Posts in Alumni 2013
Michelle Byrnes

Hawaii-born San Francisco resident Michelle Byrnes designs swimwear for today’s jet-setting woman. Upon realizing she owned nearly 200 swimsuits, Michelle decided to translate her love of design and adventure into a career path. She graduated from City College of San Francisco, studying design and textiles, and has designed a new swimsuit collection yearly for nearly a decade. In 2010, Michelle launched her own line.

Michelle’s swimwear offers cutting-edge design and a hint of bohemian wanderlust. The garments are manufactured domestically in Los Angeles, with fabrics imported from Italy. Michelle recognizes that the journey is more important than the destination and believes in inspiring love, life and adventure with her garments.

Michelle has previously worked with Macy’s Passport and Surface Magazine. She has experience in show production, jewelry manufacturing, visual merchandizing and design. Her swimsuits have been featured in Women’s Wear Daily, San Francisco Chronicle’s Style section and Scene Magazine.

Read More
Bree Hylkema & Kyra

Kyra has an eclectic background in finance and theatrical costume design, patterning and construction. She completed her MBA at Mills College’s Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business and was a recipient of the Financial Women’s Association of San Francisco scholarship, as well as the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women business leadership scholarship. Kyra wrote her undergraduate thesis on sustainable fashion and draws inspiration from slow fashion, costume design and a desire to empower professional women. For the past six years, she has specialized in accounting consulting and operations development for Bay Area fashion companies.

Read More
Sarah Liller

Born and raised in Ventura, Calif., Sarah Liller is no stranger to fashion. Her mother an accomplished seamstress, Sarah grew up surrounded by buttons, patterns, fabrics stores and a 1970s Kenmore sewing machine. Although Sarah was a scientist by training - with a graduate degree in biochemistry, her love of sewing sent her to the prestigious Parsons The New School for Design. Sarah’s education and experience in New York City helped her garner an in-depth understanding of the garment industry.

After moving to San Francisco’s Mission District, Sarah became inspired by the city’s culture and launched her own clothing line, Sarah Liller, San Francisco. Most of Sarah’s clients are graduate students and accomplished professionals, compelling her to design women’s wear that is feminine yet versatile, fit for a “modern heroine.”

Sarah held internships with Nanette Lepore and Siwy Denim in New York. Her clients include Levi Strauss & Co. Her designs are available for sale at Loft 1513, a boutique in San Francisco.

Read More
Diana Mitchell

Diana Mitchell has been sewing since childhood, taught by her mother and grandmother, both of whom made clothes for the family. Diana went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from University of California, Davis, Art Studio program, focusing on sewn sculptures. She later completed a patternmaking program in San Francisco.

While directing an afterschool center for children, Diana recognized an unfilled market niche: comfortable women’s wear that is suited for work with kids and presentable in front of their parents. Thus, in 2011, DDCC was born. Diana uses her late grandfather’s architectural drafting table to create all patterns and is inspired by his legacy. She often likens patternmaking to architecture: 2D designs blossom into beautiful 3D works of art upon completion.

Read More
Jake Wall

Artful Gentleman’s Co-Founder, Chief Designer and Style Curator Jake Wall comes from a marketing background, with a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Berkeley, as well as a master’s degree and an MBA under his belt. However, in 2010, Jake rebooted his career, becoming a sewing apprentice with classically trained bespoke tailors in Hong Kong.

Soon after, Jake founded the Artful Gentleman. Artful Gentleman produces custom-tailored suits, tailored shirts, separates and tuxedos that address the fashion needs of men and women of all sexual orientations. The customization process offers up to 500,000 combinations so that no two suits are alike. It is Jake’s personal mission to inspire others to express themselves through well-fitted, stylish wardrobe. He is committed to the city’s LGBT community’s fashion sense and is a published author on gender construction, with a focus on gender roles in modern comic books.

Artful Gentleman suits were worn by a folk rock band The Lumineers to the 2013 Grammy Awards and featured in Bay Fashion Magazine and Bay Area Reporter. Jake also participated in San Francisco Fashion Week in 2012. Artful Gentleman is the style curator for the nationwide 2013 “Modern Man: Art of the Suit” event, part of the Chivas Regal “Brotherhood” marketing campaign.

Read More