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Ashley Strahan:

Bamboo for you

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If Ashley Strahan looks familiar, it's because the 5-foot-4-inch powerhouse has been modeling for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution for the last two-and-a-half years.

With a degree in fashion merchandising from Bauder College, however, this girl doesn't just hope to have her face seen in print. Actually, Ms. Strahan hopes to have her clothing seen in print.

She will soon be launching a line of bamboo garments under the label BAMbella this summer. But before you start thinking of avant-garde couture created from reeds, these clothes will actually be made from the entirely wearable bamboo fiber -- a relatively new product made only in China.

Ashley may never have learned of the fabric if not for her current job as assistant to the president of Sojrn -- a label that specializes in menswear made of bamboo-cashmere blends. "After seeing what an amazing fiber bamboo is, I wanted to create my own line."

"Bamboo is an oblong, hollow fiber," says Strahan, "so it naturally absorbs moisture and dries faster than cotton." Breathability is just one advantage of wearing this fabric, which is also naturally antimicrobial, drapes amazingly well despite its lightness and has a natural sheen. Ladies: Begin throwing out your polyester and Lycra garb now!

BAMbella is a tailored line with pencil skirts, A-line dresses and fun features such as turquoise lace or pearl trim. Colors range from deep black and chocolate brown to light pink and lavender, with some of the sexier dresses incorporating tube-top, halter and spaghetti-strap styles.

Ashley and her partner, Bonnie Buckner, have divided BAMbella into four categories -- Sassy bella, Breezy bella, Rocka bella and Bizness bella. Each one features dresses appropriate to the personalities of sassy ladies, girls next door, punk rock cuties and beautiful businesswomen.

Be on the lookout for BAMbella's launch parties in both Atlanta and NYC midsummer. Here, Ashley is planning on revealing BAMbella's 16 different dresses during fashion shows at Frequency, the Mark and eleven50.

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