MC’s Kittrell pursues fashion blogging by ‘dressing for life’s adventures’

February 26, 2014

On a typical day after class, Maryville College junior Ashlyn Kittrell scouts locations, sets up her tripod and takes photos of herself wearing her latest style creations.

The photos are for her fashion blog, Triple Thread, which Kittrell created four years ago. Her mission was to not only define her personal style, but to help others do the same while incorporating their own personal ethics and values.

Since 2010, the blog, which averages 15,000 hits per month, has been featured in Seventeen Magazine, Teen Vogue, Bebop Clothing’s blog and the Style Line.

Kittrell believes her blog’s success is due to her focus on the natural environment in a practical manner. Her blog’s trademark directly reflects this emphasis; Triple Thread, she said, is “dressing for life’s adventures.”

“At the moment, there is a movement in fashion where context is huge,” said Kittrell, an Oak Ridge native who graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 2011. “Not everyone wants to dress in a manner that screams high fashion. There are millions of men and women who want to be better suited to the environment they are currently in. I believe my personal style is highly adapted to where I’m at in the country, and I think people respond to that.”

At Maryville College, Kittrell has taken photography and design courses that have enabled her to manage her blog on her own. In addition to being a design major, she is also working on a writing/communication minor, which she says has particularly expanded her skills for fashion blogging and for the professional world in general.

“I think that, just like at Maryville College, the key to a successful blog is personalization. Even if we don’t have any programs specifically related to fashion, professors have all worked with me to allow me to expand my knowledge in the field in a more nontraditional way – I'd say that's more of an asset than a disadvantage,” Kittrell said. “The curriculum I've been able to make for myself here with my art and writing classes has allowed me to communicate my message in the most effective way.”

Practical experiences have also helped Kittrell acquire the necessary skills to be a successful fashion blogger.

During her time at the College, she has worked as assistant photographer to Sarah McAffry (voted Knoxville’s Best Photographer in Cityview Magazine in 2012), interned at Knoxville boutique Style of Civilization and is currently interning at Altar’d State, a fashion boutique in Knoxville. She also serves as a fashion columnist and assistant editor of MC’s student newspaper, The Highland Echo.

While Kittrell aspires to work for a fashion company after graduation and sees her blog leading to a job within the industry, she said that she does not intend to pursue the traditional fashion career path of moving to New York City.

“I prefer something more unique,” she said. “Because of my experiences and classes from MC, I know I have the skills to be able to work in a variety of industries. I’m not only able to communicate visually, but with my writing and speaking skills as well.”

Kittrell will be live-blogging Knoxville Fashion Week Feb. 26 through March 1 on Triple Thread at www.triple-thread.net.

Story by Mary Moates '14, Communications Assistant

 


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2014 semester is 1,213.