Fashion Master Conner Ashley

This week’s profile features someone that not many of you may know, but someone you definitely will soon, Conner Ashley. Conner is a current second year student at DU majoring in strategic communications & film studies and production. He is also pursuing a minor in marketing. In his free time some of Conner’s hobbies include acting in theatre, modeling, videography, creating films, fashion and being surrounded by his friends, and of course working, working, working! Conner is however, a very busy man. “Having three part-time jobs and starting a company means not much time for my hobbies.”

What is this company you ask? “Saint Claude is a clothing line and online fashion company that I have dreamt of starting for many years. You can visit the website at SaintClaudeApparel.com. Saint Claude is all about bringing style and fashion to women at affordable prices. It’s urban chic apparel for women. I hope I can start menswear by the next F/W season, but if not, Saint Claude will definitely feature menswear by 2017. With Saint Claude I am creating a brand and a lifestyle.” Conner explains. Saint Claude is a mix of Conner’s personal style but also has many different influences, while still maintaining a balance between classic styles and urban trends. Some of the inspirations for Saint Claude include Balmain, Givenchy and Saint Laurent.

Conner also shared his journey to starting his own fashion line. “I’ve probably been interested in fashion for as long as I can remember but I started to really become interested in high school. I loved how fashion was used as an art form. I want somebody to look at my clothes and feel they can express themselves and be whoever they want to be and feel confident wearing the clothes.”

Starting your own business isn’t easy, especially on top of school. Conner, however is handling it like a champ. In response to being asked if there are challenges to starting a fashion line he said “Is that even a question? Just kidding; of course there are! It takes so much hard work, dedication and discipline. It’s not as simple as creating some designs and tada! You have a clothing line. You have to not only have a creative artistic look but you have to be business savvy, know about marketing and advertising, know about product pricing, and web developing. It is really difficult. I spend hours a day working on something for Saint Claude. I also work 3 other part time jobs right now just so I can afford to start the company. It’s a lot of money, dedication and risk.”

You are probably wondering what Conner's first collection will feature: “the Saint Claude S/S 2016 collection will feature about 20 pieces ranging from bottoms, tops, jackets, to dresses. The pieces are perfect for spring and summer. There are some really nice colors: blacks, whites, pale blues, pale pinks and some beiges. The collection a lot more feminine than I thought I would ever create but there is a great balance of femininity with an urban tone. Overall, I think people are really going to like the collection.”

If he could give any fashion advice to college students it would be, “keep it simple. Ditch the graphic tees and large logos. Having a lot of simple pieces to mix and match is a great idea. I’m all about minimalism and adding a bag, scarf or accessory to add texture to your outfit. If you have just a few really great, classic pieces then you can mix and match to make numerous different outfits.”  

We asked when we can expect to see Saint Claude, and Conner answered, “the first collection S/S 2016 (Spring/Summer) will be coming out in March (hopefully March 1st). I have completed the designs and styles and selected the pieces for the collection now I am just waiting for the final production phase. We are going to amp up advertising and marketing in February in anticipation for the collections release in March, just in time for spring.”

Sound's like Conner Ashley is going to be a name to watch out for on campus. Keep your eyes peeled for Saint Claude's first collection coming soon and don't forget to like the page on Facebook!