Not enough good can be said about Ashton Michael’s Spring/ Summer 2014 line and Ashton Hirota himself. We wrote an article on him and his newest line only 2 weeks ago but decided to dig deeper. His clothing captivated us as it does all the countless celebrities he dresses. As such, we reached out to his PR to set up an interview with the man himself. We wanted to experience the edge that his designs exude, and sure enough, Ashton did not disappoint:
If you could choose 1 person you would love to see wear your line who would it be?
My grandmother who has passed.
When did you first realize you had a talent and passion for design?
I started sewing when I was a child. I remember making my first garment when I was in is grade school. It was a pair of boxers that were half black with white polka dots and half black and white pinstripe. I thought I was soooo cool!. Years later I started cutting up vintage belts and making cuffs and selling them. I suppose you can say that I’ve always had a hankering to be an innovator and creator— being a designer just felt the most natural.
What continues to be your biggest inspiration?
Communities that have the strongest cultural pride. The regulations and rules that are expected as a way of life fascinate me. My last collection was inspired by Hasidic Jews and East LA chollos: Polar opposites, but but so branded by how they show themselves to the world. Using apparel as your identifier is so powerful and captivating. I want to create that sort of cult following and visual branding for AM.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
My entire career has been my greatest achievement. I have been an entrepreneur in the fashion industry since I was 19 and never had a backer or investor. Being 31 now, self made with a laundry list of A-list celebs that I have been blessed to work with and create personal relationships with is the best feeling. Furthermore, I have shown collections on both coasts and sell internationally. I’m humbled and appreciative for all I’ve accomplished and for those who support my movement.
Why do you choose to focus on neutrals and only bring color into your designs upon request?
My brain operates on that pallet. I love tonal colors and the use of texture within that, rather than obvious contrasts. I don’t need to make a loud statement by doing something obvious. The textures and contrasts in my work make an impact to those who pay attention to detail. For me, that is the difference between a garment that becomes staple in your closet vs. something that is only good for one season. (at the most). Some people say it’s playing it safe; I say it’s creating timeless garments.
Are you still sporting your awesome mustache?
No. that’s so urban outfitters now.. LOL
Growing up, did your sense of style make you an outcast, or were you seen as the cool guy you’re perceived as now?
I have been through every personal style on the planet. When I was a kid, I would wear green 10-hole Dr. Martens and a cardigan. Then, as I got older, I started wearing Timberlands and Rigo sport gear. My hair has gone from dreads, to Mohawk to 3-color “AFI” bangs. Long story short, I have been through the ringer finding who I am. My brother was a gang member and my sister was a gutter punk, so I became a fusion of both of them… happily. I was also “best dressed “ in my senior class. No matter what I was wearing, it made a lasting impression.
You have mentioned you don’t see a specific fashion category that the Ashton Michael fits under, do you think the line may be creating a new style category all together?
I just don’t ever want to be put in a box. Urban Goth, Street Goth, blah blah blah. I just want to be an individual who can be associated with other likeminded designers, but not clumped together.
What is the worst thing a man could wear? What clothing item irritates you if any?
I’m going to play this PC , but there are A LOT of clothing items or “brand trends” that drive me bat shit crazy. The one I hate the most is text graphic BS that people label “ fashion forward.” Like, let’s get a grip. It’s a screen print kids, not 3D printed art. But the masses are so easily persuaded by marketing and PR that it’s hard to get mad at the brands, but easier to get mad at the consumer for falling for it.
What’s your number one piece of advice to anyone seeking to dress well or stylish?
Buy Ashton Michael. Done.
Here is the official lookbook of Ashton Michael S/S 2014: