The Right Piece, the Right Price

We round up 10 local designers-to-watch who provide affordable fashion in original style.


This talented girl could very well have made a deal with the devil: She not only plays guitar and sings in her as-yet-unnamed, newly formed rock band but makes some badass handbags and leather accessories. April Goettle’s bucket style, whip-stitched handbags come in leather or vintage fabric ($220-$240). The leather bags are embellished with gold and silver rivets or embossed with designs such as crows, guns, and handcuffs. Bracelets, watchbands, and belts run $18 to $48. Available at Hello Gorgeous, Damsel Collective, Pretty Parlor, and Rosette.

For the devil in you: April Goettles leather purse.


Kimberly Baker’s creative range runs from simple, geometric shapes to big, chunky, sterling silver rock ‘n’ roll jewelry. Her large signature pieces, inspired by old-school sailor tattoos, are for girls who just wanna be noticed. “I’ll envision a ’60s icon like Marianne Faithfull and picture what kind of jewelry she’d wear, then design it,” says Baker. A favorite: her “honeycomb” ring, dotted with sapphires, emeralds, rubies, or, if preferred, diamonds by special order ($85-$300). Available at Les Amis, Olivine Atelier, Found Objects, Something Silver, Maxine’s, and Sway & Cake.


Owner of Pearl

Victoria Simons has made her signature handbags from grille cloth, the material covering guitar amplifiers, and other unusual materials for years. Now she’s designing a new line of well-fitting sporty clothing partly inspired by a German vintage pattern book. Using mostly vintage material, she focuses on classic shapes and simple lines in her dresses, skirts, and tops. “A-line skirts look good on everybody,” promises Simons. Bold geometric patterns of the ’60s, big florals, and plush fabrics in greens and browns complement the simplicity of the clothing. Clothing ($42-$200), wallets ($32 and up), and handbags ($65-$175) available at Pearl. Handbags also available at Olivine Atelier and Burnt Sugar.


“I don’t want to cater to people who have money,” says Victoria Howe, the soft-spoken, self-taught designer of cute, fun, and affordable skirts, panties, handbags, and small accessories. Most of the fabric and material Howe uses is vintage (she finds great stuff at Value Village), and her inspiration comes from a collection of old patterns from the ’40s and ’50s. Check out her fun vinyl messenger bags with flower power vinyl daisy accents. Prices range from $10 for a coin purse to $100 for jackets. Designs available at Damsel Collective, Hello Gorgeous, Wax On, Rummage (meets the first Sunday of the month at Crocodile Cafe), and Pretty Parlor.


Sally Brock likens the clean lines and modern look of her jewelry to a supermodel with a chipped tooththe intentional imperfections bring character to her pieces. Her wry sense of humor shows through in her “Circus Baby” necklace, cast from a tiny, plastic, naked baby doll she found; hooked together on the chain that supports him, it looks like he’s performing on the rings. Her Swiss line features earrings and pendants resembling Swiss cheese ($40-$400). Available at Fancy, Olive and Re-soul.



Laura Buzard’s handbags and totes have polished, professional craftsmanship. Plus, you can have them your way: She’ll design a one-of-kind handbag, using your choice of vintage or new fabric, vinyl, or that durable ’60s favorite, Naugahydeand she’ll make it reversible to boot. She’ll also personalize handbags with photos of your pug, mother, bridesmaids, or whomever. Handbags run $40 to $100, makeup bags are $16 to $25. Available at Laura Bee Designs, Olivine Atelier, and Damsel Collective.


Has a booth at Fremont Sunday Market

Pepper Petersen tears it up with vintage Ts.

“Knit is very forgiving,” says Pepper Petersen, a tall, leggy blonde who has nothing to forgive. She makes sexy T-shirts for women out of men’s vintage T’s by cutting, ripping, tearing, braiding, and reassembling them into form-fitting styles. Look for the tiki umbrella at her Fremont booth, where she has hundreds of T’s and dozens of styles to choose from, with themes including motorcycles, rocker chicks, sororities, and the occasional Gilligan’s Island motif ($15-$55). Also available at Synapse 206, Hello Gorgeous, and Damsel Collective.


Exclusively at Olivine Atelier

These sturdy, studded, and structurally sound leather handbags with a partly punk attitude are the result of Aubrey Summers’ architectural and art background. The prominent hardware they sportactually from bits, tack, and bridlesis a result of childhood summers spent on her grandparents’ Montana ranch. They’re the perfect accessory for work or paired with biker chick fashion. Available in black, pumpkin, plum, chocolate, ice blue, and other colors ($160-$240). Available at Olivine Atelier.



See below for availability

With a penchant for vintage clothing, Gunlis Alainentalo got hooked on collecting and dyeing vintage lingerie in a range of delicious shades. “It’s very hard to get the color evenI play around with them to come up with something unusual,” she says. She uses an impressive variety of lingerie and styles available from the ’30s to the ’50s, including bloomers, camies, tap pants, and petticoats. They can be worn layered with transparent dresses for evening wear, as night gowns, to lounge in, and even as undergarments ($18-$45). Available at Pretty Parlor, Retail Therapy, Reputation, Damsel, Hello Gorgeous, and the Fremont Sunday Market.


Quickly winning national acclaim, Joseph’s bold and stunning rings and necklaces have graced the digits and necks of Drew Barrymore, Sheryl Crow, and Alanis Morissette. Joseph’s contemporary jewelry with clean lines and minimalist settings features large, hand-faceted stones of amazing color turquoise, chalcedony, and the striking Peruvian opal. In direct contrast, she makes delicate MahJong necklaces with antique gambling chips carved from mother-of-pearl. Prices range from $120 to $490. Available at Ped, Les Amis, and Essenza.

Shopping info: Burnt Sugar, 602 N. 34th St., 206-545-0699; Damsel Collective, 2222 Second Ave., Suite. 100, 206-374-8669; Fancy, 1932 Second Ave., 206-443-4621; Found Objects, 1406 First Ave., 206-682-4324; Hello Gorgeous, 411 E. Pine St., 206-621-0702; Laura Bee Designs, 6418-B 20th Ave. N.W., 206-760-3080; Les Amis, 3420 Evanston Ave. N., 206-632-2877; Maxine’s, 8811 Roosevelt Way N.E., 206-523-4200; Olive, 1633 Sixth Ave., 206-254-1310; Olivine Atelier, 5344 Ballard Ave. N.W., 206-706-4188; Pearl, 310 N.E. 65th St., 206-729-1149; Ped, 1115 First Avenue, 206-292-1767; Pretty Parlor, 6729 Greenwood Ave. N., 206-789-8788; Reputation, 1622-A N. 45th St., 206-632-4999; Re-Soul, 5319 Ballard Ave. N.W., 206- 789-7312; Retail Therapy, 905 E. Pike St., 206-324-4092; Rosette, 5224 Wilson Ave. S., Suite 103, 206-721-0082; Rummage at Crocodile Cafe, 2200 Second Ave., 206-448- 2114;Something Silver, 2662 N.E. University Village, No. 28-C, 206-523-7545 (and other locations); Sway & Cake, 1633 Sixth Ave., 206-624-2699. Synapse, 206 First Ave. S., 206-447-7731.