|photography by Elizabeth Lavin|
Ashley Ballantine got her start in the fashion industry interning for Betsey Johnson in New York, where her bubbly personality almost got the best of her. “I was reprimanded my first week for being too friendly, because I got Betsey’s phone number and would, like, call her,€VbCrLf Ballantine, 21, says. That wasn’t the only embarrassing moment during her time there. “[The interns] always joked about sleeping in the fabric, so I was lying there under the bolts of fabric when the head designer walks in,€VbCrLf she says. “Minutes passed and I was just looking for ways to escape, and then the assistant designer walks in and starts looking for the bolt of fabric that I was on top of. So I jumped and ran out of the room.€VbCrLf Ballantine can sleep on as much fabric as she wants to now that she’s head designer for AYIN Group, a local start-up clothing label. “Our focus is a conservative yet casual menswear line that includes button-up shirts, denim, jackets-and is expanding rapidly.€VbCrLf The next step in that expansion is an athletic line and a collection of women’s contemporary sportswear. But Ballantine’s dream design is her own wedding dress, which might include pink, peach, red, and maybe turquoise and gold. “Color is my foundation for everything,€VbCrLf she says.