Peering in from the sidewalk in North Beach, Al’s Attire appears to offer impeccably tailored vintage clothing with an emphasis on naughty secretary stylings for the ladies and classic American workwear for the fellas. You enter, of course.
Inside, the baffled customer soon finds that every “vintage” item, from shoe to shirt to cap, is in fact a sample that can be made to order to her specifications, just as it would have been had she been the first to wear such garments back in the 40’s. The attention to detail is the kind you assumed only certain Japanese were getting right these days—with the correct sort of rivets, the heavy twill, the hand stitched welt, and that cursive chainlock embroidery spelling out your name over the left chest pocket. It’s a mind blower, I tell you. Just ask Tom Waits.
Al Ribaya grew up in our neighborhood, the Mission. He opened his first shop, Taming of the Shoe on Mission Street, right after he finished high school in 1979. He opened his North Beach location in the mid-80’s, first as a vintage shop, that eventually became a tailor shop. We worked with him on several designs exclusive for Gravel & Gold, and we are so stoked to represent Al’s work back in the neighborhood.