AROUND TOWN: Ashley L. Vargas

A former CollegeFashionista Style Guru and a recent Penn State graduate hopes to someday be a big name in fashion. She has had the opportunity to work for awesome brands like Cosmopolitan, Seventeen and ASOS, just to name a few. She has turned her hobby into a career by starting her own fashion company, ALV, which sells everything from necklaces to denim jackets. My interview with this Fashionista gives us a sneak peek into how she built her success, along with everything her brand has to offer.

Name: Ashley L. Vargas

Role: Fashion designer and Merchandiser

CollegeFashionista: Tell us a little bit about ALV and who inspired you most to start your own company?

Ashley Vargas: Starting a fashion company has been my ultimate career goal. I always wanted to do it, but I never knew how to go about starting. A few weeks before graduation, I bought Sophia Amoruso’s book #GIRLBOSS. I was completely inspired by Amoruso’s entrepreneurial, go-getter attitude. She had nothing and built an empire. On Christmas day, I made my dream a reality after my mom encouraged me to go for it. I spent the rest of the week glued to my computer building a website, buying merchandise, photographing products and building ALV. A few all-nighters later, ALV was live and running with customers.

CF: Now that you have started your own company, which designers or celebs do you draw inspiration from for your own designs?

AV: I really look up to Diane von Furstenberg. I’m currently reading her book, The Woman I Wanted to Be, which I highly recommend to young women with big dreams. I am always inspired by her fun, flirty designs and her overall desire to make women feel confident. I am also obsessed with Kendall Jenner’s style. No matter what outfit she rocks, it is always effortless and sexy. However, I have to say my products and company was inspired by Sarah Jessica Parker’s style in Sex and the City. Her character, Carrie Bradshaw, took fashion risks, wore vintage, and mixed current trends into her outfits. That is what ALV is all about.

CF: Do you have any advice for Fashionistas who are interested in starting their own company in the future?

AV: This moment, right now, is the best time to start your company. I always said I’m going to have my own fashion company someday, but I just didn’t know how to do it right now. In reality, I knew how to, I just had to believe in myself. If you really want to do it, you can make it happen. Persistence is key. The idea of ALV was always in my head, but it took one week to make it reality. Coffee, sleepless nights and endless vintage pieces later, ALV was created. It is one of my biggest accomplishments thus far.

Learn More: Visit this Fashionista’s website to learn more about her company and brand. Maybe even purchase a floral statement necklace just in time for spring!