Steve Guthrie was just a teen-ager when he asked his mother to teach him to sew.


The family didn't have much money, so Guthrie figured he could make his own trendy punk-style clothes if he knew how. He would buy fabric and splice patterns together to create his own look. The skill would come in handy later in life when Guthrie, now 47, turned his hobby into a career as a fashion designer.


Before that move, Guthrie, who was born in Port Lavaca and graduated high school in College Station, trotted through Latin America after high school. He first moved to Ecuador, then Mexico before enrolling in Temple University in Pennsylvania, where he received a degree in international business.


He worked in information technology in Philadelphia for years. Then in 2002, he moved to Houston at the urging of friends and found consulting work in the oil and gas arena. While he worked on a master's degree in instructional technology from University of Houston-Clear Lake, for fun Guthrie also took some online fashion-design classes at Houston Community College.


He liked it so much he ditched his technology career for fashion. He launched a small womenswear line, Fourth Ward, named for his Houston neighborhood.


Guthrie relocated to San Francisco to study at Academy of Art University and worked as an assistant designer for Mansoor Scott, a custom womenswear designer.


Last year, he returned to Houston to be with his partner, Tom Kombs, and relaunch his collection, which has a new name, Steve Guthrie.


The 22-piece collection for fall features rich brocades and prints. His line mixes silhouettes from the 1950s and '60s with luxury fabrics and embellishments. Pieces are $120-$200 and sold online at steveguthrie.


Guthrie now teaches fashion classes at HCC.


"I want women to feel like they are dressing in New York but in lightweight fabrics that fit our tropical climate," he said. "My idea is to dress every woman."


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