Photography: Ashley Batz
Sarah Seven has made a splash in the fashion world with her decidedly girly designs. Sarah creates frothy, frilly wedding gowns and fun yet sweet party dresses. She even has a ready-to-wear line! With shops in San Francisco and Portland, Sarah is expanding her business and bringing her vintage-inspired (yet totally modern) designs to more women. Portions of Sarah’s sales go to help charities, including Compassion and International Justice Mission. We always respect a girl who uses her talent to help make a difference in the world! With her discernible eye for style, fondness for great design, and passion for her work, Sarah Seven definitely knows how to shine.
What inspired you to start Sarah Seven?
The line was started in 2006. It didn’t start off in bridal; however, after so many requests for dresses in white, it quickly moved in that direction. When the line was first started, I was mainly looking to put something truly beautiful and uniquely pretty into the world of dresses. Not too much fuss — just very flattering, feminine pieces.
Do you have a background in design?
I am mostly self-taught, although I did take some pattern-making and draping classes in Portland.
What inspires your collections?
I try to stick to a theme as much as possible with each line. I’m always starting with a feminine silhouette, of course, and then going from there. The newest Bridal collection for Spring 2013 launching Friday has a lot of sparkle and flowing lace. My customers are a constant inspiration; you can definitely tell what they’re asking for with each new collection.
You design with a signature style. How did that come about?
It was really a lot of experimenting, working on finding my place, and defining myself as a designer. It is so important as a designer to be aware of your strong points, and I really did find mine early on.
You just opened a shop in San Francisco? Tell us about it.
Yes, the San Francisco shop is the second Sarah Seven Flagship store that has been opened (the other is in Portland). It’s a great little spot for bridal appointments. It is technically basement level, so there are no distractions for ladies trying on gowns! My stores are definitely a different experience for brides. All of the gowns are on the floor for viewing and touching. I’m actually working in San Francisco, so any questions that brides have are easily answered by the person who actually designed the dresses.
What is in store for Sarah Seven this year?
A lot, actually. I’m launching a new accessories line for hair and jewelry. The ready-to-wear line just had its one-year anniversary, which feels huge! A lot more stores are carrying the bridal line, so you can see and try on the dresses in person (which makes the whole experience so much better). Bhldn just added their second dress from Sarah Seven onto their website. All really great things!
“When I was looking for the showroom, I knew the moment I walked in and saw the stairs going down that this was the place. Some mirror tiles and heavy-duty glue later, it’s the perfect amount of sparkle.”
How do you sparkle?
With shoes and earrings!