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Where Are They Now? Ashton Warner

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

Where Are They Now? Ashton Warner

We recently got in contact with some of our past winners, including Runway 10's winner, Ashton Warner. We got to ask her some questions about how Runway has impacted her life and her career path.

How has Runway changed your life?

Runway changed my life in a few ways, but the confidence it gave me is by far the most important.  Before Runway and my collection, I always had a touch of hesitation in my work and would second-guess my designs. I liked what I was doing, but never had the confidence to back it up.  Once senior project came around, I was so excited to dive right in.  This was something I was waiting years to be a part of.  Though I knew that in order to enjoy the whole experience, my work had to be perfect.  As time went on, my concept evolved and I had created a collection that I was truly proud of.  For the first time, I realized that I had to be truly confident in myself in order to get the results I envisioned.  So now whenever I get stuck or are not sure of myself, I just remember the achievements Runway had shown me.

What have you been doing since Runway?

Right after Runway and graduating, I moved to New York City to gain experience in the industry.  I began interning with a small designer in Brooklyn, who ended up becoming one of my dearest friends.  After that, I worked at a costume shop and later interned with an accessories licensing group.  Nothing really gave me that drive that I had when working on my own projects.  I really missed the “locally-produced” atmosphere that Buffalo has.  So I teamed up with two other former Buffalo State fashion students, Anna Dusza and Veronica Michalek, to create AVA Collective. We create our own collections and hold pop-up shops around the city to sell our pieces with other local artists, and we had our first event this past November.

Any new collections in the works? Currently, I am working on my S/S 19 womenswear collection under my label, ARW.  It will be debuting this June at the second AVA pop-up.  Additionally, we will be having a second pop-up for our collections during the Elmwood Art Festival in August.  I’m really excited to see where these experiences take me as a local designer here in Buffalo. What do you think being apart of Runway has taught you?

Runway has taught me that I am capable of building my own collections from start to finish.  Before senior project, I always thought that I would be designing for big companies and that would be my career path.  After pursuing that idea for the past two years, I’ve come to realize that it’s not very exciting.  I want to be able to sell the work that I crafted entirely on my own to people who look incredible and appreciate local fashion.

Do you have any advice you would like to give to students who are entering their pieces in the show this year?

If I had the chance to give students this year advice, it would be to enjoy this whole experience. This is the first of hopefully many times that you are being handed an opportunity to showcase your work. Not only do the pieces you submit make great additions to your portfolio, but you can learn so much by physically working on designs that you are crafting from start to finish.

Below are some photos of Ashton's recent work with AVA Collective! She was gracious enough to give us a sneak peek!

Top and Pant by Anna Dusza. Knot Wrap by Ashton Warner.

Thrifted Romper by Veronica Michalek. Waist Wrap by Ashton Warner.

Dress by Ashton Warner.

Thrifted Sweater and Cap by Veronica Michalek. Jumpsuit by Ashton Warner.

Vest and Skirt by Anna Dusza.

Hat by Anna Dusza. Top by Ashton Warner. Thrifted Pant by Veronica Michalek.