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Ashley Smith and RVCA Do It Up Downtown

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Ashley Smith x RVCAWhile the rest of the city was braving subzero temperatures last night, the crew in the downstairs den at Acme in New York was hot for model Ashley Smith and her first collection for California-based lifestyle brand RVCA. “You know, I’ve gained a lot of respect for designers,” Smith told Style.com. “I had no idea how time-consuming and research-oriented designing a collection would be…luckily I had this amazing team behind me.”

Her debut collection (below), which is the first of six, is full of playful separates: flouncy skirts, letterman cardigans, and cropped sweaters. “I designed the clothes around what I would want to wear and what my friends would want to wear,” said Smith, who turned up to the event wearing her designs. “And it plays on the idea of opposites—being this tomboy in Texas and the girl I am today in New York.”

According to Smith, the project came together organically over drinks at the Mercer Hotel following an introduction by photographer Mike Piscatelli. “When it happens, it just happens,” offered RVCA founder PM Tenore. “We like to work with different people of varying subcultures—whether it’s artists, designers, surfers, or skaters—and branch out. RVCA is really a platform for talented people like Ashley Smith or Erin [Wasson, a former collaborator] to showcase their passion and hard work…there’s no formula otherwise.”

Ashley Smith x RCVA

The two brought together a coterie of cool kids, including model Kyleigh Kuhn, Andrej Pejic, and Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine, as well as artists like Ryan McGinness. “It’s very fun,” Kuhn said of the designs. “Ashley has such a personality here in the downtown New York scene, and she’s breathing this new life and energy into RVCA’s women’s brand, which is exciting.”

So what can fans expect to see next from Smith? “I just finished my designs for the second collection, which is just as good as the first, if not better,” she said. “I was inspired by seventies denim…I just love denim!”

Priced between $16 and $315, Ashley Smith x RVCA will be available on RVCA’s Web site starting in August.

Photos: BFAnyc.com; Sandy Kim

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