Fashion designer Altana Danzhalova brings vibrant color and designs to Burlingame.
Altana Danzhalova models one of her Tiffany gowns during a shoot in Paris.
Altana Danzhalova is from a remote village in eastern Siberia, some 3,500 miles from Moscow, near the Mongolian border. But, as the adage goes, style is where you find it. In childhood, she took discarded cloth from her mother’s laundry and sewed the pieces together to make her very first dress. “This scarcity of fabric and resources not only drove me to be creative but fueled my lifelong passion for sustainable and versatile fashion,” says Danzhalova, now a fashion designer who recently opened her first studio, AD Couture Atelier, in Burlingame.
Danzhalova came to the Bay Area in 2009 with almost no English skills and big dreams. She took language classes and enrolled in Apparel Arts, an independent fashion school in Oakland focused on patternmaking, draping and dressmaking. Her résumé includes brief stints at several local tailoring shops and an internship at a fashion house in New York. Once back in San Francisco, she set up a design studio in her bedroom, and in 2017 partnered with society figure Sonya Molodetskaya on a clothing line called Major Obsessions. Those collections gained traction and an active client base through the duo’s high society connections and an active Instagram feed.
In this new solo business, Danzhalova, a married mother who lives on the Peninsula, works from her studio on a bustling downtown street and designs, drapes, sews and sells her creations on-site. Among the most popular items are her Carrie skirt ($285), a versatile taffeta skirt in vibrant colors; her Alexia dress ($575), a sequined dress with ostrich feathers; and her strapless Tiffany ballgown ($880) for weddings, charity balls and other black-tie events. “Customers walking in to browse will often meet me at the design table or cutting fabric,” she says. “The studio is designed to be a collaboration area with me and my clients, as we select from something already on display or co-creating something entirely new for her special occasion.” 1375 Burlingame Ave., Ste. 103, adcouturedesign.com