• Carole Tomkins
My Design Philosophy
I’ve been making clothing practically my whole life — it is my passion. My mother taught me how to be a good seamstress, just as her mother taught her. So at an early age, I knew attention to quality was just as important as picking the right fabric, and selecting the perfect pattern. And being very tall, thanks to a father with a commanding presence at 5’ 16” in stocking feet, as he loved to jokingly say, store-bought clothes rarely fit me. This inspired me to create my own designs, and in doing so, I got hooked. I realized that I loved everything about making clothes, from refining the patterns to selecting the fabrics, the color palettes, and even (especially) the buttons and the littlest of details! After attending college, earning a degree in fashion design and illustration, and doing some modeling, I left upstate New York behind, and moved to the West Coast in 1973. Today, I operate a clothing design and manufacturing company in Sausalito, California, and my collections can be found in more than 150 boutiques nationwide. For more than two decades, I’ve been designing women’s clothing under my own private label.
The Carole Tomkins Collection features my signature line, The Big Shirt, and my newest line of Jackets.
All are stylish, sophisticated designs, in colorful, comfortable fabrics, with whimsical buttons and other details that make my designs stand out. They may even spark a conversation, I hope they do, I love it when that happens! All garments are created in my San Francisco Bay Area workrooms where I personally oversee all phases of production, and work with a team of pattern makers, seamstresses, tailors, and cutters. And to keep my collections fresh, I use limited edition textiles from small mills in the U.S., ensuring that my designs are almost like one-of-a-kind creations, and I’m proud to say, made in the U.S.A. They are available in assorted colors, textures, and fibers like sandwashed rayons, bembergs, tencels, linens, cottons, wool tweeds — in 75 or more fabric options for every collection, for every season. Life has options, and I believe you should too with your clothing choices. Many of you already ‘collect’ my designs in several different fabrics in the style that lets you live your best lifestyle. And isn’t that what life is really all about? To which I say, continue to dream big and do it in style.