The 916: Gold Is the New Black


Hidden among sewing machines, tables and evening gowns at her downtown studio, we find Karisa Gold, one of Sacramento’s new generation of fashion designers. Her line, the Karisa Gold Collection, was a hit at this past winter’s Sacramento Fashion Week. She got her start by drawing dresses in the margins of her school notebooks, then later studied at International Academy of Design and Technology. A yearlong stint in New York (where she interned at Haute Hippie and other fashion industry hot spots) provided the launch pad for her local Fashion Week debut three years ago. We caught up with the Davis-born eldest of nine to discover she’s not afraid to work outrageous hours or find herself buried under layers of heavy fabric.

Was your debut a hit?

The reception was really encouraging. If I’m being honest, I lacked confidence in my own design ability. It was validating for me that this is what I should be doing.

Why eveningwear?

I love that it’s dramatic and it makes people feel a certain way. When they put on this beautiful piece of clothing, it gives them an inner confidence that shines through and really radiates their inner beauty out. It’s basically wearable art.

Any plans to switch gears?

Maybe. I’ve always been really into childrenswear. After having my son, I made him tons of clothes and accessories. I’m expecting a daughter in September and am really excited to make girl clothes!

You’re from this area. Will you stay?

Sacramento is my home. I really adored New York and think it will always have a piece of my heart, but I really love Sacramento. All our friends and family are here. It’s a good community. 

How fashionable is Sacramento?

This was the 10-year anniversary of Sac Fashion Week. 

Sacramento is becoming aware of how fashion forward it can be and is becoming more collaborative with the artist community. There is an immense amount of talent here. Everybody in the community is very supportive of one another.

Who inspires you?

I have a constant muse, which is Audrey Hepburn. I like to say that my designs are a mix between the class of Audrey and the sass of Marilyn (Monroe). I like to keep it classy and sophisticated, but always with the underlying seduction element to it.