Just this morning, our Who What Wear editors went through an exercise where we shared the five main ways we each identify ourselves, and responses included dog mom, Southerner, and Italian American. Well, if Ashley Madekwe had been on our Zoom call, I have a feeling she'd mention the three identifiers that she features prominently in her Instagram bio for all to see: actress, South London girl living in L.A., and founder of Ring My Bell, her website.
I recently interviewed Madekwe to get the scoop on her new collaboration with JustFab, so naturally I had to throw in a question about her view on the style differences on each side of the pond. "I think the main difference is attitude," she told Who What Wear. "London has an edge—it’s fast paced and most people navigate the city by walking or on public transport. That adds a layer of utilitarianism to the style there. In LA I think the attitude is more relaxed and of course the weather informs how people dress."
As part of the collaboration, Madekwe curated an online shop on JustFab's website called Walk With Purpose, which features her personal favorite shoe trends. "To me, walking with purpose means being confident, being unafraid to stand up for what you believe in and having the courage to ask for what you deserve," Madekwe told me about the collection. "Together we also created the Yes Girl, Yes T-shirt as a way to offer women a message of positivity and encouragement. We hear no too often. I think it’s time we heard and felt yes. It’s been amazing to be able to utilize fashion as an avenue to inspire and empower women."
The collab also extended beyond just shoes. "An added bonus was that as part of the collaboration, I was able to donate with JustFab to a female driven charity of my choice," Madekwe said. "I chose Beauty 2 the Streetz. It’s run by the incredible Shirley Raines. I’ve been following her and the work she does with the homeless women of LA for a while now. It started 3 years ago with providing beauty treatments, showers, haircuts, etc but has quickly developed to provide homeless women with food, shelter and other necessities."
Scroll down to see Madekwe's top 3 favorite fall shoe trends and shop the ones she's wearing.
1. Ankle Boots
"I love boots and booties (in general not just for the fall) which is why there are so many in my collection! I like the versatility of them and I’ll often reach for a boot over a high heeled pump. We used mostly block and cuban heels because they’re so wearable."
2. Cowboy Boots
"The cowboy boot comeback seems like it’s here to stay for a while. The Mae boot from my collection really encapsulates that trend well. I love the zipper feature at the back of the boot because I hate struggling to pull my boots off."
3. Slip-On Loafers
"I like the slip on loafer trend because it takes the timeless shape of a loafer and adds a twist by making it a slip on mule. The ‘Smooth Transition’ loafer is a really chic way to add color and elevate a casual look."
Erin got her start as a Who What Wear intern over 12 years ago—back when the site only published a single story per day. (Who What Wear has since increased that number twentyfold.) She graduated magna cum laude from USC, which is how she ended up moving to Los Angeles from her hometown of San Diego. In college, she also interned at Refinery29, where she was promoted to editorial assistant and then assistant editor. After nearly three years at R29, she came back to WWW in 2016, where she currently holds the title of senior news editor (as well as the unofficial title of resident royal expert—in case you haven't noticed her numerous Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton stories). She spends her days trying to incorporate her idols, Anna Wintour and Roger Federer, into as many stories as possible. Outside of work, she loves tennis, classic rock, traveling, and smothering her dog with affection.
I Haven't Shopped at J.Crew in Months—These Elegant Picks Are Now in My Cart
By Grace O'Connell Joshua
I Spent 7 Hours Digging Through Saks—39 Items I Discovered That I Now Need
The perfect pastime.
By Aemilia Madden
I'm a Fitness-Loving Fashion Editor, These Are My 5 Go-To Leggings
Every brand, tried and tested
By Rebecca Rhys-Evans
I'm a Plus-Size Fashion Editor—These 28 Styles Are on My Spring Wish List
I want all of these ASAP.
By Chichi Offor
5 Issues Everyone Has With Skinny Jeans and How to Fix Them
Read this before your next shopping trip.
By Bobby Schuessler
The 10 Best White Tank Tops of All Time, According to Me
Here's how to wear it.
By Anna LaPlaca
It's My Job to Find Amazing Shopping Picks—These 9 New Buys Are Too Good to Miss
A fashion editor's favourites.
By Remy Farrell
25 Cotton Thongs That Are Cool and Comfortable
By Bianca Nieves