Seamless in Seattle Winner: Malia Peoples

This local designer channels the lights of Tokyo in her whimsical designs, which took "Most Playful
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Malia Peoples

Line: Lady Konnyaku
Available at:,

The creative spark: Though she grew up in nearby Olympia, Peoples’ formative design inspirations are Far East, not West Coast. While living in China during her teen years, she became fascinated with her Japanese pals’ closets. “They always had the weirdest, coolest things tucked in there and would wear them in wild pairings,” she says. Thus goes her lively, colorful wear that channels the streets of Tokyo, pairing kooky vintage patterns with out-of-the-box details like balloon sleeves or bell bottom pants.

The collection: A former nonprofit worker, Peoples, 29, often looks to the tube, citing eye-candy shows like Soul Train (hence, the bell bottoms) and old kung fu movies as her inspiration. “I really like to play with color, texture and pattern. I find all my fabrics at thrift stores or through estate sales, and  throw it in a pile, looking for pieces that shouldn’t go together at first glance, but then actually do.”

First garment ever made: “Before I went to fashion school in 2007, I had never sewn anything, and I’ll tell you, learning to sew was harder than learning Chinese. So my first garment was for a class project, a little black dress with an appliqué of a cloud on the skirt.”

Biggest fashion faux pas: “When I was living in China, the fad was to braid your hair, bleach it, perm it and let it all out in this frizzy Afro. It looked so, so cool for four months. But then it grew out, and I was left with 8-inch grow-out with horrible silver tips and just flat on top. I had to wear a bucket hat for an entire summer.”


The Best Local Socks to Buy Now

The Best Local Socks to Buy Now

This city has a thing for socks. From top toe protection to no-slip all-stars, we’ve found the best bets for restocking your sock drawer

(From left to right)

1.  Sock It to Me
This Portland-based company has the corner on the whimsical-sock market. Go for the women’s Shakespeare-themed “Taming of the Shoe” or the men’s Multi Player gaming sock for a silly but sophisticated fashion statement. $11.50–$12,

2.  Darn Tough
The name says it all. Based in Vermont and manufactured exclusively in the U.S., these mid-calf, micro crew hike/trek socks are sure to keep your tootsies dry and happy on a hike. The fun colors will make you even happier to take off your boots at the end of the day. $20, available at

3.  Peony and Moss
Founded by Seattle local Eva Spitzer, Peony and Moss brings the pretty with these high-quality cotton socks. We like the Scandinavian pattern knee high, but the thigh high works well with the high-booted crowd. $30–$32,

4.  Mod Socks
Bellingham’s Mod Socks pays serious homage to its Northwest roots with its “Bigfoot Loves Washington,” a women’s knee sock, and the “Bear Necessities” crew sock for men. $10,

5.  Strideline
This Seattle-based company took the city by storm with its skyline lacrosse sock. Now it has come up with a new digital ink technology that brings photo-realism and hometown pride to your feet. Get the new skyline, Husky Stadium or the Sounders sock just in time for soccer season. $16–$18,

6.  Balega
The unique left/right construction and deeper heel pocket of these crew socks make them a favorite in local specialty running shops, such as Super Jock ’n Jill. Balega’s ultralight quarter sock, $13, has been called the sheerest, lightest sock on the market and has garnered lots of hard-core running fans. Available at Fleet Feet Sports Seattle, Capitol Hill, 911 E Pine St.; 206.329.1466;