Upon meeting Ashleigh Parsons, she emulates such a beautiful sense of warmth and ease that you instantaneously want to be her friend. Part activist and part entrepreneur, she’s one-half of the creative duo behind the Los Angeles restaurant Alma, and the founder of the mindfulness and wellness program for children, Alma Community Outreach. We were so excited to spend a sunny winter day in Malibu with Ashleigh foraging the local market, exploring the coastline, and learning about her inspiring non-linear journey.

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First off! Take us back to the conception of your SS18 collection. Can you tell us about the design process? (Where do you start? A color palette, materials, theme?)

 

We designed this collection between Barcelona and Elche, which is where we manufacture our shoes (and is also Ernest’s home town). Elche is like a sea of palm trees in the middle of a very dry landscape and inspired a collection very reminiscent of the Southern Mediterranean.

The sun, Mediterranean breeze, the sea and the reflections it makes... we took this unique tonal landscape and tried to contrast it with color. This colorful collection pays special attention on details and settings, like rounded rings and hexagon heals. Materials and textures are always important, and we tried to maintain Mediterranean authenticity as we incorporated multiple fabrics.  

 
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Three words to describe the About Arianne SS18 collection? Who do you envision wearing your pieces?

Fresh, elegant, and charming.

We envision a very strong woman who knows herself well. She’s versatile and can take our shoes from day to night with ease.

 

 
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Tell us about your studio space and neighborhood. How does your community influence your collections?

Our studio-showroom is located in Poble Nou district, an industrial area in Barcelona that has been changing a lot and is now a space full of young creatives. Building spaces here are very large and bright with big windows, which we love. Nowadays you’ll find a lot of designers studios, art schools and galleries, cozy restaurants and cafes, and cultural expositions here. All of this stimulates our creativity and helps us meet people who we can collaborate with.

 

 
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We know that design is only a small part of running your own business. What do you love most about your job that has nothing to do with design?

We love so many aspects of our work, but one of our favorite parts is compiling the collection and pulling the whole image together, from lookbooks to photo shoots. It’s so multidimensional; we get to get involved in art direction, styling, casting, photographers, layout... We also love working on brand design.

 

 
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Do you have a 2018 mantra you want to live by? What were you passionate about this year and what are you looking forward to next year?

Our mantra for this year would be to live calmly and enjoy even what may seem routine, to notice the things you otherwise wouldn’t pay attention to when immersed in work.

Work-wise we are working on a few exciting new projects that will be released throughout 2018, but that’s all we can share for now!

 
 
 
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