Walk into into Eel and Ermine in Presidio Heights, and, unlike most boutiques, you’ll see the owners in action designing their own pieces from streamlined dresses with vintage fabric to boyfriend shirts with feminine touches amid earth-toned decor and furnishings and accessories they, for the most part, handcrafted themselves.
Owners Evelyne Aikman and Elinor Diamond both graduated with art degrees from separate schools and wondered, “Why don’t people make things anymore?” They answered their own question by opening their innovative, yet old-fashioned take on a clothing store, where they create simple and elegant designs and tailor them around their customer’s needs and desires.
“Being able to produce instead of consume all of the time…lets people see that ‘yes, you can make something, we’re making it right here.’ [It’s] kind of a nice way of getting things done and having things that you don’t necessarily have to buy from a huge chain store,” emphasizes Diamond, a San Francisco Art Institute alum.
Aikman and Diamond met each other decorating cakes at a shop in the city and later teamed up to find something more fulfilling. Together, they combined their E-lettered names and opened Eel and Ermine, a place where you can have well-tailored clothes at an affordable price while nibbling on homemade cakes and refreshments (their carrot cake is decadent).
On the racks, you can find well-designed dresses priced at an average of $100, fun skirts at around $60 and recycled t-shirts at a mere $25. Prices include free tailoring.
Aikman sums up why you should come get dressed at the shop: “You can get exactly what you want and something that fits you perfectly. It’s something you don’t have to order months in advance if you want a custom dress.”
Find your right fit at Eel and Ermine, 514 Presidio (between California and Pine) or online in their Etsy shop.
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