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When you first meet Ashley, there are two things you immediately notice about her. First, it is her strikingly beautiful and almost amber-like red hair, and second, it is her edgy, sleek, and chic style that she casually sports, even for a laid-back day at the pool. Ironically, however, it was during one of our poolside hangouts this summer, that I truly realized that this girl’s taste and style was more than just something to be seen, but something to be heard as well.

With her mix blasting on the speakers playing one of my all-time favorite songs, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division, it was evident that Calandra’s taste was unconventional, and not to mention, ahead of the game.

So, with that in mind, we were excited to sit down with Ashley to find out just what makes this Brooklyn-born beauty and PR power woman tick, whether it be in her role as Senior Director of PR at Barneys NY or as an onlooker of one of her favorite bands at a concert.



Where did it all start?
Brooklyn, where I was born.

What is your favorite city and neighborhood?
Chinatown, NYC

What is your favorite hotel?
Principe in Milan  + the Standard East in NYC

Your favorite restaurant and dish?
Freds at Barneys is just the best—lately I’ve been really into the Raw Kale Salad (obviously with a side of fries).

Best bar?
I love Night of Joy in Williamsburg….. or any dive bar where there is Karaoke.

Favorite vacation location?
I went to Tulum on a yoga retreat a few years ago and fell in love— it’s magical.

Favorite surf spot / board?
Paddle boarding when I go to my parents in Atlantic Beach

Favorite duffel or suitcase?
Rimowa, always.

Favorite brand?
Depends on my mood, but Valentino, Saint Laurent + The Row are all in the running.

Favorite jean brand?
I have a current obsession with Re/Done that is becoming borderline unhealthy

Essential wardrobe item?
A really good black leather motorcycle jacket.

Favorite time of year?
I live for the Summer.

Your style Icon/s?
Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2 – I wish I looked that good in black skinnies and a v-neck

Personal style tip for others?
Sometimes it’s fun to be inappropriately overdressed—like wearing a gown to a dive bar after you go to a really fancy event. Also, a good tailor will change your life

Your tailor?
I primarily use the tailors at Barneys.

Your salon?
I’ve been getting my hair cut by the same person for 7 years —Aaron Pursell.

Coffee or tea?

Favorite shoe maker?
I’m on my 8th pair of Rockstud shoes, so I guess I would have to say Valentino!

Dream car/bike?
A white Mercedes SL would be ideal, but I’ll take any convertible.

Favorite watch/watch brand?
A vintage Rolex or the double strap leather Hermes timepieces for a good pop of color

Essential gadget you can’t live without?
My iPhone- especially because I can’t walk ANYWHERE without listening to music.

Your favorite book?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho—I try to read it twice a year.

Favorite song or album?
My all-time favorite song is Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen…It reminds me of my childhood. I have a lot of favorite albums, but “Blood on the Tracks” by Bob Dylan, “Funeral” by Arcade Fire and “Sigh No More” by Mumford & Sons are probably my top three.

Favorite not-for-profit?
Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) is a community center in the Rampart district of LA that offers kids incredible programs that they otherwise would never have access to—it’s pretty amazing.

Favorite artist?
Tracey Emin makes the most incredible neon art pieces—I’m saving up to buy my favorite one, which says “Meet Me in Heaven, I Will Wait for You.”

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Photo Credits: Ashley Calandra, Katie Robin