20 Questions with McCall’s Designer Khaliah Ali

20 Questions with Khaliah Ali, McCall's pattern designer.


The McCall’s designer on love of family, her goal to design for woman of all shapes and sizes, and migrating penguins.

1. What should every woman try at least once in her life? Join a sports team! It will help you determine your life’s passion.

2. What brings you the greatest joy?  This one’s very easy—being a mother to my 15-year-old son Jacob.

3. What brings you the greatest satisfaction?  The deep emotional bonds and ties I have with my entire family, friends and coworkers.

4. What is the best advice you’ve been given? “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.” Wise words of my grandmother.

5. Do you sew? I humbly reply yes. My background is in design which has afforded me the time it requires to become a skilled seamstress.

6. What is on your bookshelf? Vogue magazine, tons of books on plant-based and vegan nutrition, and National Geographic. I love magazines!

7. What charity do you support? HELP USA , Project Sunshine, and We Are Family Foundation. I’ve also traveled to the Congo and taken part in building schools and hospitals there with my husband and son.

8. What is on your bucket list? Traveling to Antarctica to witness the penguin migration.

9. What is on your perennial to-do list? I want to continue to produce quality products for women of all shapes and sizes. I want to maintain balance and harmony in my life. Oh, and to stop hoarding gorgeous pieces of fabric that are dying to be made into garments!

10. What are the last three items on your credit card statement? Flowers, can’t live without them; sneakers for my son, whose feet grow faster than I can speak; and groceries. What can I say, I’ve got a house full of hungry men to feed!

11. What item in your closet do you wear the most? My black (of course) matte jersey dolman sleeve cinch top. I have three of them—when it works, it works!

12. Who are your heroes? My mother, grandmother, my sisters Lydia, Jenna, Jennifer and my sister-in-law Sara—the young ones keep me connected and inspired. And my dad.

13.  What is on your nightstand? A glass of water, earrings, and a stack of books.

14. What quote do you live by? There are so many it’s hard to choose, but right now my favorite word is “focused.”

15. What is your greatest indulgence? Staying in bed late on a Sunday morning surrounding myself with tons of things to read, a cup of my favorite tea, and my yellow lab Butters.

16. Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party? Barbra Streisand!!!!!! Paul McCartney, Oprah, Dolly Parton, Larry David, Chris Rock, Louis CK , Willie Nelson and Russell Brand… oh, I could go on forever.

17. Who are your favorite designers? Kenneth Cole: He is not only a source of inspiration but at times a mentor as well. Valentino: Such beauty and refined elegance always takes my breath away.

18. What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I love flying pigs. I have one in every room of my house. “When pigs fly” makes the impossible possible.

19. What is your beauty secret? Happiness, confidence and a happy marriage.

20. What is the one thing you wish you knew when you were younger? That everything eventually works itself out. No need to rush and worry.

We’ve been sewing since 1863.

  1. There are so many wonderful moments in this interview! But I do love the dinner party. It would be great to be a fly on the wall on a room filled with such a wonderfully ecclectic group of people. “When pigs fly” would have to be my second. It was very nice to meet you Khaliah Ali!! ;-D

  2. Very nice interview, it’s nice to know that she is a seamstress too 🙂

  3. Ms. Ali seems like such a lovely person. I especially like her beauty secret advice. Thanks for sharing such a nice interview!

  4. That’s a sweet interview…I’ve at least one of Ms. Ali’s patterns in my collection.

  5. What a lovely interview, especially love “when pigs fly” and the last one. We are in such a mad fast paced mode these days- great advice for everyone right now.

  6. I love the answer to that last question, it’s somenthing I want my children to understand. Excellent interview! Hurray!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *