Fashion design for Oakland-based designer Ali Golden has always been about the process of actually making clothes. Trained in graphic design and fine arts, her first garments were constructed and sewn in her spare time, as a hobby. But in 2011, she discovered that what she loved doing for fun could actually be a career. Today Ali runs her own fashion line alongside two eponymous boutiques stocked with her own designs alongside like-minded brands like First Rite, Creatures of Comfort, Ilana Kohn and Dusen Dusen, one in Oakland and another in Los Angeles that just opened its doors on Sunset Boulevard. It’s easy to see how the California native’s approach to design leads in to the clothes themselves. Her easy dresses and separates are cut to fit everybody and every lifestyle.
YOU STARTED OFF YOUR CAREER IN GRAPHIC DESIGN. HOW DID YOU END UP RUNNING YOUR OWN FASHION LINE? I got really sick of sitting in front of the computer all day and I wanted to spend my time moving around and making something that was tangible. As I started making clothing for fun, I realized how difficult it was. The idea of “fast fashion” and the extremely low value we attribute to clothing really pissed me off. I thought I would like to start a line that celebrated the craft of making a garment (and was also capable of functioning in the global economy) and it helped that I really loved pattern-making and sewing.