Ashley Turen never thought her job title would be this long. The artist, fashion designer, personal shopper and the owner of A. Turen on 85 Stanton Street says it wasn’t always the plan. The Tenafly, NJ native who graduated from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU in 2004, had aspirations to become an actress but fate and paint got in the way.
During the summer of 2008, an impromptu art project in Ashley’s bedroom caused her to loo at fashion in a whole new way. The would-be designer ransacked her closet on a whim on a quest to breath some new life into her old duds. She took a paintbrush to a vintage leather jacket and liked what she saw. She created her first one-of-a-kind A. Turen design without even knowing it. Her friends quickly took note of her new creation and began requesting that she paint everything from vintage concert t-shirts and leggings, to old Levi shorts and even vintage designer bags.
Based on the word of mouth buzz that her hand painted creations received, Ashley decided to take a complete leap into the fashion industry. She wanted to open her own clothing boutique on the Lower East Side where she’d lived since her days at NYU. She was constantly stimulated by the youthfulness of the LES and the infectious energy the neighborhood possessed. She opened her first A. Turen boutique in July 2009 and almost instantly realized she needed to go bigger. She found the perfect spot on Stanton Street across the street from Meatball Shoppe and down the block from Stanton Social. Her new location is currently soft opened and she’s planning for a grand opening to coincide with Fashion Week in September 2011.
Ashley describes her personal style as edgy, classic and elegant at the same time. A walk into her store is like a walk into her personal closet. The young entrepreneur’s favorite things are all on display at A. Turen, including a Laura B rainbow chain-metal purse, Ann Dexter Jones ID bracelets, Timo Weiland peek-a-boo dresses and her A. Turen hand painted vintage Chanel bags and leggings. Ashley prides herself on purchasing items based on instinct. When she sees something she loves, whether it’s a vintage Balenciaga primed for painting, or a dl and co neon skull candle set, she immediately finds a way to bring it to her customers.