How I Shop: Ashlyn Harris

"I'm very much if I want something, I get it — and I don't think twice. That's kind of my personality. I go hard at everything I do."
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Ashlyn Harris Tag Heuer Connected NYC Event 2020 Getty Images

We all buy clothes, but no two people shop the same. It can be a social experience, and a deeply personal one; at times, it can be impulsive and entertaining, at others, purpose-driven, a chore. Where do you shop? When do you shop? How do you decide what you need, how much to spend and what's "you"? These are some of the questions we're putting to prominent figures in our column "How I Shop."

In addition to being at the top of their sport, we know the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team to be vocal advocates for equal pay, as well as a generally fun-seeming bunch. They're also incredibly stylish — something we've really been able to enjoy in the post-World Cup victory lap, be it on the red carpet, at fashion parties, at ticker parades and even just on Instagram.

Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, who plays for the Orlando Pride, has become a favorite of Vogue's, her December wedding to team mate Ali Krieger — and her fittings for the custom Thom Browne suit she wore to it — well-documented on its site. 

She's designed a unisex capsule collection, and she's repped by Elite Model Management. And Harris's message has resonated with fashion and beauty brands, like Tag Heuer, who tapped her and Krieger to represent the brand. (They currently star in a campaign for its new Connected watch collection.) Harris describes it as "a great partnership because they understand what I'm about: They love it, they let me be me and it's so freeing." 

Now that she's in a position to be the face of something (she also has deals with Umbro and Bumble and Bumble), Harris says it's important to her to know who she's getting in business with: "The biggest thing is really doing your research, talking to brands and not thinking of it as like a means to an end, a financial thing. For me, it's always been about the people. It's always been about the message. I'm in a place in my career where those things matter more than anything." 

Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris in Tag Heuer

Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris in Tag Heuer

"I'm trying to spread the right message and create the change I've always envisioned," she continues. "I need brands to be a part of that. I need brands to support that. Most importantly, I need brands to support my vision and my voice and help continue to lift me and propel me and create this change — advancing women, continuing to grow the message of pay equity and social equity and all these things that mattered to me, continue to show LBGTQ rights." 

Ahead, Harris talks her style evolution, her love of suits (and Thom Browne) and which USWNT teammate is her go-to shopping buddy. 

Harris — wearing Dolce & Gabbana, Berluti and Tag Heuer — and Krieger at the launch event for Tag Heuer's Connected range.

Harris — wearing Dolce & Gabbana, Berluti and Tag Heuer — and Krieger at the launch event for Tag Heuer's Connected range.

"I would say I'm more a grungy, sporty-chic type of dresser. Fashion is such a big component for me because it's the way I express myself. What I wear is very thought-out and it always tells some type of story. It really is a part of who I am, how I feel and what I represent.

"It's been a discovery since I was a kid. When I was young, I was always somehow designing clothes — reinventing clothes I already had, or my brother's clothes or shoes [with] some type of paint or markers, back in the day when white-out markers were really cool and hip. I was constantly drawing on clothes and shoes and backpacks, cutting up jeans and just continuing to reinvent myself and my look. It was this whole evolution that I really, really loved. I really haven't stopped. 

"As I grow, my look grows. I'm very much still about women's strength. I love my tattoos. I've constantly been changing my hair. It's just this whole process of self growth and figuring out who I am and where I want to go and bringing what I look like along with me.

Krieger and Harris, wearing archival Thom Browne, at a party for the 2019 VMAs. 

Krieger and Harris, wearing archival Thom Browne, at a party for the 2019 VMAs. 

"I love suits. I love to pair my suits with beautiful luxury watches. It really makes me feel so good. This is the great part about the new Tag Heuer Connected watches: Now I can show up to trainings and feel very good about my outfit and my watch. I don't have to take it off [and it will] be able to track the things I need it to. I just love how we're finding a way to combine luxury and performance, because I think that's so vital for athletes."

"It's hard when we're in training camp for so long. It's a team sport, so you have to do what's best for the team. It's hard to show individuality when you're in uniform. When I get outside of that, I like to really dive into fashion, jewelry, accessories and watches and be able to really express who I am and what I'm about. It makes me feel free. It's a really liberating feeling because so much of my life has been spent in team sports, where I have to wear the same thing as everyone else — that's hard for someone like myself, who is constantly on the cutting edge of change and expressing themselves. It's really important for me when I'm outside of sport that I can really just be me and do the things I want to do to feel completely alive. It makes me feel good about myself. It really does matter when I get up in the morning. What I look like matters to me.

"I think fashion is an art and [I think of shopping for it] just like if I were to go buy artwork. I want to see it, I want to feel it. I want to get some emotion from it. I think the only way you can do that is by being in the store and trying it on, seeing the texture and the color and how it moves. So I prefer to [shop] in store, but I'm also on the road probably 300 days of the year and that's not always accessible to me.

"It depends on what city we're in, but I tell you: If we're in New York, I will always find a way to find time [to shop]. Myself, my wife and group of friends, we would always have dates at Barneys and have these beautiful lunches. We would walk around feeling like we were in 'Pretty Woman.' Now that it's closed, I'm so torn, my heart and soul is just ripped out. 

"My first Barneys moment with my teammates was in Chicago. We were playing a game there, and I fell in love with the store. It was like a one-stop shop. When you get into the city it's hard to find places that have it all. When you have very limited time, you have to find places that you can go to and kind of get lost.

"We came from the World Cup in France and we were shopping quite a bit. I came back with a lot more clothes than when I started. When we came back and were doing the ticker tape parade, I actually bought a diamond Cuban link chain and I wear it every day. That was my gift to myself from the World Cup, even though I didn't buy that in Europe. I definitely treated myself.

Harris with Megan Rapinoe at the ticker tape parade following the USWNT's World Cup win.

Harris with Megan Rapinoe at the ticker tape parade following the USWNT's World Cup win.

"I give myself really nice tattoos [after big events]. I feel like my life experiences are expressed through my artwork, and all of my artwork tells the story. When I came back from winning the World Cup, I got a portrait of a beautiful French model and the Eiffel Tower on my leg. I always try to create beautiful artwork on my body that reflects my experiences and things that are important, where I can tell a story.

"I don't feel buyer's remorse at all. When I want something, I get it. I know a lot of people usually have this thought process of how much is it, is it wearable in multiple different seasons... I'm very much if I want something, I get it — and I don't think twice. That's kind of my personality. I go hard at everything I do. That's just the way I live my life. I've got no regrets. I got one life to live and I want to enjoy it while I'm still here and I'm this lucky to be blessed. 

"I've always been a huge fan of Thom Browne. I think he's amazing. But I love Balenciaga — I've been crushing Balenciaga. I love their boots, I love their sweatshirts, I love their street style. It's a little more elevated and it speaks to my soul. Then I believe that Louis Vuitton has just done unbelievable stuff in the last few years, and I know Virgil [Abloh] has been a big part of that. I have just been crushing Louis stuff lately. It's been hard to stay out of the store. They're doing the right thing, for sure. I actually did just go into Louis Vuitton and bought some new slides that I'm obsessed with.

Harris wearing Thom Browne to the 2019 'Glamour' Women of the Year Awards.

Harris wearing Thom Browne to the 2019 'Glamour' Women of the Year Awards.

"Megan Rapinoe is by far my homie that I go shopping with. It's hard sometimes because I end up leaving that day like, 'Whoa, what happened?' She's a 'yes' person. I never hear her say 'no' to anything. It's always hard, but it's fun. We have such a good time.

"I always like to try to find things that, when I bring them back home, other people can't have. Usually, when I'm in New York City, I'm trying to find little places or vintage stores where I can grab things and I can come home and not feel like six other people I'm around. I do like to have exclusive pieces.

"My favorite thing in my closet... I have these Balenciaga boots I just got. I am really, really, really obsessed with them. They have this beautiful pointed toe with these elevated heels. They're in my closet for 30 seconds because the majority of the time, they're on my feet. They're so comfortable." 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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