Celebrity Stylist Ashley North On Why Integrity Is the True Key to Success
Photos: Ashley North
From the looks of her Instagram, Ashley North may seem like she's living the care-free life of a celebrity stylist. In reality, the Fashion Mamas LA member didn't simply waltz into her red carpet-filled career: She's proof that earning your dream job is possible if you're willing to work twice as hard, eager to learn at every little step of the way, and determined to stay true to yourself and your path. The superstar stylist now has her very own roster of celebrity clients, including Kevin Hart (who nabbed a best-dressed nod, thanks to her), Justin Bieber, Usher, Ludacris, and more leading men in music and movies.
This month, she's set to launch her own lifestyle label, starting with a line of sensual candles. Here, the mother of two explains her career path from Seattle to the City of Angels, her favorite family-friendly spots in LA, what it really takes to become a celebrity stylist, and more — read it all below.
What are the names and ages of your kids?
My daughters are Charly (6) and Chayce (1-and-a-half).
In a nutshell, tell us about your career journey: How'd you get to where you are today?
After I graduated from college was when I realized I wanted to pursue a career in fashion so I moved from Seattle to LA. I started off as an assistant to some amazing stylists working with people like Usher, Ludacris, and Eddie Murphy, then went on to work with a partner on some really fun projects with Justin Bieber and J Cole, and now I'm on my own working with my long-term client Kevin Hart as well as other clients. More recently I started working on building a lifestyle brand and I am launching my candle line [this month]!
What's one of your most memorable moments of your career so far?
I've had a lot of memorable moments while styling. I've worked with a lot of really amazing celebrities, been backstage at some of the biggest award shows and television shows, working with Justin Bieber and Usher was awesome, getting Kevin on the best dressed list for the Golden Globes was another amazing moment. And the thing that I love most about my job is the fact that it is so rewarding and I’m constantly creating new amazing moments as I go!
What's a typical day look like for you?
The one thing that I love about my job is that every day is different! It's not monotonous at all which is great. But a typical day starts out with my two daughters, getting my oldest ready for school and dropping her off. Then I usually head to work out before starting my work day. Work can consist of shopping for a client, prepping a job, being on set, and meetings.
How has motherhood changed your approach to your business?
I think being a mother has given me so much more drive. It’s about more than just me now. I want to be someone that my daughters can look up to and be proud of. I have a purpose that is beyond just being successful — I want to create a legacy!
What emerging grown-up and kids labels are the most exciting to you right now?
For grown-ups, FeNoel is one of my new faves in terms of emerging designers, Kyna collection from Paris, Orseund Iris, and Cotton Citizen is amazing for basics! I’m also super excited that John Elliott, which is one of my favorites for men, recently launched a women’s line.
Where are a few of your favorite family-friendly places to go in LA?
We love The Grove, it’s a fun place to let the kids run wild and network with other moms, and we sometime visit Westfield at Topanga to grab ice cream and let the girls play with other children. I also love Au Fudge, Kidspace Children’s Museum, and the Discovery Cube.
What's your top advice for someone who wants to be successful in your field?
The first piece of advice that I like to give aspiring stylists is to definitely pursue assistant work with a stylist that they admire. I think it's important to learn the game before just jumping in and there's really no class that can teach you styling. The best way to learn is from someone who has been successful at it. You have to be bold and persistent in this line of work because there are a lot of people who want to be stylists right now. Take the initiative to track down a stylist that you like and ask to intern with them. The worst thing they can say is no and then move on to the next.
My last piece of advice is to always keep your integrity. This business can be difficult but I think if your remain true to who you are you will always come out on top.