Women of Distinction 2019 Spotlight: Ashley Nell Tipton
Get to Know the 2019 NCCWSL Women of Distinction
Occupation: Designer at Ashley Nell Tipton Design
Education: Associate of Art, Fashion Careers College, 2012
Ashley Nell Tipton discovered her passion for design when her grandmother taught her to sew at just seven years old. In the following years, the Southern California native’s creative talents flourished as she began designing clothing and expressing herself through fashion.
Eventually, Tipton’s passion lead her to the Fashion Careers College, in San Diego, where she earned an associate’s degree in fashion design and technology. She was a success from the start: Her student work was highlighted in the annual Golden Hanger Fashion Awards and, in 2012, she was invited to show her collection at New York’s Full Figured Fashion Week, where she received rave reviews.
Tipton’s big breakthrough came in 2015 when she competed on Project Runway – beating out her competitors and becoming the first designer in the show’s 14-season history to focus on fashion for the plus-size woman.
While that accomplishment was undoubtedly a groundbreaking step for the fashion industry, Tipton’s designs – as one of her fellow competitors noted – transcend the “plus-size” categorization. Her designs are bold, colorful and unique – allowing women of any size to fully express themselves through fashion. In fact, this is exactly why Tipton began designing clothes in the first place – to fill a void that others in the industry had ignored.
Since her Project Runway victory, Tipton has worked with numerous companies to create fashion for the plus-size consumer. Her clients include JC Penny, Fingerpaints nail polish, and the lingerie company Bandelettes, to name a few. In 2017, Tipton released her first independent apparel and accessory line, called Ashley Nell Tipton Designs. Most recently, she launched the Ashley Nell Tipton Premier Line for the summer 2018 season – a line that Bustle called “feminine with a little bit of edge,” a description that fits Tipton herself.
In her work – and her life — Tipton advocates for self-love and body positivity.