1. As the owner of The Lot. Where did the idea of wanting to start your own brand come from?
“From as young as I can remember, and certainly before I could read, I would make my grandmother take me with her to the hairdresser so I could page through the international fashion magazines in the waiting room. Once I was old enough to get an allowance I would spend it entirely on old issues of Vogue magazine at Paper Weights because at the time you couldn’t buy them anywhere else in South Africa and online versions of magazines didn’t exist. Everyone I knew who went overseas was sent with strict instructions to bring me back international fashion magazines and I used to study every detail of the editorials and campaigns over and over again before safely stashing them away. I loved to dress up and I loved to look different.”
I would cut up and customise my clothes to make them unique and I would get frustrated when I couldn’t find the things I wanted to wear in stores. I decided that I wanted to curate a fashion store that didn’t sell “safe” styles or basics but rather sold unique items in small quantities. A store that didn’t have to have something for everyone but would rather be specialised and cater for people like me – unapologetically different people who were happy to embrace and celebrate their uniqueness. I finished school, studied a business degree at UCT and DJ-ed and threw parties until I had enough capital to open my first store. That point came before I finished my degree so I dropped out, took a massive risk and the rest has been a whirlwind of late nights and early mornings, trips around the world, constant planning, designing and working relentlessly to build my brand while maintaining its core identity as an independent brand for independent people.”
2. What can Ash Battle not go without?
⚫ “A black leather jacket (I buy a black leather jacket as a souveneir from every new city I travel to)
⚫ My favourite pair of high waist vintage denim shorts.
⚫ Jeffrey Campbell ankle boots.
⚫ Mac Matte Vintage Red Ruby Woo Lipstick.
⚫ My girlfriends.”
3. How would you describe your personal style?
“The Lot is a perfect representation of my personal style. Its a mix of interesting and unusual pieces from a wide selection of brands from all over the world. I design all of our in house collections and curate the ranges selected from other brands.”
4. As a pioneer in the industry, what has been the highlight of your career thus far?
“The Lot was awarded Small Business Of The Year a couple years back which was an amazing honour but I am most appreciative for the moments when other young women tell me that I have been a source of inspiration for them”.
5. Where does Ash go when she needs to unwind, where does she go when she needs to take off her Battle gloves?
“My yoga mat. I don’t think I could maintain my sanity amidst the manic pace of my lifestyle without time to reconnect and humble myself.”
6. What advice would you give to aspiring creatives?
“Comparison is the killer of creativity. Trust what you have within yourself and don’t mould it for anyone else.”
We at Style Me Strauss would like to thank Ash for engaging with us.
If you would like to “buy” into Ash’ personality visit your nearest The Lot store or simply view their website for more here: http://www.ilovethelot.com/