October 2, 2014

Sneak Peek: Inside New, Expanded Residents Apparel Gallery (RAG)

Keeping sustainability in fashion, local Bay Area design collective Residents Apparel Gallery (RAG) is expanding its Hayes Valley store, with the official re-opening this Friday. Featured everywhere from the New York Times to the Washington Post and numerous leading travel publications as a leading Bay Area provider of locally-designed and -produced clothing, RAG is doubling its space and increasing its capacity. What can we expect from the new RAG? Founder-curator Blakely Bass gave SF Indie Fashion the scoop:

What will distinguish your new, expanded space?

For the first time at RAG, we are able to carry more menswear, specifically menswear by Ghetto Goldilocks, more local womenswear such as Finch Design, and for the first time a small locally-made home decor and furniture section from En Route Studio.  We have used more recycled wood for our new sign in front of RAG. The new sign was painted for us by local artist duo SCUBA.

With this expansion, how will you continue your goal of trendsetting within a sustainable, community-based business model?

We will be able to accommodate more designers and wall artists from the community that before had less places to sell in in San Francisco and may now sell only nationally through craft sites such as Etsy or other non-local stores.  There is such a plenitude of local and forward, trendy talent in the Bay Area that you really don’t need to look elsewhere!

Why is RAG’s expansion significant now?

Having been open for over eight years, we are at the point where we have met many more local artists and designers and have become much more established and known. RAG was also getting too cramped, and we were not able to showcase designers’ wares and their company signage or biography displays as well as we can now. Also, we have a great staff of local designers and friends helping out at RAG and enabling us to make the transition into a bigger space much smoother.

Does your expansion indicate growing strength in the direction of sustainable design?

Unfortunately, we have watched three shops in San Francisco that carried local designers and artists close in the last couple months, so we hope to be become a place where customers can come to find many of these displaced designers. This will be much more easily accomplished with the extra 550 square-foot room we are expanding into. RAG will be a much more sought-after spot for local crafters and people thinking about getting into designing if we have the extra space to carry their wares and if RAG is able to gain more fans and exposure.

What can we expect from the opening party on Friday? Any fun surprises?

RAG will have drinks, home-made baked goods and a children’s play room!

Check out these pics of RAG’s current and expanded space:

RAG's current collective space

RAG's expanded space

New local furniture designs from En Route Studio

Residents Apparel Gallery on 541 Octavia Street in Hayes Valley

Photography courtesy of Kizza Chadiha.