Ashley Madekwe is one cool Brit girl. If you haven’t already discovered her blog, Ring My Bell or her Instagram account, @smashleybell then you need to. This girl has serious style and an impressive acting resume to boot. The actress is best known for her turn on the hit show Revenge as well as for her current role as the powerful with Tituba in WGN America’s series Salem. It’s no surprise, then, that Ashley was chosen to be the face of fashion’s hottest new collab, between Reebok and beauty brand FACE Stockholm.
When the collaboration was announced there was no doubt in Ashley’s mind that she wanted to be involved: “It made perfect sense for me because I’m an 80’s baby so Reebok is very firmly in my consciousness,” she said. Ashley even worked in a sneaker shop, telling us “I’ve always loved trainers but going to work in the morning I would still want to look cute so I would usually amp it up by putting on a bold lip so [the collaboration] made complete sense to me.” A firm lover of a bold red lip, Ashley told us it’s her go-to makeup look for feeling a bit more special. “I kind of keep the rest of the look quite clean with just lots of mascara, maybe some eyeliner and then let the red lip do the talking.”
On the surprisingly unique collaboration Ashley sums it up perfectly, “I think they both provide a finishing touch like the top and bottom – lips and kicks – I think it works.”
Ashley took the plunge and bared all, rocking only her trainers for some of the campaign shots. “It’s always scary to be vulnerable and naked in front of people – I mean I was wearing knickers and nipple pasties of course, but you do still feel vulnerable.”
Given that she looks so amazing in the pics, we asked Ashley what her secret is to keeping fit. “Well I’m based in LA and I try to go hiking a lot. I can go with a girlfriend and we can talk and kind of trick ourselves into thinking you’re doing something fitness-related for the day!” And when she’s not hiking, Ashley visits her pilates trainer, telling us that her motivation comes “because you have to pay for all the classes up front, so I don’t want to just waste the money- my husband sort of gives me this look and I say yes, I’m going!”
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So whilst living it up in Hollywood, we asked if she missed anything about good ol’ blighty? “I miss everything, I miss M&S, I miss the tube – I never thought I would say that but I do. I drive everywhere here, which is nice but I miss reading on the tube or just like zoning out. You can’t zone out when you’re driving. I miss my friends, I miss my family, I miss everything. I miss walking around Soho!”
Her super stylish blog Ring My Bell, is shot by her husband, and clearly keeps her very busy. “How do I fit everything in? Truthfully, sometimes I don’t,” she admits. But Ashley does manage to regularly share her outfits with fans, mixing designer pieces with high street buys. “I have an eye for a bargain. I used to save money from my Saturday job to buy really nice pieces, so I’d be able to afford one really amazing piece and team that with cheaper pieces, so I think it’s just how my style evolved.”
The blog, which started as a kind of online diary for her family back home, has now grown into her passion and we absolutely love her daily outfit snaps. Does her husband ever offer any styling advice? “He wouldn’t dare! He knows better but I will certainly always give him my tips on what he’s wearing.”
Ashley’s effortless style is the kind we all want to achieve. So of course we wanted to grill her on all things fashion. Talking about her own signature style she says, “I really do shy away from colour, I mean you wouldn’t think that from my blog but it challenges me to try new things.” So it’s more classic then? “Maybe it is, but there’s lots of leather in it as well. I’d say my signature style is pretty laidback but with a great pair of heels. I wore denim Levi 501 vintage shorts to dinner the other night and I thought oh this is kind of inappropriate, I mean you shouldn’t wear your denim hotpants to dinner but it kind of feels fine in LA.”
And if she had to pick one favourite trend for this summer? “I love all the 70s pieces around a the moment. I’ve got a great pair of high-waisted flares from J brand I’m living in at the moment. I also love the little A-line skirts with the buttons up the front and all the touches of suede which I think will transition into fall really easily as well.”
And with that, Ashley was off to prepare for another red carpet appearance and we were left thinking; if we weren’t super fans before, we certainly are now.
Shop Reebok’s Collaboration with FACE Stockholm right here now.