect so far?
Being a part of the Adelaide Fashion Festival last year!! Seeing my designs strutting down a runway was beyond amazing! Also earlier this year I was the only SA finalist in the QANTAS Spirit of Youth Awards I was quite overwhelmed.
What’s the next step for you? Where do you ideally want to take this?
I am currently designing the winter collection for next year, and about to go into production for the next summer range. I’d like to go global!
What is one thing that you didn’t expect to happen once starting out in this industry?
The response I’ve had in general has been unexpected, I get models and photographers emailing all the time wanting to work together. And a lot of the clothes get pre ordered so they are sold before they even have a chance to hit the shelves.
What you love most about it all, designing/sewing etc
I obviously love designing, trend research and sourcing fabric. Patternmaking is my favourite part though. It’s almost meditative for me, figuring out how to take a sketch and turn it into a pattern that would make a garment, it’s a great process.
Are there any other areas you would like to branch out in, either in Fashion or something completely different?
Accessories and children’s wear
Where can we find you, I know you have your Facebook page, do you sell your clothes on-line as well?
The online store is currently still in development, keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates, but in the meantime there’s a great new boutique on Glen Osmond road called If You’re A Bird and they stock the whole range.
You’re a huge inspiration to many up and coming designers – what’s a piece of advice you would give to someone starting out in fashion?
Thanks, I think I’m still up and coming. Someone give me advice! No but seriously make the most of every opportunity and be prepared to work hard
and lastly, what’s one thing you’ve learnt that has really helped guide you?
It’s not so much what I’ve learnt, but what I didn’t know I needed. I have an amazing support network around me, my family and friends have helped me a lot! For example my best friends help on photo shoots and send amazing words of encouragement in times of doubt, my mum helps with babysitting at the drop of a hat, and of course my partner puts up with 4 am bedtimes and me at my most stressed. Plus everything else they do, I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of them!!
Thank you so much for your time, we’ll be in contact when it’s published, is there any chance you could send through some images that you would like to include in your interview?
Thanks so much Ashlee – really appreciate all of this!
You can check out her entire label on her Facebook page!