May 27, 2015

Clutch Move: Custom, Limited Edition Bags by BowensBergeron

The BowensBergeron Clutch Collection is just about everything we’d want an independent fashion line to be: each bag is made of eco-friendly materials and recycled wood in the U.S.A. in signed, numbered limited editions of 25. Designed by Tamara S. Bowens and handcrafted by A. Ray Bergeron, the clutches are custom made and take up to a month to produce. The result is streamlined style that pairs an earth-friendly ethos with modern, minimalist panache.

Available at Circle & Square, the bags ($750-$2,750) aren’t cheap, but they’re like little works of art that you can carry out on your adventures for many seasons ahead, thanks to their careful construction. We’re particularly enamored of the simply chic Jetsetter, sleek and curvy Aficionada and the architectural Trendsetter. Each features a wooden exterior, magnetic clasp and contrasting lining.

To view more of the BowensBurgeron clutch collection and scope fresh independent style by emerging artists and designers, visit Circle and Square online or in person at the Presidio Heights showroom (344 Presidio Ave., SF.).


This sponsored style series brought to you by Circle & Square, a San Francisco boutique and showroom offering the best in independent design and accessories from designers and artisans around the globe.


JLD Jewelry Collection Launches

Oakland furniture designer Jason Lees has launched his first jewelry collection made using the same materials and aesthetic present in his handcrafted pieces for the home and inspired by minimalist sculpture, Japanese design, African tribal art and California mid-century modern craft. With a long track record of producing high quality goods in the Bay Area, Lees has serious ties to the local maker scene: he’s married to SFMade champion Janet Lees.

Available in his online shop, the JLD Jewelry Collection relies on chunky shapes revved up with blocks of color and hung on leather cords. Several could easily be worn by guys or gals, and we could see dressing several styles up by replacing the leather with a silver or gold chain of your choice.

More Bay Area jewelry designers

Snap Judgment: Snoa Sleepwear’s Midnight Rendezvous Gown

Our very-visual, (almost) chatter-free snap judgment of the day: the Midnight Rendezvous nightgown, $138, part of the new fall line-up from eco-minded San Francisco company Snoa Sleepwear. Made of super-soft modal fabric with fleece cuffs for warmth, the aim of this night creature is to stay toasty, but still attractive, thanks to a flattering shape, plunging back, side slit and flirtatious hemline.

More snap judgments

BeGood Opens: New Shop Touts Feel-Good Fashion

BeGood co-owners Mark Spera and Dean Ramadan

Many people focus their lives on making the world a better place. Dean Ramadan and Mark Spera are doing their part by opening BeGood Clothing, a store nestled in Cow Hollow on Union Street that celebrates its grand opening on Saturday. Here’s why it stands out: BeGood Clothing only carries pieces with environmental, social or humanitarian impact (or a combo thereof).

Ramadan and Spera were initially inspired by international travels and philanthropic work, respectively. However, it was the success of Tom’s Shoes and its “one for one” philosophy that led the pair to open a retail store. When the former college roommates began scouting for philanthropic brands about six months ago, they discovered a plethora of stylish, socially-responsible, eco-friendly and fair trade brands.

“There are a number of causes our brands support,” says Ramadan.

Among them are donating books, clothing, toothbrushes and financial support to people in need both here in the United States and around the world. After searching for other brands that, like Tom’s, give back for every item purchased, the pair discovered numerous worthy companies. In fact, many of items they carry are from local designers, including Palo Alto-based eco-friendly label Amor Vert and San Francisco’s Jade of All.

Another feel good factor? For all eco brands in the store, BeGood Clothing has partnered up with local non-profit organization Project Open Hand to donate a meal for each item sold to those in need and unable to leave their homes. This way, Ramadan and Spera ensure that every time someone shops, another person in the world is helped.

The ethos doesn’t stop at what’s on the racks.

“The wood for the floors were the scraps from ten separate contracting jobs,” says Spera.

The flooring and even the dressing rooms are upcycled, while other decor elements that include metal birdcages, a painted door with vintage photos and a chandelier were all found at local flea markets.

Here are the vital stats:

Who: BeGood Clothing

What: A charitable boutique

Where: 2127 Union Street in San Francisco

When: Grand opening on Friday, August 3rd at 7p.m. Opened for shopping Saturday, August 4th at 11a.m.

Why: To stylishly act locally and think globally.

How (much): Prices range from $20-$160.

Look good while Be(ing)Good starting this weekend when the store officially opens.

More San Francisco shopping

Maximize Summer with These Lovely Local Maxi Skirts

Let your hem down with the summer wardrobe essential: a maxi skirt. We’ve found some of the chicest locally-designed skirts to spruce up your closet.

Marine Layer‘s basic women’s skirt, $70, wraps a slew of neutral tones into one piece. A contrasting vertical back hem in black adds some sporty pizazz.

Curator‘s Claudine Skirt, $75, is the perfect balance of length and utility. A tie waist adds femininity, while the eco-friendly fabric keeps it in the sustainable style realm. Even better, this organic cotton maxi’s a deal: it’s currently on sale.

Alyssa Nicole‘s Accordion Pleat Maxi Skirt, $48, adds a feminine touch with its vertical pleats. Another plus: the textured maxi is also handmade.

Amour Vert‘s Mia striped maxi, $104, flatters the body with well-placed diagonal stripes. Its hidden pockets and ec0-friendly modal fabric make it a super soft and comfy winner.

Saffron Rare Threads now has a multi-print maxi skirt, $88, that looks like a piece of modern art.  The bold print will add flair to any outfit.

More San Francisco designers