Adam Arnold’s by-appointment-only Portland studio looks small from the outside, so visiting for the first time I was surprised when he opened the door and ushered me into what is actually a very large, inviting and light-filled space. Wearing covet-worthy clothing of his own design and working on an equally covet-worthy pair of custom jeans for a San Francisco-based ballerina, Adam is exactly how I imagine a high fashion designer — without any of the haughty attitude. He creates beautiful garments for both women and men.
Looking through the racks of clothing on display I was really struck by the diversity of his designs, all of which are impeccably crafted. It makes sense that his client base ranges from local fashion mavens to business professionals. We discussed his process for making custom pieces and I, for one, was sold. With enough textile choices on hand to rival some local fabric shops, that’s often where he and his clients start. He listens to their needs and wants, mocks up a muslin for fitting, makes adjustments to the fit and design based on his own trained eye and client feedback, creates a pattern, and after a final fitting, the garment is done. The whole process takes an average of 6-8 weeks.
Though custom clothing seems expensive at the outset we discussed the fact that in the long run, it’s so much more cost effective to buy something made just for you. Overall you’ll get more wear out of your garment and it will outlast most mass-produced items by years. And who wouldn’t want to work with Adam, who has such a kind and engaging spirit? I highly encourage you to make an appointment to visit his space and see how he can assist with your custom clothing needs. I’m hoping to make it back to his studio this fall for a custom blazer!
Adam Arnold is located in Portland at 338 SE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. For an appointment, call (503) 234-1376 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Adam’s mischievous studio creatures — the “Snooks” (seen below) are available at Museum of Contemporary Craft. You can also find Adam Arnold on Facebook + @adamarnoldstudio on Instagram.