I first discovered Desiree Salas's work at Gather, one of my favorite shops in Hayes Valley (they sadly closed last Spring). Her garments were so cute, with a vintage fair that can easily be worked into a contemporary wardrobe. I love that all of her pieces are handmade in Oakland and they are flattering on so many women! We're thrilled to have a selection of Desiree's designs as our September pop up!
How did your business come to be, what's your backstory?
I had always sewn & tried to draft patterns. But after design school & working years in the garment industry as a pattern maker, I finally felt that I gained experience to try to design on my own. My production quantities are small and I sell to local boutiques & do trunk shows. It’s been so gratifying knowing the shop owners & connecting with my customers. The Bay Area is a great place for small business!
Can you share a bit about your process?
I feel that I’m a patternmaker first, then a designer. I love to draft patterns, so my process may be a bit backwards. I draft the pattern, sew a sample and then do fittings to tweak my design. I start by fitting on myself first then size down & fit on the smaller sizes. I’m a stickler for sizing due to my background in design development & production.
What inspires your designs?
Fabrics are my biggest inspiration, vintage fashions from my closet, shopping & stylish women. I have “blocks” of all my patterns so often a Spring style can be updated for Fall with a longer sleeve, add a ruffle, lengthen the skirt, etc. it’s really fun when the possibilities are endless. I also spend hours in my studio matching fabrics with the right button or trim.
What are your top 3 favorite things to do in San Francisco?
I love shopping at Nooworks then walking over for a burrito at La Cumbre in the Mission. Visit Leo’s Oyster bar for cocktails! The vintage glam decor amazing, I wish I had a matching dress!