The term sneakerhead has become so loosely used, it’s hard to believe when you find someone who has almost 100 pairs of sneakers at the ready. We looked to the south and found Ashley in North Cackalack and will gladly hand her the title.
Ashley spends her days working in sales for Dell and in her best time running a food and style blog with her friend, Bite Our Style. The site features recipes, restaurant stops, and of course dope fashion. Being a WOC in tech and a sneakerhead is a unique combo. Get into Ashley’s thoughts on women in the tech industry and why she loves Dimepiece below.
CGS: Being an avid shoe collector and t-shirt wearer, you have to be genuinely into the culture. How did you start getting into streetwear and sneakers?
Ashley: I have always been into sneakers for as long as I can remember. My mom would to try to put me in dresses as a little girl, and I would fight to wear the clothes that I wanted—sneakers, jeans and t-shirts. Eventually, she gave up lol. We would go on international trips as a family when I was younger. While my parents wanted to sight-see, I was more concerned with hitting up the top sneaker shops and coming back with the most exclusive shoes. There came a point when my mom said she wouldn’t keep supporting my sneaker habit. So, I got a job at Finish Line when I was 16, took advantage of the discounts, and collected even more sneakers. Around the same time, I also started falling in love with brands like 10Deep, Crooks & Castles and Married to the Mob. As I got older, my love for sneakers and streetwear evolved as my personal style matured.
What are your go to sources of inspiration for looks and new shoes/streetwear to get into?
I’m inspired by what I think will look dope on me and pieces that can showcase my individuality. I pay close attention to different styles and take notice if I like certain pieces that someone may be wearing whether in person or on Instagram. If I like a piece, I’ll research the brand myself and search for more merchandise. That's usually how I find new brands to start rocking. I also love following @AlealiMay and @juicegee on IG, they’re goals and super cozy like me.
Give us the run down of your top 5 favorite sneakers of all time, in your closet or on your list to cop.
Ah man, top five of all time is so tough!
My top 5 list to cop (in no order):
· Adidas x Pharrell “Human Race” NMD (Yellow/Black)
· Yeezy Boost 750 “Triple Black”
· Air Max Plus - Olive Green
· KITH x Adidas Consortium UltraBOOST Mid
· Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red October”
My top 5 sneakers in my closet would have to be:
1. Air Max 97 – Metallic Gold/ Varsity Red
2. Jordan 8 Retro - Ice Blue
3. Nike Air Max Plus – Logan Berry
4. Lebron 7 “All-Star” Chlorine Blue
5. Yeezy Boost 350 “Oxford Tan”
Being a woman in streetwear, we've noticed that it either can be that we are shot from a male perspective or our femininity comes into question. Have you ever dealt with that and if so, how did you handle it? What are your thoughts?
I dealt with other people questioning my femininity when I was younger. I played basketball and wore sneakers, so people tried to stereotype me as a “tom boy”. I was always confident in myself and I never felt any less feminine because of my clothing choices. I just wear what feels comfortable to me. I have always felt just as sexy in a jersey and sneakers as I do in a dress and heels. I think that the perception of what it means to be feminine is evolving from day to day. For our generation, femininity isn’t black and white. What it means to be feminine is much more than just a piece of clothing.
Working within a tech environment is a big moment right now for women and especially women of color. Have you experienced in challenges in your field, what has your experience been like?
I absolutely love technology and the tech industry. I haven’t experienced many major challenges but I would like to see more people of color working in the tech industry moving forward. I plan to work towards improving diversity in the tech industry as I take the next steps in my career. Specifically, continuing to be a mentor to young women of color and encouraging people of color to pursue careers in tech and entrepreneurship.
Tech and then being cozy are two different worlds, do you feel like you combine them with your blog Bite Our Style?
We definitely combine being cozy and tech with Bite Our Style. Our Stylin’ Saturday posts are a reflection of our true styles and what outfits are comfortable to us. For me, I’m a cozy person so that’s what I tend to showcase to our followers. Also, technology and social media have made it possible to communicate and expose Bite Our Style to thousands of people on a daily basis. Tech is also about being innovative and creating products that users don’t realize that they need until it’s available to them. We’ve combined all of these aspects with Bite Our Style. We are constantly creating new content for our followers and thinking of new recipes, styles and tips that our followers will find useful.
What inspired Bite Our Style and what do you hope to achieve with it? The site looks awesome.
Nikki (my co-founder) and I both love food and fashion. She would always think of new recipes to cook during the week and on the weekends and we would explore the Charlotte scene for new and popping restaurants. We wanted to create a platform for young and stylish millennials like us who are in search for good food and fun vibes. Our site offers recipes for a quick meal after work, or something fancy for when you want to impress that special someone. We rate our recipes based on the likelihood of you winning bae’s love and affection and match them with songs to set the vibe. We’ve reviewed some of the best restaurants so that you know what to order, and we offer #StylinSaturdays for outfit inspiration so that you can stunt when you go out. We wanted more than just a food or fashion blog; we wanted to help curate a lifestyle from one easily accessible platform. Bite Our Style started off initially as just a blog, and now it is a company. We hope to expand our partnerships and for Bite Our Style to become a household name and movement for millennials in the future.
You've mentioned some of your favorite brands are Supreme, Joyrich, BAPE, and Dimepiece. A brand solely catered to women is so rare these days, what is it about Dimepiece that keeps you hooked?
There are a lot of streetwear brands that have women’s items, but there are few brands that are made solely for women. That’s the reason why I love Dimepiece. The first item that I purchased was a t-shirt from the Ain’t No Wifey line. I love a t-shirt with a catchy saying on it, and their pieces match my personal style extremely well. Then, they dropped the “Dimepiece Dashiki” and that's when they really became bae!
What would you like to see for women and their representation within the streetwear industry?
I’d like to see more women streetwear influencers. I would also like to see the current female influencers in the industry gain more visibility.
What are your #CGSEssentials? (these are 5 items that keep your lifestyle cozy. it can be shoes, clothing, tech, beauty, etc)
1. A comfortable pair of running sneakers—I have fallen in love with Adidas UltraBOOST lately.
2. A hockey jersey is my go-to super cozy item.
3. A good jogger—I have some grey Nike sweats for lounging around the house and running errands. Also, I have BAPE camo sweats for stepping out.
4. I also have to have dad hats in my #CSGEssentials. My favorite is my Joyrich Signature Denim hat.
5. Finally, my Warby Parker Haskell glasses are a must.
As we try to continue to uplift and inspire other women, do you have any words of encouragement for other girls out there?
Just be you and let your creativity shine! Don't be afraid to be different and be innovative. Never let anyone or anything limit you—that applies personally and professionally.