Friends of The Brand: Ashley Cimone

Ashley lives in Brooklyn, NY and spends her time dreaming up the perfect bag as a designer at Ashya.

Style through


What’s your favorite thing about William Okpo?

I love the the duality of playfullness and timelessness in each collection. How you ladies take classic shapes and add a whimsical touch with different accents and interesting fabric choices is great. W.O. speaks to so many different types of women and I love that.

Describe your personal style:

My style has evolved over the years. I used to wear lots of colors and prints all at the same time, and I just knew I was fly lol. I was definitely known for my funky hats and self-made Homecoming outfits.

Now, I'd say my personal style is reflective of where I am in life and what interests me. I wear what makes me feel good, value quality over quantity, and love a touch of quirkiness. One thing that's always remained consistent though, is my obsession with sheer fabrics and leather.

If you could wear one William Okpo piece for the rest of your life what would it be?

Probably the Yasmine top. Do I get different colors?



New York


Tell us about growing up in Wisconsin and your journey to NY.

I grew up in suburbia. It was peaceful you could say, but a bit limited. Milwaukee really sparked my wanderlust. I lived for fiction literature, fashion magazines, and art class.

I grew up in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, with predominantly white classmates, and the most exciting things to do were Summer Fest, hanging out at the mall, and riding to the YMCA to watch cute boys play basketball. My family was the first black family in my neighborhood and we were the two girls next door's introduction to African Americans. I had some interesting conversations growing up to say the least.

I always dreamed of my New York City loft and being constantly surrounded by open and creative minds. Curiosity lead me to NYC. I left Milwaukee for college, first stopping in North Carolina to study Business Marketing at a Historical Black University in Greensboro (because I craved an academic space with more faces like mine). That experience was amazing, but Greensboro's pace was too slow for me.

I convinced my parents to support a semester off in NYC so that I could intern and really figure out what interested me career wise. I'd taken a summer course at FIT prior, Fashion Shows From Start Up To Runway, and fell in love. From there, I decided to transfer to FIT, and I've been in NYC ever since. New York is such an eye opening city. I've been exposed to so much culture, such richness, and would never trade the experiences I've had here or the friends I've made. Plus, the food is pretty damn amazing.

I've been exposed to so much culture, such richness, and would never trade the experiences I've had or the friends I've made.




What's your weekend meditation routine?

My weeks seem to just blend together nowadays, but I pray in the mornings, sketch when I have down time, and oddly, Soulcycle is extremely meditative for me.

Nicki Minaj or Remy Ma?

Neither, rap battles aren't really my thing.

What's your secret talent?

I'm a decent painter.

What country would you most love to visit?


What would be the title of your autobiography?

Butterfly or Work in Progress

Waffles or Pancakes?

Blueberry ricotta pancakes with 100% maple syrup.

Welcome to William Okpo

PHOTO CREDIT: Ashley Jo Wilson

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  • This article is what I wish I could have written about my life at the age of my niece. I love the story that each piece of clothing tells. I think you should always wear what you want to say with your mouth , however you allow your clothes to speak your own individual language of the day. Wonderful article.

    Constance Jones on

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