TRUJILLO FASHION BLOG - “TFB is a great source for lifestyle, culture, and all your fashion needs. Visually appealing and the context is a must to keep up!” - Ashton Yutaka Hirot
With technical skills, a creative concept, passion, style, a big picture vision and a great personality; Ashton Yutaka Hirota is the exact talent TRUJILLO FASHION BLOG breathes for and are the veins to fashion. A native of Los Angeles and currently living in Downtown LA, Ashton designs his label ASHTON MICHAEL and is also a Wardrobe Stylist.
ASHTON MICHAEL includes: Ashton Michael Black Label, Ashton Michael Collection, and Ashton Michael Custom. Also involved with styling, red carpet/performances, including working with some of the following talents: Britney Spears, Usher, Fergie/The Black Eyed Peas, Blake Lewis, The Sounds, and Panic at the Disco to name a few. Ashton also had the opportunity to work on numerous TV shows including: American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, Americas Next Top Model, Ellen, and Access Hollywood.
(Model: Shaun Ross / All clothes : Ashton Michael)
(Chris Brown / Custom Suit / ”She isnt You” video / Styled: Dave Thomas)
(Nicki Minaj / Album Packaging/ Press shoot / AM Custom lace suit and custom wool suit.)
(David Cook / Finale American Idol / Custom AM black label blazer.)
(Diddy AMA’s 2010 / Custom leather/denim pants / Custom leather harness blazer)
Overall, after the interview; Ashton not only impressed me with his clientele, design aesthetic, variety of fashion related talents, and entrepreneurial mindset, but what I absolutely adore is that he acknowledges the importance of the fashion community which you can read more about in the interview below. We definitely see eye-to-eye in this aspect and TRUJILLO FASHION BLOG is a representation of that. Of course as a designer there is a need for a competitive edge, vision, and niche. But the larger than life meaning is that we are a creative community and should encourage each other to reach our own ultimate creative and personal success.
“Best of luck Ashton Michael and TFB is excited to see more from you!”
- Arthur Trujillo
See TRUJILLO FASHION BLOG interview with ASHTON MICHAEL below.
Q: What motivated or encouraged you to pursue fashion design?
A: Truthfully I was going to college and totally bored and not interested in anything. I felt like it was what you had to do rather than what I wanted to do. School was never difficult for me and the challenge wasn’t there in college either. At the time I was really into the house scene (even working in it at the age of 18) and several of my friends were going to FIDM and I thought “well I was best dressed in highschool, I’ve been sewing since I was a kid, you are artistic, you can totally make a living out of this.” I sort of fell into it by accident to be honest. All the things that sort of make me crazy are a perk in the design world: OCD, math, precision, creative mind, craftsmanship, art. etc….
Q: Your perspective as designer?
A: I have gone from one side of the spectrum to the other throughout my years of designing. From very Japanese street wear (2000) to gothic to prep and now have found my comfortable niche that make me happy with smartly designed mens and womens wear that is not making a statement by bold over the top obvious design elements, but rather detail placement, less is more, and refined stage pieces that can translate to ready to wear. Design is a feeling whether it be fabric or color choice or the finished garment. When its right, it’s just right…
Q: How long have you been designing?
A: Professionally I started my first line when I was 19. It was my first semester in school and my business partner, at the time, filled our first company named Glaza. 10 years later I’m still going strong! Through out the years I have designed for other companies as well on the side such as Candy & Caviar, Local God, and a few others.
Q: People who have worn your designs, galas your designs have been worn at (red carpets etc.) ?
A: I am very proud of my clientele base as most people fantasize about meeting them or seeing them at whole foods and I get to create their image for events. It is a pretty special feeling of accomplishment! This month alone I have worked with Patrick Stump (Fall out Boy), Lil Mama, Chris Brown, Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys), and Will I AM. Keep in mind its only the 10th of the month. Furthermore, my clients range from female to male like Nicki Minaj, Usher, BEP, Keri Hilson, The Sounds, Adam Lambert, etc.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration/things that most inspire you?
A: Non conventional places. Home Depot, traffic on the 101, to be honest I dont have a specific place or “thing” that inspires me. I tend to let it find me. For instance I was in line at the DMV a few months back and the stucco on the out side wall was sort of corroded and it relieved this beautiful decayed pale pink and cement gray. I thought the texture and palette was really incredible and so I went back to the shop and made 3 leather and knit pieces that day. You can actually see them in the current issue of Schon! magazine issue 14 that I styled.
Q: Interesting jobs/opportunities that have helped you become a better designer?
A: Being on American Idol (NOT as a contestant!) was a great gig for me years back to make my come back with the Ashton Michael Label from Glaza. I worked with designer/stylist Marco Morante on the AM Idol commercials and met Blake Lewis on set. We sort of instantly became buddys and as the season progressed and he advanced to be one of the top 2 finalist our relationship elevated. For the first time in AM Idol history the contestants were assigned designers or labels to outfit them for the entire finale show. Jordan Sparks had Badgley Mischka and Blake asked me to do. Totally honored and overwhelmed I graciously accepted his request. Working with live TV will make you aware of any and everything that could possibly go wrong, really makes you dot you i’s and cross your t’s. otherwise you end up like Janet Jackson ….
Q: What is your opinion on GQ Magazine voting LA #2 Worst Dressed cities in America?
A: I think its pretty accurate. I hate to admit it up for the most part southern Californian’s are not the most well dressed people as a whole. I want you to observe the next time you go out to dinner how many square to kenneth cole shoes you see in comparison to Lanvin penny loafer. I’m pretty sure you will end up on the GQ side of the argument. And the other half think it’s 1989 lower east side NYC, dont get me started! However, the fine line between them lies a group of fashion forward and progressive group of people that really love fashion and all that it encompasses into international waters. But unfortunately, that is overlooked and outnumbered by the majority of the horrible taste of most. Or maybe its just living in the shadows of all the rhinestone tshirts and hats.
A: I started sewing when I was in middle school. Like most, my grandmother and mother sewed. I’m a visual learner and have always been a hands on type of person. Picking up new traits is easy and fun for me. I remember making a pair of half black and white check and half black & white polkadot boxers in 7th grade home ec and living for them. Most others (including the girls) were drab, one color, sloppy construction pieces. But I never wanted to be just settling for what was expected. Always above! For my fashion education I graduated from FIDM LA campus many moons ago.
Q: Long term goals?
A: Mass produced “bear” line. I want to make fashion forward mens wear for the hairy and husky. They have a very big place in my little heart! Through out the years the guys I’ve dated have been “bears” and they never had well designed clothes minus the hand full of places that exist which really is nothing to brag about. So I think it’s going to be the best opportunity to work with 2 things I love the most. Clothing and hairy husky men!
A: Staying focused on the big picture. Not the jobs of today or this week but years down the road. Other than that nothing really. I appreciate other designers, artist, and dont find threats or intimidation from them. If anything its motivates me to do better and take over with them.
Q: Advise to aspiring designers & other fashion industry related fields?
A: Shut up and work, NOT werk!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Daily: I am a “wear the same jeans for 4 weeks straight”. wifebeater, and doc martins kind of guy. I literally spend my life sewing and in a sweatshop! But trust I have nooo problem going out in the same look but but in a custom blazer and look wicked cute! I think so much of style has to be paired with confidence. Fuck a hand bag, thats the best accessory!
Q: What do you hope bring to the fashion industry to leave your foot prints behind?
A: Amazing mens wear that can stay in your closet like a vintage YSL suit.. Not redefine history , just reinvent. I dont want to be remembered as a flash in the pan designer, rather a staple.
Q: Something no one really knows about you?
A: I used to dance for an asian boy band in the late 90’s early 2000’s called Devotion. Omg, I cant belive I just confessed that. But its true. People called us the fly boys and by people I do mean the little asian girls flocking on us. (oh also, PSS i wasn’t out then either) so I was a closeted, asian boy band dancing, design student!