Courtesy of Ashley Robles-Rasgado.

Three questions with BFA Fashion Design student Ashley Robles-Rasgado

Second year BFA Fashion Design student Ashley Robles-Rasgado is striving for a more connected world through accessibility in fashion. Here she shares her thoughts on community, inspiration, and hearing the needs of others.

Photo of Ashley Robles-Rasgado.

Ashley Robles-Rasgado (BFA Fashion Design)

Ashley Robles-Rasgado spoke at CCA’s 2023 annual gala, and currently serves as a student council leader. Earning many scholarships and awards, Ashley finds that a hug from her parents is the best reward after working hard toward graduation as a first-generation college student. Spreading kindness through listening and empowering, Ashley invites people to explore a better, more understanding society.

We bring you this Three Questions series to move beyond lines on a CV and share what is important to us as designers and educators with the CCA community.

How does the element of surprise function in your work and life?

I like to be inspired by anything and everything. When I go out walking I look at the colors of the trees and the sky, I look at people and their outfits, and I imagine different variations. In my life, when I am struggling I look at all the possibilities around me. I don’t like to feel stuck in one place, I like to move forward even if it means that I have to completely change the way I was thinking. This has influenced my creative process a lot. When I have an assignment and I’m confused I like to go out for a walk with my boyfriend. We have these fun days, we go for a hike, or on a boat, or spend the day in a park or the mall, and I see all these colors and all these people and their emotions and I really, really want to capture all of that in my work. So I guess you could say that I let the world surprise me and I use that surprise to inspire my work.

How are you building community at CCA right now?

I work in student council as a communications assistant senior fellow. Our division does events for students where we get to know them and do something that's mellow, as a break from class work and any other worries they might have. I like this opportunity to talk with students and learn more about how other majors and other grades are doing things, and their best techniques to relax. It’s also a time to make more friends. I really like engaging with my community and knowing who my peers are and supporting them in their journeys in design.

What is your favorite part of the design process?

My favorite part of the design process is getting to know my audience and who I’m designing for. As a fashion designer it’s really easy to fall into your own tastes, and your own likes and needs, but I feel it’s really important to hear the needs of others in order to make your work accessible. And that means religion, size, and preferences, all of those things I like to take into account to make not only garments, but design as a whole more accessible for everyone to enjoy. I think sometimes the fashion industry and even design more broadly can be a little bit exclusive. I know I felt that way when I first came here, and that fashion was only for some people and that I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I realized that change is possible and it’s up to us, young designers to make that change and be the rainbow during the storm.

—Saraleah Fordyce, faculty Critical Studies program
April 16, 2024