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Asby brings fashion back to her hometown

Attend the Sutter Larkin trunk show Dec. 15


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: AARON PAUL ROGERS  - Carrie Asby wearing one of her designs.

Lake Oswego High alumna Carrie Asby is coming to town. What makes her return to her hometown newsworthy? She is coming to present a trunk show of Sutter Larkin designs, the clothing line she creates, which recently celebrated its two-year anniversary on the runway at LA Fashion Week.

Asby will present her clothing line from 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 15 at Oregon Wine Reserve, 600 N. State St.

Asby has dreamed of becoming a clothing designer most of her life. She made her own clothes and studied fashion while she was growing up in Lake Oswego, and after graduating from Lake Oswego High School in 1988 she moved to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Fashion.

“It was a trade school, so there wasn’t any campus,” Asby said. “I was 18 and didn’t know a soul. I was living in a pretty sketchy neighborhood in the Tenderloin district in an apartment at the corner of Sutter and Larkin.”

She said that neighborhood was quite a change from her life in Lake Oswego and after some time she grew increasingly uncomfortable and chose to come back home.

“This was my first attempt to be a designer and it was derailed. I took the dream and shoved it down,” she said. She enrolled at Linfield College and studied advertising.

Twenty years later her dream to live in San Francisco was still fresh, and for her 40th birthday she vowed to move back to the city.

“I was working in advertising and designing clothes just for fun on the side,” she said. She was invited to attend a friend’s 40th birthday party and for the occasion created clothing for him and an outfit for herself to wear.

“A woman at the party loved what I was wearing and was convinced I was a fashion designer,” she said. “She kept asking where she could buy my line.”

The party was kitty corner from Asby’s former apartment at the corner of Sutter and Larkin; a coincidence that wasn’t lost on Asby.

“I took that as a sign that I had to go for it,” she said.

The name Sutter Larkin comes from the street corner and its significance to her career.

Asby held her first runway show for Sutter Larkin Oct. 24, 2010. Asby describes her fashions as one-of-a-kind wearable art. She works with responsibly purchased materials, industry cast-offs or up-cycled vintage fabrics. The designs fit many different body types. Besides dresses, skirts, pants, vests, blouses and jackets she creates accessories such as hats, wrist wraps, scarves, purses and more. She sells her creations on Etsy and in pop-up boutiques.

“I like to have interaction with those who will wear my clothes,” she said. “It’s really wearable art rather than just clothes.”

Asby is preparing new designs and building a large inventory for the Lake Oswego trunk show.

“This is my first event in my hometown and I want to make sure this is a very special event. The support of the hometown crowd means a lot,” she said.

The public is invited to attend the trunk show. Admission is free. Refreshments, including wines by Owen Roe Winery, will be served.

To learn more about Sutter Larkin, visit facebook.com/SutterLarkin or visit SutterLarkin.com.




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