Welcome to Racked SF, where local fashion blogger Kristen Philipkoski reports on retail comings and goings around San Francisco. Philipkoski has been living and shopping in San Francisco for 20 years, and she blogs about it over at Stylenik.com. Seen a store open, close, or otherwise claim your attention? Hit the tipline, s'il vous plait
We probably don't need to tell you, the shopping season is on in full force. Sample sales, craft fairs, and parties—there are almost too many to list and it's not even December yet! We'll do our best to keep you updated on all of it. Check out our round-up below and stay tuned for lots more!
1. Castro: Fiat Lux may be a teensy little shop (250 square feet!), but they throw some pretty major parties. And we're happy to report they're throwing a whole series of them this holiday season, kicking off on Friday with a trunk show featuring SF metalsmith Daisy San Luis. She makes tiny diamond rings and custom engraved sterling and 14-karat-gold necklaces and rings. Which would make quite thoughtful little gifties, in our opinion.
Join the party at the Castro boutique from 7 to 10pm for lavender champagne, a 10 percent discount on Daisy's engravings, and, according to the Fiat Lux Facebook page, "a shit ton of holiday cheer." Who could say no? Fiat Lux [On Facebook]
2. Union Square: Chaiken, a San Francisco favorite, is throwing a huge sale on Fall 2012 designs on Wednesday and Thursday this week. High tail it down to the company's headquarters at 785 Market Street, 13th Floor, today and tomorrow between 11am-6pm for up to 85 percent off sample and stock merchandise. They promise lots of oxblood, the color no one can stop talking about. [Chaiken official site]
3. Mission: Bags hand crafted and designed right here in San Francisco, made from USA-grown and woven organic canvas and leathers plus natural dyes? Believe it or not, such a thing exists. The folks at Joshu+Vela make all their totes, backpacks and duffels in their San Francisco studio—that includes the cutting, sewing, leather finishing and rivet hammering. The result is simple, well-made goods that will run you a few more dollars than that Forever 21 tote you bought in the spring and threw away in the fall. But in the grand scheme of things not really that much more, and (if you manage to keep track of it over the years) you can plan on handing down a Joshu+Velu to your grandkids. [Joshu+Vela]
4. Union Square: On Saturday Steve Madden threw a grand opening for its second San Francisco store (the first is in the San Francisco Center), and its twenty-third California location. The company celebrated the opening at 33 Grant Avenue in Union Square with a DJ and discounts. Stav Efrat Studio designed the 1,700 square-foot store, which is a former Betsey Johnson location. The store is in good company with Camper, Bebe, Banana Republic, Lululemon and Mulberry as neighbors. And just in time to take advantage of the holiday foot traffic between the San Francisco Center and Union Square. If you're in the market for studded sky-high platforms, moccasins, wedge sneaks (yes they are still happening) or American flag backpacks (the shop covers quite a range) head on over there now!
5. Mission: Weston Wear has been a fixture on Valencia Street for longer than most of the boutique's neighbors, but the brand is anything but stale. Julie Weston's ability to evolve and stay current over the decades is majorly impressive. Plus she's, like, the nicest person ever, and we prefer to give our money to friendly folks whenever possible. Her latest offerings are perfect for the holiday party season, with plenty of bold colors, lace and sheer fabrics to keep you feeling festive all the way through the new year.
6. SOMA: Bazaar Bizarre is bringing holiday craftiness to the Concourse Exhibition Center this weekend, December 1 and 2, with more than 200 local artists, designers, crafters, and food makers selling their goods. There will be plenty of workshops and demos on how to make silk-screens, jewelry, and books from matchboxes. Plus a birdhouse-building competition with (supplied) recycled materials.
But if you'd rather leave it to the pros, don't worry, you can shop from a slew of limited-edition prints, hand-crafted jewelry, housewares, screen printed t-shirts, kids toys and clothes, bath and body products, and ceramics. A food market curated by Forage SF will sustain you through the handcraft festivities. We probably don't need to remind you again, but, the gift-giving season is upon us! And handicrafts make the best presents. Entry is free at the Concourse Exhibition Center, East Hall, 620 Seventh Street at Brannan. Saturday & Sunday 11am-6 pm. [7x7]
8. Pacifica: Madrigalli Market, where local coastside artisans gather their wares and put them up for sale, is on this weekend at the Pedro Point Firehouse. Get your fill of sea-inspired handmade ceramics, jewelry and crocheted stuff on Friday, November 30th from 4pm-9pm and Saturday December 1 from 10am-4pm. [Madrigalli Market on Facebook]
9. San Francisco:Twitter contributed literally nothing to Black Friday sales this year according to an IBM study. Facebook and LinkedIn contributed a teensy bit. Hmm, wonder how retailers are feeling about dollars spent on social media? [Mashable]
10. San Francisco: The city's latest shopping-centric startup crowdsources high-end and independent designers to create gorgeous handbags, jewelry and even bicycles. Artisans agree to make the goods when they have a critical mass of orders—which is most cases between three and five. [Digital Style Digest]