Ali Golden Gets Handsy With Her Line
Why not do as much as you can, while you can?
Ali’s studio and store, set in a former horse stable in Temescal Alley in Oakland.
“I’ve really tried to build my line and business the way I think it should exist, which is kind of out of the normal cycle of the fashion industry,” Ali Golden says of her namesake line of easy-fitting tunics and, more recently, rockin’ canvas bags. Here, a few of the ways that Ali gets her hands dirty. —carly pifer
“I do all my own pattern-drafting and sample-sewing. Making my own patterns is one of my favorite parts of the design process. It’s great because the turn-around time per style is super fast when I can do the fitting, fix the pattern, and re-sew the sample quickly. Then I can sell ‘first-draft’ samples in the store—there is very little time or materials wasted.”
“This kind of shows the process of how my prints come to life. I started using prints in my spring 2013 collection, and they have been hand-drawn and put into the computer—by me!—and then silk-screened. The above print was printed in two color-ways on two types of fabric.”
“Peter and Mai are the owners of the San Francisco factory that does my production, and I have a very close relationship with them. Before me, they didn’t have clients who did silk garments, so I got to teach them how to sew with silk!”
“I make all the bags in my line at the moment because it’s a nice excuse to sew and use my hands—I do all the cutting, sewing, and leatherwork with help from my dear assistant. It’s a labor-intensive process, but I love it! Originally, I was only going to be selling them directly, but some great stores showed interest—so I’ve started wholesaling them to a few good friends. At the moment, I’m working on finding a local production place to construct the bags because I can’t do it myself anymore!”