Born and raised n the Bronx, Ashley Rudolph is a blogger with extra. She studied international business and whle living in China (really! China!) she ended up blogging after realizing that she as too shy to approach people to start do streetstyle photos. The soft-spoken tastemaker sat down with me in Madison Square Park last month to dish about blogging, style, and why she barely does NYFW.
Faith Bowman: You started out in China, but you were too shy for streetstyle and starting shooting yourself. Stylistically, how would you describe yourself?
Ashley Rudolph: I can never answer that question! It's so hard...
FB: Because there's a lot of different facets to your look?
AR: Yeah, yeah. I don't neccesarily... I know what I like? But I don't feel like I have one set style. So it's hard to describe.
FB: It fluctuates?
FB: When do you think you first started learning about fashion?
AR: Definitely, I got more into it when I lived in France and China. I lived in France before I lived in China.
FB: Did you live in Paris
AR: Lyonne. I liked Lyonne more than I liked Paris. More laid-back and the people are friendlier.
FB: So, your first big shoe investment was Stuart Weitzman, what was your firstt big bag purchase?
AR: To be honest I don't spend that much money on bags.
FB: You're more of a shoe person? Who are your 4 favorite shoe designers?
AR: Stuart Weitzman, Manolo, for sure, Jimmy Choo, and... I like designers who stick to a more classic silhouette. I don't really like the platform silhouette at all. Christian Louboutin has some classic pumps that I like, but I'm more of a Jimmy Choo person. I do like some of the Proenza shoes.
FB: Did you ever think of going into writing for magazines or going into editing?
AR: No. I'm not a writer. I have no interest in writing. Nope.
FB: Shut up, Ashley! (laughs)
AR: I have a blog, but I am not a writer! I can't write stories, I can only write short pieces of content. I'm fine with it, but if you ask me to write anything lengthy? I die.
FB: You're hilarious. Most people don't admit that.
AR: No, I'm not a writer. I don't pretend to be.
FB: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you see yourself still blogging , still being involved with fashion?
AR: I'd like to be blogger 2.0 by that point. I don't necessarily want to be the blogger thing where I'm just partnering with bands, taking pictures and posting them on my blog. Like, what's next? Am I actually creating experiences for brands, like Sparkle and Sip 2.0? Am I hosting intimate events for tastemakers? Am I creating a brand experience? I want to see myself at the next level.
I don't aspire to be a superblogger, but I do aspire to be something else.
FB: I think that's very smart. I think that's where it's going, because if everybody's a blogger- you have to be 3 or 4 steps ahead of that.
AR: Yeah. Like actually making an impact in people's lives. I think people are smarter than they were 2 years ago. You could just put something on your blog and they would buy it. But now they're questioning if you really like or if you just got it for free. People are smarter than that.
FB: It does seem very odd that there are so many, many bloggers posting pictures of themselves as if they go to the couture. Because now they all focus on themselves, and it's no longer a question of being valid but to me, it's a question of being realistic. If everyone is selling, who's buying? So weird.
AR: It's crazy.
FB: Are you going to be doing Fashion Week? Are you doing anything?
AR: I always do Costello... that's my favorite show during Fashion Week.
AR: Yeah. I like their show. So I'll probably go to their show. I don't plan to do the whole, 5 shows a day Fashion Week thing? I'll probably go to 5 shows. I did that whole hing and it's just so tiring. It's crazy!
And then, I don't like the scene at Fashion Wek anymore. There's just too many people who go there, and stand outside of Lincoln Center, aren't even invited to shows? They just dress up so that they can get photographed. What's the point?
FB: Have you seen the man in the Big Fur Suit?
FB: I actually avoided him. I knew he wanted his picture taken, so I deliberately avoided him. (laughs)
AR: And then, all the streetstyle photographers are taking pictures of bloggers...
FB: Who are getting paid to wear the clothes.
AR: Right! It's a cycle
FB: I just have to ask you, what do you use on your skin? It is literally glowing!
AR:My secret? (laughs) So what I've been doing this summer is that I go for a monthly chemical peel at the dermatologist. That's been my summer secret.
FB:Well you have the clearest skin, so that summer secret is definitely working.
AR: Those chemical peels? I live by them now. At first I was scared, because I remembered that episode of Sex in the City where Samantha ended up wearing that beekeeper mask? I talked to my dermatologist about it- like are you setting me up for success or failure in life if i do this?
FB: You are hilarious! I think she went to a spa and then tried to go out the same night.
AR: I haven't had a bad reaction to it.
FB: When you're 50 you're gonna look like 30.
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