Photos by Grant Puckett.
We live in a world where everything seems instant and on-demand, but some things still take their time. Ally Ferguson is one of them. As the designer and founder of Seeker, a line of gorgeously crafted and sustainably sourced clothing built for the “modern monk,” she embodies the type of thoughtful spirituality that inspired her brand. But make no mistake: girl knows how to have a good time. Teva Explorer Grant Puckett visits Ally at home in her native Los Angeles to talk travel, scraping pennies and the one reason she’ll go to jail.
Ally wears the Women’s Ember Lace in Birch at her Seeker space in Los Angeles.
Ally, describe yourself in three words.
Curious, tenacious, big-hearted.
Los Angeles is a land of transplants, but you’re a native, right?
Born and raised. Shout out to my creators for living out their 1960s hippie dreams.
Speaking of LA, you live in perpetual summer. What did you do today to make the most of that?
Today I’m living off of açaí bowls and summer hours so I can go surf.
So, LA is home, but you’re always traveling — where are three of your favorite places?
Well, I’m a bit of an extremist so I like to immerse myself and explore both inside and outside of my comfort zone. These places offer so much life and perspective: India for the sunset offering, chanting and dancing with the Hare Krishna and all the others on the holy river Ganges; LOOT MX in Saladita for weeks of of barefoot living and sliding on waves with friends; New Mexico, the land of enchantment. The magnitude of stillness and quiet amongst nature there is pure magic.
You’ve had a long career in clothing production. What have been the highlights?
Oh man, it has been a minute in the industry. Time flies! The highlights came with so many tests of spirit, but what a chapter in the book of life to have worked alongside such creatives as Tyler the Creator, YG, and Kim Kardashian.
We checked out your label, Seeker, and it’s pretty evident you are a spiritual person — when did that journey begin for you?
I had a slight head start thanks to my family. Spirituality was always a theme in our house, from String Theory to Siddhartha, but the practice, tradition, questioning, manifesting, intuition and introspection really kicked in for me in my mid twenties. I believe if you can tune into nature and listen, it really will teach you what you need to know. I have the utmost respect for nature and the inspiration it brings into my life. I typically want to run to it any moment I can!
The Ember Moc is the perfect chill shoe, as demonstrated by Ally and her pup at their LA home.
You poured all your time and money into Seeker to make it happen. It wasn’t an overnight success. What went into getting those first big orders?
Seeker has some epic synchronicity! It started small as a passion project, which is why I think it’s worked. I gave it space to evolve without pressure, so it grew with very clear intentions. It was a platform for me to work with other creatives I’ve always dreamed of and to spread a message. Seeker is named after Yogananda, who mentioned in one of his discussions that we are all “seekers.” Oddly, I was given a Yogananda book when I was 22 about “Focusing the Power of Attention for Success.” It was a small book that changed my life — every time I revisited it, another leap forward in my life would happen.
When I came back from India after experiencing how they move from day to night so elegantly in their clothing, I knew had to try interpret that into my daily wear. I knew I had to stand out in a crowded market so I went wild with color, offering mints and mustards and blushes to shake things up. We got some solid partnerships that sucked every penny, line of credit and loan dry — I had to spend money to make sure I could get the orders in my partners’ hands. I just had to weather the storm. Now I completely understand why they say it takes about two years for your business to feel any relief!
Seeker is a wardrobe for the “modern monk.” What do you mean by that?
It has own interpretation for each wearer but, off the cuff, Seeker is very recognizable clothing — sort of like a monk’s robes. You can spot the robes in the crowd: monochrome, minimal, powerful and chill. That’s what I was aiming for, a uniform that can be worn on the daily that feels good, looks good, is made with intention and identifies you with a group of like-minded people who care about what they chose to wear.
Socks and sandals. It’s a vibe, and Ally pulls it off perfectly while wearing the Women’s Hurricane XLT2 and Seeker, her clothing label, while scouting surf along the CA coast.
Spirituality aside, girl’s gotta have fun. So, what do you do for fun these days?
Did I mention I’m an extremist? My mom said that if I ever go to jail, it should only be because I had too much fun. Next week I’m heading to Burning Man for my first burn. I’m really looking forward to that because I love community. Lately, I’ve tamed down the motorcycles and slipped heavily back into surfing. I travel a ton and escape in my Sprinter van any chance I get — and I get a lot of those (perks of owning your own company). I love to skateboard, snowboard, climb, dance and travel.
What can we find you wearing around LA?
I’m always in Seeker these days. I love the white jumpsuit, Souke pants, Vacation shirt and Raj coat. If I’m cruising you might catch me in my favorite Muay Thai shorts or some thrashed Levi’s. I styled Teva to fit the monochrome vibe, and used the Ember Mocs as my pop of contrast. I remember when Teva became popular in the early ‘90s. I had a pair of sandals with the black/purple/orange woven design on them that I had to beg my grandmother to buy. Shoes have always been my prized accessory, and Teva is such a solid brand that has been around for years — an innovator in the industry with integrity. So happy to see this all come full circle.