Inside Alternative: Tiffani Williams

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When it comes to fashion, Tiffani Williams has a style all her own. A self-proclaimed fan of “old-lady chic” who’s always on the search for handmade adornments and random vintage finds, Tiffani has mastered the art of coordinating unexpected yet perfectly put-together ensembles. Lucky for us, this style-savvy vintage-lover decided to bring her one-of-a-kind creative talent to Alternative’s Los Angeles Design Lab. As Senior Product Development Manager, Tiffani specializes in developing and engineering those famous fabrics and specialty washes that give Alternative clothes their signature vintage softness.

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How did you get involved in the fashion industry?
For the most part, I’m self-taught; I didn’t go to art school. As a teenager, I just started sewing clothing on my mother’s sewing machine and created patterns by tracing clothes. Growing up, I made a lot of costumes and fun, wild going out clothes. While living in San Francisco, I decided to get serious about fashion and trained with a private tutor drafting patterns and learning draping techniques. I created a small collection, photographed it and started working in the business. After a few years, I realized I needed to leave San Francisco to develop my career in either New York or Los Angeles… I chose L.A.!

What is your fashion philosophy and who are some of your design idols?
My philosophy and motto are synonymous: shoes come first. When putting together an outfit, I strive to include a decent shoe, new or vintage, and then I mix in vintage clothing or add something unique to every outfit. I have so many designers that inspire me on different levels. I have to put them in categories from small indie designers like A Detacher, Bless, Acne, Jasmin Shokrian and Creatures of Comfort to more mainstream designers such as Martin Margiela, Marni and Rodarte.

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What fuels your creativity and keeps you inspired?
Blogs! I pull inspiration for fabric, color and shape from small indie blogs like Weird Friends, Intelligent Clashing and Youth Quakers among others. I’m drawn to the most obscure and the most obvious of ordinary objects, as well as to vintage retrospectives. I also like to curate these inspirations and musings as montages on my Tumbler blog, Arts-and-Science.

What are your favorite styles from Alternative’s forthcoming spring 2012 line?
I’m really looking forward to the new specialty washes because I put a lot of creative focus there—especially the new men’s roller-washed rugby stripes, which are a hand-crafted take on classic rugby stripes. Our double-dye mesh fabric for women is also perfect for lightweight spring layers—definitely something unique for the season. From a silhouette standpoint, I’m looking forward to the women’s Cherokee Rose Skirt, Dorado Maxi Dress and Deep Wells Tank.

×Eleni Snider
photos by Stephen Zeigler




  • Reply September 17, 2012


    I used to feel the same way about video games, until I read the cognitive scecnie behind it and decided to lean into the trust that my son knows what he needs to experience in his life. Kids are wiser than we usually give them credit for. They know the difference between right and wrong. The only kids who have ever committed violent crimes didn’t commit them because of a video game; they tend to come from dysfunctional homes or have experienced personally violence that was not taken seriously.Criminalizing a passion by calling it an addiction, I strongly disagree with. I think it tells our kids they can’t trust themselves or the things they are interested in. It tells them on a deep level that we don’t trust them. And that’s where disconnection and discord within families begins. I can tell you, though, that a BIG key to helping our kids navigate these sort of natural interests (and I call it natural, because peaceful kids throughout history have always played violent games like war; it’s a big, big way they make sense of it through play) is by being actively involved in it.Justin plays these video games with Zeb; I don’t play but I’m always sitting nearby helping him with the game, finding tips online or just showing a genuine interest in what he’s doing. As a result of our close and *trusting* interactions, the game stays just that a game; something to play, to experience, to use as just another tool to understanding the world in a safe and secure way.

  • Reply February 27, 2012


    Hey,your apparels are awesome.I am feeling glad to be here..I love the way you explained about fashion and stitching apparels..

  • Reply January 29, 2012

    Irene Bee

    Insperational! Keep it up

  • Reply January 19, 2012


    Do you sell your apparel wholesale? I’m starting a designer graphic tee company and am interested in your mens and womens tees to screen print on…

  • Reply December 27, 2011

    sally watson

    how do i see your line?? i have a gallery in a circa 1952 hotel building in tipp city ohio i curantly sell clothing along with art objects such as glass ,pottery,watercolors, oils, collages jewelry ect…

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