SAN FRANCISCO RETAIL INTEL

Editors Note: Grant Taylor is a man-about-town in San Francisco who will be reporting in from time to time on all things west coast style. Here is his first post:

SAN FRANCISCO: A city with style, but not too concerned with fashion. The Northern California ideal of achieving cool without really trying defines the sartorial spirit of the city by the bay. While in many ways SF is the antithesis of LA, this is still California, and the blight of the hoodie lives on. Casual comfort is the theme, but SF does have an edge up: generic hipster has given way to a more thoughtful, vintage-loving and well-proportioned wardrobe (as evidenced by the only Freeman’s Sporting Club outside NYC, in the Mission District).  It’s easy to dress in lace-up leather boots, hometown Levi’s, and a Pendleton jacket year round in fog city. 

Freeman’s Sporting Club & Barbershop, marked outside only by an inconspicuous barber’s pole.

Killer red suede Freeman’s boat shoes:

 

The only suits are the odd-men-out in the Financial District. The Mission brings the hipsters (and the cholos), and The Marina, overgrown frat boys.  This is still a city of extremes, and a 15 minute walk can take you from the mink-wrapped grand dames of Nob Hill to the ass-less chaps of SoMa. In the end, SF style is about individuality, and what better place to show your true colors?

While the shopping in San Francisco is different by nature than that in New York, different doesn’t necessarily mean lacking. Beyond the looming Barney’s, Neiman’s, and the like in Union Square, independent local stores provide San Franciscans with a more intimate experience. MAC, Modern Appealing Clothing, has established itself as a longstanding local staple. Since 1980 the store has evolved into two locations – carrying coveted pieces by Jil Sander, Dries Van Noten, and the like.

Modern Appealing Clothing:

 

Down in Union square, among the retail giants, sits a bright little store, Bastille, that is full of dark and stylish things.  The female mannequins lined in the window are draped in Rick Owens, and the men’s selection doesn’t disappoint.  Casual cool pieces by Acne and Gitman Bros. mix in with happily discovered lesser-known labels.

Bastille San Francisco:

 

The newest and most exciting addition to the SF retail scene is MAAS & Stacks, on Market Street near the Castro. This tiny space dictates strict editing by the two young guys who are the unpretentious founders.  Classic-minimalist selections from Band of Outsiders and Patrik Ervell hang beside casual bags and sneakers by Common Projects.  The small scale does not hurt the selection, and here are even issues of Fantastic Man and Apartamento for sale.

MAAS & Stacks:

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