This Fashionista always looks fierce. She is as sweet as she is stylish and she always lights up a room with her vibrant personality. Even in her interview, you can catch a glimpse of her beautiful heart for people and genuine warmth. One of my favorite memories with her is when we camped out all night in the pouring rain and cold last month at the Chicago e-Drop Off Charity Warehouse sale together like true die-hard Fashionistas. When the sun rose and the rest of our friends and I entered the warehouse and rashly bought as many (and as large) bags as we could fill, this Fashionista calmly chose two smaller $20 bags to carry her purchases and carefully choice key, quality pieces that the rest of us were envious of after the mayhem ended. She is even wearing one of her purchases, her gray Zara coat, in this shoot. After that day, my respect for her multiplied by 20. It's my greatest pleasure to introduce you to this week's Fashionista…
Name: Ashley Monet Mackey
Grade: 4th year
Major: Public Policy
College Fashionista: How would you describe your style and what inspires it?
Ashley Mackey: As for my style, it includes sleek inspired street wear, casual staples, eccentric dresses. I definitely love playing with volume and textures–lace, velvet…
CF: Coming from New York to Chicago, do you think your style has changed moving to the midwest or do you still hold true to your east coast roots?
AM: I definitely think my style has remained consistent with my Brooklyn roots in a lot of ways, however, I have also developed some chi-town trends—layering in particular.
CF: What do you love most about fall? (This doesn't have to be fashion related but if it is, that's cool too!)
AM: I love the layering of clothes, the leaves, trenchcoats, minimalist wear, my BIRTHDAY (A September baby), regular flights to and from Brooklyn, the cozy nights with candles and Erykah Badu and The Foreign Exchange playing in the background. All that good stuff.
CF: What three pieces in your closet can you not live without?
AM: I SO cannot live without my Michelle Tan overcoat, my raspberry velvet leggings and my SWAG. Those and also, a ring, any ring, but a ring-middle finger, all the time.
CF: Do you have a specific shopping mentality or any advice?
AM: 1. Always buy things that are flattering to your particular body shape. Colors and shapes vary per person. Try things out, learn what works and rock what works.
2. QUALITY over quantity. ALWAYS.
3. Don't forget about the thrift shops! They have hidden gems all throughout!
4. I never shop for shoes when I need shoes. Instead, I shop for them casually—it makes shopping less stressful.
5. Remember, trends are for now, style is forever.
How To: This Fashionista is an inspiration to me not just as a style maverick, but as a beautiful, intelligent woman. She is one of the warmest, most genuine people you will ever meet, and I'm blessed to call her a dear friend. To copy this casual, chic look, pair your favorite skinny jeans with black suede booties. Add some color on top in a warm floral print. And don't forget a classic double breasted wool coat and cozy scarf to complete this never-fail fall outfit.