LOS ANGELES, CA (LA ELEMENTS) 7/19/2017 -“Ulla makes beautiful sundresses that caters to making someone feel chic and beautiful,” says actress, human rights activist and SIMPLY LA keynote speaker Ashley Green during our interview. “It’s the first time that I actually wore this designer and when I put it on I loved it, I felt good in it and that’s the most important thing, I think. I felt like it was highly appropriate for this event because for me, you should feel beautiful and comfortable in your own skin.”
Feeling beautiful and comfortable in your own skin was clearly the goal of Simply LA, Powered by Nylon. This fashion and beauty conference was held at The Grove in West Hollywood on Saturday, July 15, 2017. Attendees were treated to panels staffed by acclaimed industry notables such as fashion designer Michael Costello, NYX Cosmetics founder Toni Ko, Actress and resort wear designer Audrina Patridge, Actress Logan Browning, (Dear White People) celebrity stylist Daniel Musto, Olympian Nastia Liukin and many more.
Undeniably, Greene has left a lasting impression on global audiences in her role as Alice Cullen in the Twilight series. She will soon be seen in the upcoming film Antiquities, co-starring Academy Award winner, Mary Steenburgen. The actress reflected on the mindset and personal sacrifice it took for her to make her dream a reality.
“If you’re going to do this, believe in yourself wholeheartedly. I came out here and maybe I would have a ‘Lean Cuisine’ day because that’s what I could afford, but then I would put the money into acting classes. If you’re going to pursue this you have to understand that there are sacrifices to be made and it will never be easy, but when you do work, it’s totally worth it. You’ve got to believe in yourself and what you truly feel will make you happy, and then chase after that. Having a ‘what if ‘ is one of the most devastating things, so is going back and thinking, ‘I should have, I would have, I could have’, just do it.”
While Greene’s passion for her craft is crystal clear, so is her commitment to human rights. Specifically, the tragedy that is human trafficking. Greene has served as an ambassador for A21, an organization founded by Christian Elliot, dedicated to ending human trafficking and slavery.
“There are millions of charities and I didn’t want to say that I was going to do anything that I didn’t feel that I was going to give enough time to. It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of this movement because it’s a devastating reality how huge trafficking is, not just overseas but here in the US.”
Greene has traveled with A21 to Thailand and has seen first hand the effects of human trafficking. She notes that barriers exist in combatting human trafficking due to the lack of awareness of the problem and the mere fact that unlike other philanthropic causes, this one can prove difficult to even discuss.
“The first thing is to make sure people are aware of it because people are unaware of it even in their own back yards, it’s very prevalent. And then figure out not only how to prosecute but then combat it and show people the signs of a person who is being trafficked. This is a very taboo subject. A lot of people don’t necessarily want to talk about it, but it’s something that needs to be brought to the forefront. Ideally, we’ll get a curriculum into school systems, the same way that you have Sex Ed. I think that’s the best way to combat it, and then also create resources for people who have already been through this to try and rehabilitate them because it’s a long journey.”
“Acting is such a passion for me, it’s something I couldn’t be without…but being able to help other people, as a human, it means so much.”
While attendees had the chance to get up close and personal with some of their favorite stars, they also had the chance to indulge in exclusive beauty treatments such as the Kate Summerville Oxygen Facial. The company’s account executive Cesar Delgado explained what makes their oxygen facial so effective. “This is a medical grade oxygen and what the oxygen does is it’s going to kill bacteria. It’s going to bring more circulation to the surface and it’s going to infuse the hyaluronic serum that we have added.”
Celebrity stylist Daniel Musto counts Paula Abdul and Karina Smirnoff among his clients. Musto appeared at Simply LA in partnership with Just Fab, to share his expertise on how to streamline and organize your closet.
“The key to a good closet is to make sure that you treat it with care when you set your day up. I actually have a friend in the military and in the military they tell you, ‘Make your bed every morning as respect for your day so when you come home, it respects you back.’
“Think of LA as your vacation destination, not your home. So if LA is a vacation for you and you’re packing for it, what would you bring from your closet if you were to vacation in LA? You have a suitcase the size of your closet. Treat your closet like that suitcase as you’re filling it up for your life, and you’ll be able to get rid of things so easily.”
Between the guest speakers as well as the brands and their founders who were in attendance (Chaz Dean for WEN Hair and Body Care and Jhoanna Marisa for Lily + Jasper among many others) Simply LA managed to cover all the bases for those who attended this event.
As Simply LA founder Sarah Boyd stated, “I wanted to create an environment where people could come, get connections, get inspired and really learn from the experts in the industry. So really, they could come and today is like a toolkit that they can take and go after their dreams and do what they love and really make their dream career a reality.”
For more information on the brands and organizations mentioned in this article, please visit their websites.
All photography by Jonathan Lebson/Getty Images unless otherwise stated.