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Meet the Maker: Desiree Salas

Meet the MakerDaisy McClellanComment

Oakland-based designer Desiree Salas creates vintage-inspired, feminine women’s clothing for all seasons. "I love designing pretty dresses in colorful retro prints that are either floral or nature themed," she says. "My signature piece is a 1940's-inspired A-line wrap dress that’s been nicknamed 'The boyfriends' favorite'."

Her basics, which you may have seen on our racks, also include a dark denim '70's inspired wrap skirt (a nod to Marsha Brady) and a lightweight chambray denim utility dress. Desiree hand drafts and sizes all of her patterns. "After working years in corporate fashion, I've perfected my fit and feel, and that's a big selling point," she says. 

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you?

My biggest inspiration is people watching! Bay Area women really have such a unique and individual style. I love how they mix prints, seasons and pieces from different eras. There are no rules here.

Also many of the local boutique owners have stylish customers that I've been known to stalk someone for blocks to take note of what they're wearing. 


If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get?

I absolutely LOVE El Sabrosito in Oakland. It's home style Salvadoran food. The truck is only parked weekdays on Broadway and 3rd. They have the most delicious pupusas stuffed with veggies & cheese or chicharron & beans. Perfect topped with their coleslaw and a cold horchata. I love that it's run by two sisters, Claudia & Maria, that work side by side and are inspired by their parents' family recipes.

What do you like most about the maker community?

The maker community is so supportive! Trunk shows and maker fairs are a great way to meet other artists. Often, working on your craft can be isolating if you don't share studio space. Working intensively, hours can go by without talking with anyone. I feel that at maker events, it's a great what to connect, share your craft, insight and experiences.

I'm always inspired by how hard makers work and how passionate they are about sharing their product.


Where is your favorite place to travel?

I love traveling to Mexico and recently went 2 years in a row. I love the artistry work that each town has to offer. In Guadalajara, I found the most beautiful hand-embroidered dress and tops and colorful woven shoes. In Sayulita, I was enthralled with the brightly colored tassels, pom poms and dream catchers everywhere. The tassels were used to decorate everything from purses to blouses to car visors!

What do you want for your next birthday?

A Sodastream!

What does your work space look like? .

It's really a funky shack behind my home. I have large windows that look out to my lemon, fig and orange trees. It feels like a cabin and a wonderful relaxing place to work. It's stocked full of my years of collecting machines, trims and bolts of fabrics.