Ashley-Victoria Smith of is a member of the Female Founders Collective, founded by designer, Rebecca Minkoff and has been featured in Thrive Global | Fashion Week Online | Swim Week Calendar | Swim Journal | CEO Blog Nation | | Authority Magazine and is a registered buyer for lingerie & swimwear for CurveNYC.

Ashley-Victoria Smith

What is your background? My career background is marketing. I am talking about B2B, cold calls, knocking on doors, carbon copy paper sales/marketing. It was when your MySpace account was trending. 

Where are you located? Currently based in the Queen City (Charlotte, NC) but our offices will be relocated in NYC by the end of 2019. 

How did you get started in fashion show production? 

They say, when you’re not looking for it, an opportunity presents itself to you. In early 2010 was the Director of Marketing for a modeling school/agency (which I had happened to graduate from when I was a teen) and we provided more than 100 models for a local fashion show production company which just happened to need a Back of House Director. Since I already knew the models and had been working with local malls doing fashion shows, it was a no brainer for me step in and help organize, plan and run Back of House. After the first production, I stayed on board with the company working on more of the production and logistic side of things and eventually branched out on my own.

What designers have you worked with in the past?

So many – Kristin Frazer of Trefle Designs BVI, Tayo Ishola of Eido Swimwear, Natalia Garcia KK Swimwear, Monique Deptula of Vichi Swim, Sandro Masamati, Erica M NYC, Wood Underwear, Naked, Taylor Says, iCollection, Tia Lyn Lingerie, 

What was this season’s atelier theme?  

Our theme will also be swim, beach, resort inspired – Swim Atelier – year round. We’re on a mission to educate that swim & resort wear are no longer ‘seasonal’ items to many and that people travel year-round to warmer weather places.

What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

 Take a deep breath, stock up on bottles of wine and just do it. No starting business owner ever knows what they’re doing, they are following their heart, their gut, and taking advice from online coaches. You have to just put yourself out there, figure it out on the way up. What works for someone else isn’t necessarily going to work for you, but you have to be willing to accept the punches, the setbacks, and know that it’s going to take you several years to get where you want to be. Really, if it’s something you want, you won’t ever give up. 

What is next for descalzo? 

We will continue to grow and participate in other fashion weeks giving designers a supporting and encouraging platform to showcase year-round.