This week I profiled my tailor, Al Ribaya of Al’s Attire, for my IBC post on the SF Weekly blog, the Exhibitionist.
My good pal, the phenomenally talented Kareem Worrell, took an amazing array of photographs of Al and his store that I wanted to use the real estate of this post today to showcase. Custom clothing/bespoke tailoring is a whole world and this just scratches the surface. I suggest finding a tailor who gets you and beginning a lifelong relationship immediately.
All photos by Kareem Worrell
I love the care taken with the tags–they double as receipts and appointment reminders and are a classy alternative to the utilitarian paper products used by most stores. Life is about atmosphere, you know?
Al’s Attire is a workspace as well as a showcase for product. There’s a nice mix of warehouse/design room/storage space thats boutique-meets-tailor shop.
Non-normative bodies especially benefit from a tailor’s eye. If you’re used to clothes that don’t quite fit you, this will change everything. I personally can recommend Al as trans/gender variant-friendly. He even completely redesigned my suit jacket after my top surgery. For free.
Al’s shoes are priced generally between $389-489. He fits them custom to your foot. The process is pretty elaborate–you pick the style and go in for several fittings until your shoe and your foot are one. Shoe molds and leather wraps are involved! “Once a shoe dog, always a shoe dog,” Al said, in reference to himself. I don’t know what this means exactly but my translation is that you’re in good hands.
Al is San Francisco, born and raised. “We have the most creative minds and designers within fifty miles of here,” he says. “And we attract those minds because we’re open to everyone’s taste and sexuality and that is what breeds creativity.”
Like most anything quality, the more you wear Al’s shoes the better they look. And that’s the point of buying something that fits. You never want to take it off.