Catherine Bacon began her career as a fashion designer twenty seven years ago when she walked into the legendary Obiko Boutique in San Francisco to show four bead-embellished sweaters to the late owner, Sandra Sakata. Obiko was a haven for many young, promising, aspiring designers. Sandra greeted Catherine’s very first pieces with such enthusiasm and encouragement that it is safe to say that it was here that the Catherine Bacon label was born. Catherine’s parents helped shape and support her growth as a visual artist; in her early years, her father, a member of the US Forest Service, showed her the astonishing, ever-changing spectrum of colors found in nature, while her home-artist mother, who braided vibrant rugs, hand painted fine china and created handmade dolls, exemplified the joy of following energetic and creative instincts. Her parents embraced both inner and outer beauty, and allowed Catherine to see this beauty, as if looking through their eyes. As she shaped her own vision, it is no surprise that Catherine later earned her Masters Degree in Creative Arts Therapy and became a clothing designer.
Catherine’s collections have achieved national and international recognition. Among other stores, she has been represented by Obiko, Neiman Markus, Harari, Dream Weaver, Origins, Takashimaya and Bergdorf Goodman, who awarded her with three separate window appearances, the third being one of their spectacular Christmas window presentations, later published in a book by the celebrated store. She has sold her work through specialty boutiques in Canada, London, Switzerland, New Zealand and Japan. But it is the collaboration of her creative efforts with the talents of her textile artists, pattern makers, cutters and seamstresses that excites her the most.
“Every collection finds its first few breaths in the fabrics,” says Catherine. “I work with a community of local textile artists who take my initial ideas regarding themes and color, and return with hand-dyed, discharged, painted or surface-treated fabrics of extraordinary beauty. I place no restrictions on their work and the results are inspirational. They also take fabrics I have sourced from mills in France, India or Italy, and transform them, bringing them to a whole new level.”
After matching these fabrics with her most appropriate trademark pieces, such as her “butterfly” or “kimono” designs, Catherine creates new patterns to further enhance her collections. She closely supervises all the cutting and sewing, providing creative direction to all the final details, including coordinating models, make-up, photography, New York Market Week and trunk show appearances. As if conducting a symphony, her influence touches every player in the process.
Catherine lives in the Bay Area of Northern California surrounded by her colorful garden, three, ambivalent, feral cats, and her loving companions George, the poodle, and Ed, the person.