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“Growing up, all I wanted to do was create,” Ashley Smith said, fiddling with the straps of her backpack on Thursday night. The model was idling in the basement of Acme, in Manhattan’s East Village, where a celebratory dinner was about to unfold, toasting her latest creation: a collaboration with RVCA.

“It’s been about a year,” Smith said of the endeavor. “At first, when I got introduced to RVCA, it was going to be a summer collection. But then, I came back with a bunch of sweaters. They were like, ‘Let’s push it to fall.’”

This story first appeared in the January 27, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Heavy on crop tops, bomber jackets and overall Nineties nostalgia, the collaboration came about when a mutual friend introduced Smith to RVCA founder PM Tenore. “We just asked her to be herself,” Tenore said of the collection. “Whatever she came up with was natural, and that’s what we wanted to put out.”

The dinner, hosted by Sydney Reising Creative, sussed out the downtown cool crowd — Mia Moretti, Chelsea Leyland, Elizabeth Gilpin, Athena Calderone, Kyleigh Kühn, Jeanette Hayes, Ryan McGinness, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Jenne Lombardo, Chrissie Miller, Sabine Heller,

Kyle Hotchkiss Carone, Andrej Pejic, Natalie Joos and Fiona Byrne — which braved the polar vortex to fete the collaboration. According to a bathroom sign, the frigid weather had also affected the venue: “The water in the pipes has frozen due to cold weather. Please use hand sanitizer.”

“I’m going to L.A. tomorrow,” Hannah Bronfman smiled, lingering by the coat check. “I got booked to DJ a party for the Grammys.” Bronfman, sporting a sky-blue Ashley Smith x RVCA leather moto, had her hopes up for one celebrity sighting in particular. “It would be great to meet Kim Kardashian — I’ve never met her and she’s been looking insane lately,” she said. “She looks amazing. I went to this woman to see if I could get my hair done blonde, but she said it was impossible. I literally cried. All I want is Kim K. hair.”

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