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ASHLEY CIRIACO

Summer is right around the corner and what better way to break out into an unforgettable, and hopefully (post covid) season than with fashion’s Latest IT bag on your arm. Ciriaco is all the buzz from the internet cool kids to a Forbes feature, and we’re lucky to have snagged an insight into this growing brand. 

The exuberant brand focuses on chic, refreshing, and sustainable pieces, namely their best-selling Ashley minimalist bag named after NYC-based cool girl entrepreneur herself, Ashley Ciriaco. We talked to her this past weekend to get all the details on what inspired her and her brand, some advice for creators, and where her journey takes her.

Q: Hi Ashley, Can you tell us a bit about your background?

A: “I’m originally from Atlanta but moved to New York at 18 years old after I’ve graduated from high school in Stroudsburg, PA. I’ve always had a sense for fashion design, but before I could afford a sewing machine, all I used to do was sketch out my ideas.”

Q: How would you describe your fashion philosophy?

A: “I would say my fashion philosophy is always up to date since I’m always on social media and stay on top of what’s trending or used to be.”

Q: If you could describe Ciriaco with one word, what would it be?

A: “EXUBERANT”

Q: Who and what are the inspirations behind your designs?

A: “My inspirations behind my designs are shows I’ve since I was younger, like Sex and the City, or Americans Next Top Model. The colors and patterns that were popular in the early 2000s and my surroundings. Someone I look up to that also helps inspire my designs is Rihanna. Her mind and style are similar to what I’m going for, for my brand.”

Q: How would you define your personal style? Do you think your style has played a role in how you’ve built your brand?

A: “I would define my style as a little street and comfortable depending on the event. I believe my wardrobe played a role in my designs because I always want to make a statement or catch someone’s eye. So I’ve started with bags.”

Q: If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your creative career, what would it be?

A: “Patience. Be patient and do your research. It would have saved more time being wasted and money.”

Q: How do you want people to feel when wearing Ciriaco?

A: “I want women and men to be comfortable and fierce.”

Q: What have you learned from your experience with building a brand? The most surprising thing, the most disappointing thing?

A: “Everything takes time and comes with a lot of steps. You want to make sure everything is done correctly for things to go smoothly.”

Q: Is there any advice that you would give to young designers starting out?

A: “Always trust in the process. Don’t give up on your dreams. If you see someone who has the same idea as you, stick with it anyway. Just like how there’s more than one rapper or beauty brand. There’s only one YOU.”

Q: What are your aspirations with Ciriaco? What can we expect to see with the next collection and the brand itself? 

A: “You will definitely see new colors, sizes, and textures. Each drop will be better than the last. You WILL have a Ciriaco collection.”

Q: Where can we find you when you’re not designing for Ciriaco? 

A: “You can find me on social media like Twitter @ocairicyelhsa, Instagram @ocairicyelhsa and Tiktok @ocairicyelhsa”

All Ciriaco products can be found on https://madebyciriaco.us and @madebyciriaco on Instagram.

Article by Ayoka Laguda