If you’re born and raised in New York, there’s two things you definitely know—sneakers and the hustle. Twenty-two year old Brooklyn native Ashley Bone is more than familiar with both, as she grew up loving sneakers and juggles her job as a stylist and merchandiser and work with NYC running crews like Undo-Ordinary and the Bridgerunners. Ashley’s brother and sister put her on to sneakers at an early age, and she remembers putting her first pairs of Jordans through hell while playing basketball. If you ask her whether running or shoes came first, she’s quick to reply—“Shoes first. Running became just another excuse to buy more.” Keep reading to find out what drives her and visit her Instagram (@ashjbone) for more of her style.
MN: Did you always know what you wanted to dodo when you grow up?
AB: Growing up, I was a nerd at heart, [I was in] biology and art clubs. The arts played an important role in my life and I began to compete in national art contests throughout my adolescent years. Once I hit high school, it got real and I opted to study nursing with a path to a Pre-Med program. The stigma of the starving artist scared me a bit and receiving a scholarship to the program solidified my decision. Funny how God works because [eventually] I came to a realization that I needed to manifest my [creative] dreams. I left the program, graduated college and took some time off to work full-time as a merchandiser. I was accepted to Parson’s School of Design and the rest is history. There’s still so much more to conquer as I keep working to become who I’m called to be.
MN: Could you tell me a little about how you got into styling?
AB: At age 16, I started out learning the ropes to visual merchandising for local Brooklyn shops that carried men’s and women’s streetwear. Eventually, I worked as a menswear merchandiser for large retail companies–my aesthetic to clothing always had an androgynous appeal. And it just felt relative. From there, I branched out to freelance. Styling was a hobby, turned side gig. At first, I did it for fun–dots connected, and I just ran with it. New York has really influenced me as an artist and I’m blessed to have a network of wonderful friends and creatives who support me and challenge me.
MN: I see you’re an avid runner and you’re involved with Undo-Ordinary. I see their stuff all over the place—what exactly is it?
AB: I started running when I craved something more from my city. I needed a challenge. I wanted to set a goal and I wanted to surpass it, So I immediately decided I would run a marathon. I was running solo for some time before I started running with my good friend Samantha Alonso of Fruition LV. I started running with the Undo-Ordinary crew, caught the bug and never stopped. The streets for us are very much a runway where fashion meets sport. In essence, that is what Undo-Ordinary is. It consists of a group of creative, resilient women from all walks of life who run for a cause and look good doing it.
MN: How about the Bridgerunners?
AB: The Bridgerunners are the OG’s of the running crews. The running community is a family and we show each other love on international levels. We all motivate each other to go longer, harder and faster. Bridgerunners takes running to an extreme level, though—I’m talking 100 mile runs and its a beautiful thing because running can be very much mental. If I’m not running or pacing a fellow runner, then I’m styling shoots and events for Undo-Ordinary.
MN: Favorite spots to run around the city? And to refuel?
AB: Some favorites of mine include the Williamsburg Bridge, the Verrezanno Bridge, the Financial District [and general] downtown area, and any beautiful beach. To refuel…too many too list!
MN: Music you’re listening to when you’re running?
AB: Anything that gets my blood pumping… Right now I’m listening to Ye, Ferg, Beyonce’s new album and Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt. That or the sound of Mother Nature.
MN: Style is definitely a big thing for you even when you’re running. What’s your process of getting dressed?
AB: When I’m running, I’m usually wearing leggings with bright, interesting patterns, a hoody around the waist, a sports bra, and I’m ready to go. It all depends on the weather, of course. I’m all about layers and leggings for eccentricity! On the regular, I dress according to my mood. I usually revolve my outfit around one staple piece and I go on from there. I don’t like to put too much thought into my outfits—I’d rather approach the process with little effort so that it stays fun and organic. I enjoy a nice blend of luxury and street… That’s pretty typical for me. I’m also big on outerwear and shoes–the rest is fairly simple.
MN: What inspires you?
AB: Art and the change of seasons inspire me and what I am exposed to on a daily basis, whether it be an object, song, conversation, or world culture. Anything tangible or intangible inspires me greatly.
MN: What sneakers are you using to run right now, and can we find you in sneakers when you’re not running?
AB: At the moment I’m running in Flyknits. Its good for heel support and light-weight flexibility during long distance runs. When I’m not running, I’m wearing a bit of everything. My current rotation includes the Alexander Wang cutout-heel Kori boots, the Isabel Marant Bobby sneakers, a pair of all white Roshe Run Nikes IDs, Celine slip on sneakers and the Flyknit lunar 1+.
MN: Favorite performance-based technology that you can’t live without?
AB: Nike’s Dri-Fit technology is essential and Ice Cold NY’s reflective gear is pretty dope. The weather conditions can sometimes be unnerving and [wearing these] really make a difference.