We recently caught up with local fashion designer Ashley Wallace, designer, and owner of Buckhead’s newest boutique on East Andrews, House of Wallace. She grew up on the West Coast but proudly calls Atlanta home where she’s making a mark with her eponymous label, her extraordinary style and a commitment to give back to the city she’s fallen in love with.
Q: What do you miss about Los Angeles and what do you love about Atlanta?
A: That’s easy. I miss the sound of the ocean and my family. I go back west as often as I can and always make time by the water and to catch up with friends and my parents and sister. But, I adore Atlanta and the people. In my almost three years living here, I’ve definitely put down roots which is big coming from a girl who refused to sign a one year lease while living in LA. I’ve also made two close friends, who are also local designers, which has been really special.
Q: You are both designer and entrepreneur, but do you favor one over the other?
A: I would say that I’m more naturally a designer. It’s instinctive like the natural part in my hair. My father is an entrepreneur and he absolutely has been an influence. I very much value his opinion, and his input will always be part of my plan. On our weekly Tuesday touch-base calls (disclaimer: 10:30 pm EST), he’s always asking “Ash, what’s your next play?” He has taught me never to sit on the status quo. That’s been the inspiration for the brand’s tagline, Escape the Ordinary.
Q: What’s it like to see someone on the streets of Buckhead wearing your House of Wallace label?
A: It’s really the ultimate compliment but very humbling at the same time. I don’t know whether to run and hug them or break down and cry.
Q: Who are your favorite designers and why?
A: I have several … but if I had to pick my top three right now I’d go with Valentino because I love the edgy, rock star vibe; I appreciate Rag & Bone for its spin on the classics, and you can never go wrong with Balmain for the ultimate statement piece.
Q: How would you describe your personal style?
A: True to my personality, I’m a little hard to nail down. I fall somewhere between edgy and preppy. Always inspired to try a new look or style, it’s anyone’s guess as to what I might walk into a room wearing. Last fall I couldn’t get enough jumpsuits. This fall I’m all about tops –specifically off-the-shoulder tops – which are odd for someone who grew up wearing dresses and sets. I am my mother’s girly girl. With my fall collection out this month – a collaboration with influencer Harrison White- you’ll definitely find a lot of my personal style in the new pieces.
Q: Please share more about your shopping program that gives back to local causes,
A: Absolutely. It’s called Shop for a Cause and it’s simply that. We keep the store open after hours to host a shopping event for a local nonprofit or charity and we donate proceeds of total sales from the event. There’s a basic application and it’s open to all nonprofits. We like to think that shopping brings people together. And of course, giving back is the ultimate fashion statement.
House of Wallace
56 E. Andrews Dr., NW