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Damian Wagner, Photographer

About Rhinestone Rambler

 

Rhinestone Rambler is a fashion and travel blog with a heart for the American Southwest. I have collaborated with well-known Western brands like Wonderwest, Rock and Roll Denim, Cruel Denim, and Lane Boots, and cover fashions that are hot or will be hot in the region. During 2018, I was featured on numerous billboards for Gertrude Zachary Jewelry in New Mexico, which further cemented my reputation as a lover of all things turquoise!

 

The second piece to Rhinestone Rambler is the “Rambler” part. One of my all-time favorite things to do is get into the car, and see where I land. New Mexico has such a rich history, particularly related to the Old West and Route 66, and I am filled with wonder every time I stumble upon a little-known ghost town or hidden gem.

 

Here in the Southwest, we are a hodge-podge of beautiful cultures, people, and landscapes, and I hope to draw attention to that, and show you what is means to live here, as I know it.

 

How this blog came to be:

 

Right after I graduated high school, I attended Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City on scholarship, to study fashion design. This school taught the greats like Calvin Klein and Anna Sui how to drape and sketch. I had been sewing and drawing since nine years old, but once fully immersed in the program, decided I did not want to pursue it as my career. No doubt, burn out and immaturity played a role, as I was only 18. After this life-altering realization and heartbreak, I didn’t pick up a Vogue or colored pencil for years. I just couldn’t. Since I had been preparing for a life in fashion for most of my life, I was lost.

 

Eventually, I went on to get my Economics degree from University of New Mexico (no one was more shocked than my parents), and my Master of Public Policy degree from Duke University. I use that education everyday in a job I love.

 

But back to fashion— becoming a blogger was completely by accident. My cousin and I started a farm-to-table business called “Farmer’s Daughters,” and had absolutely no advertising budget. We learned to use social media to promote our business, and after developing a decent following, brands started reaching out to us to wear their clothing on our pages.

 

At first, I didn’t try to be inventive with my styling, and let the pieces speak for itself, but over time, I couldn’t deny that I still loved fashion and being creative. Although I was rusty from years away, I knew that wouldn’t last long, and decided to throw myself back in 200%, which brings us to present day.

 

I love creating, capturing, and sharing beauty, but I could never do it alone. I’ve been fortunate that I have loved ones who are willing to act as amateur fashion photographers when called upon. However, ninety-percent of my fashion pictures are taken by my brother, Damian Wagner, who has stepped up to learn photography in order to make all my fashion blogging dreams come true.

 

Besides blogging, on my down time, you can usually find me curled up with my 3 Chihuahuas, Tabby Kitty, and Antilles Pink Toe Tarantula named Medusa. Just kidding, the spider stays in her cage!

-- Ashley