I’m Carlin, the designer and founder of Carlin Martin. I live here in North San Diego County in the town of Fallbrook with my husband (and business partner) and our three dogs, Barkley, Jester, and Rex. We love living in Fallbrook – the avocado capital, being able to drive out of the city and see open sky and green makes life so much better. We are still conveniently close to our clients in San Diego, Palm Springs and Los Angeles.
I am a creature of habit and find myself watching the same familiar shows and listening to the same music out of comfort. I love to get up early and work in the quiet, dark morning hours, I feel like my most creative self during this time. I love visiting fashionable cities like New York and Los Angeles, but find myself feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated if I’m there for too long. I still feel like a bit of an outsider in this industry, and am most content when I’m here at home – in my workspace on a quiet street with my close friends and badly behaved dogs.
Spending most of my early life in Tennessee, I am a Southern guy at Heart. As a teenager I was fascinated with a sewing machine that had been given to my Mom as a gift. From altering my jeans for the bell bottom trend to taking old and new shirts to create a unique look. I really had no idea how to construct a garment, so I made do with what I could figure out on my own. Fast forward three years and I met a German tailor (my new mother-in-law) who recognized my passion and talent and mentored me.
Much of my early work was aided by her hands, and I learned a great deal in those 15 years until her passing. I was making clothes for me, my friends, and my wife all on my own in my spare time. But life can get in the way…work, my wonderful son, and finding myself as a gay man.
After meeting my husband and business partner and settling in California, my heart was again leaning towards tailoring. With my husband’s encouragement and my renewed spirit I set out on designing men’s shirts to fit the distinctive man. I intend to continue pushing the boundaries of tailored menswear because I feel clothes should express an individual’s style.
BE YOUR OWN!