Project Runway Winner Ashley Nell Tipton Exclusive Interview
Posted On Jan 21, 2016
Season 14 Project Runway winner, Ashley Nell Tipton is ready to take the fashion world by storm. The 24-year-old’s triumphant win on Lifetime’s hit show solidified her status as one to watch, especially among the millennial generation. It’s hard to believe that in the show’s history, Ms. Tipton is the first-ever to win with a plus size collection as well as the first plus-size fashion designer [period] to ever appear on the show.
With undeniable talent matched with innovative thinking and perseverance there’s no doubt 2016 will be bigger and better for the rising designer. A trailblazer in her own right, New You had a chance to speak with fashion’s full figured it girl in an exclusive interview. We discussed her legendary win, the pros and cons of being on a successful show and much more.
New You: What was the motivation behind you auditioning for “Project Runway?”
Ashley Nell Tipton: I truly believe it was the fact that I had lost my grandmother exactly two days prior to receiving the email to audition for the show. I think it’s what motivated me because I lost her and I felt at the time I had nothing else to loose. I also felt it was my time to push myself as a designer and see how far I could go as a person.
NY: How does it feel to become the first plus-size designer to ever appear out of 14 seasons on Project Runway?
ANT: It was and still is amazing because I am doing some groundbreaking things.
NY: In general, how do you feel about the term plus size?
ANT: I’m personally fine with the term. A lot of people try to tip-toe around the word or use a friendlier term for plus-size but I don’t really have a preference. Whatever people want to call it, whether it’s curvy, plus-size or plus, it’s absolutely up to them. I’m just here to design clothing for us women who can’t fit standard sizes.
NY: What do you think is the most common misconception about plus-size women?
ANT: I think the most common misconception about plus-size women is that we don’t know how to dress for our bodies. I think if we set good examples for each other and embrace each other we can definitely beat that misconception.
NY: What was the best part and also the worst part of the experience?
ANT: I think the best part was being able to learn from this whole experience and grow as a person. It’s an entirely different type of experience that you will never have the opportunity to do outside of Project Runway. You’re able to meet so many great people and talented designers in one room. You’re also able to get away for six weeks and do something that your love because it’s not just a job, it is your passion. The most amazing part was being able to put myself through the ultimate test.
The worst part of doing the show was being away from family for so long and experiencing this by yourself. Also having to deal with the negativity from people’s remarks or their opinions of where I placed on the show or how far I’ve gotten but I really try not to focus on any of the negativity.
NY: Can you name some of your strengths and weaknesses as a designer?
ANT: I believe one of my strengths is thinking outside of the box. I enjoy a challenge and I absolutely love trying to solve it.
As for my weaknesses, I overthink things and I don’t give myself enough credit.
NY: What is the best style advice you’ve ever received?
ANT: Don’t over accessorize or overdue yourself. If you feel you have too many accessories on, just look in the mirror and take one item off.
NY: Who was that advice from?
ANT: My sister provided me with that piece of advice (laughs).
NY: If your entire life was a movie what title would best fit?
ANT: I honestly have no clue but it would be something very inspiring and only one word.
NY: What’s next from you? What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
ANT: I believe 2016 is going to be an even bigger year! We are potentially working with a department store right now and finalizing everything. Hopefully, we will be able to have my collection in a store near you. I also have my online site and a couple of interesting projects that will be happening soon. To sum it up, you’re definitely going to see a lot of me!
NY: Where can people go to view or possibly purchase your clothing?
ANT: Unfortunately, right now I don’t have an online store I just have my website where you can view everything. If you sign up on my site, we will keep you updated and email you once our shop is open. You can find me on my website at www.ashleynelltipton.com or on social media using Ashley Nell Tipton.
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