Ali does it all. From coming up with the concepts for her clothing lines to designing the pieces to creating patterns to picking out material to sewing everything together. She currently sells out of the popular Downtown boutique Shotwell where her designs hang next to pieces from Vivienne Westwood and Elizabeth & James. But her clothing stands out among the sea of designers because her pieces are, well, Golden!
SCOUT: So how did you get in to designing and making clothes?
ALI: I went to school at Cal Poly for art and design and got a graphic design job here in San Francisco, but sitting at a desk all day just wasn’t for me, so I enrolled at FIDM in the post-grad program because I’d always been interested in learning how to sew clothes. The projects that I made for school were popular with my friends, so I saw the potential of turning my pieces into a clothing business.
SCOUT: And now you’re selling out of Shotwell!
ALI: I’ve known the owners of Shotwell, Michael and Holly, for awhile, and they invited me to sell my pieces in their store. Their support has been so huge to the success of my line, Ali Golden. Because I do all my own sewing, it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the regular schedule of shipments other designers have to follow; Michael and Holly have been amazing at helping me work out my own schedule.
SCOUT: How would you describe the style of Ali Golden
ALI: When I sit down to design a new line, I like to think in sizes, patterns and materials that work well together and complement each other. For example, if I do a skinny pant, I’ll design the shirt to be oversized. I like the pieces to play off each other. I work a lot in contrast. I guess you could say my designs have somewhat of a post-apocalyptic feel.
SCOUT: In addition to working on your line, you’re also helping others learn about sewing...
ALI: Yes! I teach sewing lessons at workshop. I love sewing so much, and being able to teach it to other people is awesome.
SCOUT: And you have a second line! Girl, you are busy...
ALI: Seriously! My other line is called Ali Golden Secondhand, and it is refurbished clothing. I go vintage shopping and buy a ton of different garments and then re-imagine a new purpose for it. My pieces really are one-of-a-kind since I’m sewing everything by myself instead of shipping it off to have someone else, or machines, do it. I also hand-dye fabric, so that makes those pieces even more unique.
SCOUT: When you get done with your 12-hour sewing sessions, where do you like to hang out?
ALI: There’s this place out on Clement called Genki Crepes that I love. It’s half mini supermarket and the other side sells crepes. It’s so good. I also love Outerlands in the Sunset. The couple that started it is awesome, and the food is delicious.
SCOUT: Where we can check out more of your line?
ALI: I have a lookbook up on my site, Ali Golden. You can contact me about sewing lessons there too. And be sure to top in to Shotwell to check out the stuff I’m selling there.