I want you to picture your average fashion house. Who comes to mind? Louis Vuitton, Supreme, Fendi. Now what do they all have in common? They are dictating today’s trends. While most companies focus on the now, others have their vision set on the future. (B).stroy cannot simply fall under either umbrella. Cementing their work in the post-apocalyptic, the neo-native design house is creating for a time unforeseeable to most. Face front are Brick Owens and Duey Catorze: two individuals taking the fashion world by storm. But outside the limelight lie certain individuals who complete the growing brand. Here you will find Ashton Jones, an integral function of the (b).stroy equation. And while his contributions may not be all that evident, they sure are vital. Recently, I had a chance to learn all things Ashton and take a glimpse into the (b).stroy world.
“I would say I’m a jack of all trades” declares Ashton describing his company role. Since their 2012 birth, (b).stroy has created a world of its own. Each of their five seasons has pushed the envelope more than the last, with almost everyone having made television news. Over the last 10 months features have included ABC News, The New York Times, and The Today Show. While their global recognition is fairly recent, Ashton assures that not much has changed since he hopped on board.
“I came into the picture around the second season/post show” he says. “I feel we necessarily haven’t had to adapt because we create for a time after this. We literally shape everything from imagination of what life would be like post apocalypse. That’s our world that we are still shaping to this day.”
Since no other menswear brand designs for this time period, (b).stroy is truly in a lane of its own. Working within this niche has proved to challenge Ashton’s perspective. From merely a consumer’s standpoint, his expectations of how businesses operated were naive. But he gained insight wearing the shoes of a producer. That along with his acquired knowledge from Brick and Duey, both of which he met through Tumblr.
“Their tumblrs at the time we’re mind blowing. They exposed everything and made things that would be difficult to understand about fashion like it was 1+1=2.”
After his third eye opened, a fruitful relationship was born amongst the trio. Since joining (b).stroy, Ashton has been a part of some of their most thought-provoking campaigns including Sweet Screams and Will You Bury Me? With each collection has come increased controversy. To the general public they have overstepped their boundaries. But they actually may have established new boundaries themselves. This was put on display through their Spring 2020 collection Samsara. Last September, they put together a show so jarring that it practically yanked emotion out of the audience whether they liked it or not. Samsara refers to a cyclical death in which the soul is repeatedly reborn in each lifeform. There is great beauty and divinity within Samsara, and (b).stroy portrayed this through their efforts to honor victims of gun violence. Doing so featured a collection beginning with tees stating “After Now” followed by arrows protruding through models’ limbs and concluding with academic hoodies riddled with bullet holes.
Immediately following the show came great objection from the general public as many failed to understand their message. Regardless, Ashton and the (b).stroy team remain steadfast in their beliefs and delivery. “We didn’t care about the backlash because it exposed a lot, how people speak on things without knowing what they are talking about, and how people will just hate and want to see you burn just because they don’t understand.”
But with great risk can come great reward. Being a member of (b).stroy may be frowned upon to the public eye, but for Ashton it has been an opportunity for the young creative to cast his net. As the design house gains notoriety Ashton could acquire more avenues to achieve his personal goals. Looking forward he eventually sees himself in a more prominent role at (b).stroy, but in the back of his head will always be his desire to use other creative platforms as a medium.
“I have hobbies right now that I work on each every day. One thing I would love to do and have to kick off my bucket list is help make a soundtrack to a movie!”
The arts piqued his interest from a young age. Growing up with his mother and sister he moved quite a bit, exposing him to many cultures. But it was not until middle school that he began taking fashion more seriously. He recalled the summer before 6th grade being the first time his mom allowed him to choose his clothes for the school year. Knowing he would have to step foot into middle school wearing what his mom picked out, he decided to take control of his wardrobe from then on.
Ashton has come a long way from his humble beginnings. Looking back, he wishes he pursued a career in fashion sooner, but taking matters into his own hands has proven to be worthwhile. But with all that he has already accomplished, Ashton insists he has yet to scratch the surface. “No, I’m not content, I wouldn’t think of myself as a greedy person, but I don’t feel satisfied. There is always more that can be done.”
At this trajectory, Ashton will accomplish his goals in no time. Surely (b).stroy has been a gateway to reaching some of his aspirations, but the true difference maker has been a refined creative process. “It’s really all about picking and choosing what information to take in.”
Perhaps this is something more of us should digest. Discernment has allowed Ashton the ability to tackle life without limitations. And when it is all said and done, he wants the world to know his achievements can be attributed to unrestrained pursuit: disallowing anyone or anything to get in the way of what is rightfully his. “I want to be remembered for everything I did and stood up for. I want to be remembered as the guy that didn’t take no for an answer, that found a way, and didn’t let others hinder him.”