May 26, 2015

Reliquary Opens in Hayes Valley

A reliquary is defined as a shrine for sacred relics. It is also one of San Francisco’s latest thoughtfully created retail experiences. Opening today in Hayes Valley, Reliquary is best described as a destination filled with curious ‘objects of desire’ that range from small production denim to turquoise jewelry and WWII-era lighters.

“You never know what to expect,”  says owner Leah Bershad of her new – and first – store.

Bershad, a five-year veteran Gap employee and Parsons graduate, quit her corporate job in May 2010 and headed to Europe to start picking uniquely special artistic items that would collectively shape the look and feel of Reliquary. She traveled throughout Paris, London and parts of Austria.

Peruse Reliquary’s blog, and you’ll discover inspiration from folk art, antiques and design in Bershad’s “unexpectedly diverse” and “tightly-edited” curiosity shop.

And while it will stock a great many unexpected objects, Bershad is clear on what the store will not be: It’s not consignment, nor will it have anything retro, she says.

Apparel includes French knitwear by Majestics, French basics by American Vintage, denim from North Carolina’s Raleigh and New York’s Court labels,and additional apparel lines Hazel Brown and Beautiful People. Accessories include scarves by Epice, leather goods by Clare Vivier, handbags from London by Jas MB and pouches by Sophie Nova, as well as jewelry from Annie Costello Brown and Studio Deseo. For the home, find solid handmade perfumes by Black Amber Balm and Cote Bastide potpourri and bath salts from France.

Other intriguing selections include a global selection of textiles hailing from America, Mexico, Japan, Peru and India, vintage French workwear, Navajo rugs, embroidered dresses from Afghanistan, Victorian-era gold jewelry, a collection of World War II Zippo lighters and more.

Check out the Reliquary grand opening event this evening at 5 p.m., 537 Octavia Street, SF.

Take a sneak peek inside Reliquary with these photos:

Navajo rugs and hand made racks

Antique beads from Nagaland

Reliquary hoard of turquoise

The Reliquary girl

Vintage tool bags

Photos courtesy Leah Bershad and Reliquary

Inside Anathema, the First Magazine from Acrimony

Hayes Valley boutique Acrimony recently released the first issue of its new magazine, Anathema. We caught up with owner and local fashion maven Jenny Chung to chat about the inaugural issue, its name and what’s extra-enticing at Acrimony right now.

Why did Acrimony decide to publish a magazine?

We love to do editorial shoots featuring not only new product, but fresh faces as well. We wanted to create something that inspires our readers and shoppers. We do so by seeking out new locations, playing with lighting, hair, makeup and any other element that helps us convey a particular perspective. Soon the magazine will evolve into a larger spread, including interviews, articles and other goodies.

What was the concept behind the magazine’s look and feel? What kind of vibe were you hoping to create with the imagery?

The concept of the magazine is really split into three stories, as it’s laid out. For the launch, we took it easy. Not the most exciting angle, but the most indicative of what we like to do with fashion. Take a really cool piece and make it feel easy, unfussy, put it in a raw space and make it look amazing. But it’s not overdone, unrealistic or overly styled. As Anathema evolves and we release new issues, we’ll continually change the concept to include whatever feelings we have at the moment. Right now, it’s the Easy Life.

Why did you name it Anathema?

We didn’t want to call the magazine Acrimony, but we wanted the magazine to share a name similar to that of Acrimony. The dictionary definition of Anathema is, “someone or something intensely disliked or loathed.” Just because something is liked by many doesn’t really mean it’s good. We all know that by watching modern television and listening to pop radio. Sometimes the things that are hated or loathed are actually creating the best content. That’s for everyone to decide on their own.

Can you give me three reasons San Franciscans should visit Acrimony right now?

It’s hard to keep it to three reasons, but one, we’re having a huge summer sale where everything is 40-70 percent off. Two, we have an amazing “summer bug” display up in the window. Huge paper mache bugs with human hands and feet are suspended from the ceiling. Three, all the new fall merchandise is slowly starting to trickle in. You don’t want to miss the first pieces of the season. Leather jackets from Veda, chambray shirts from Gitman Brothers Vintage, new jewels from Lady Grey and Odyn Vovk tees in soft materials.

More San Francisco shopping

Celebrate with These Hayes Valley Long-Haulers


What you may not be able to ready in the small print is this invitational message from Hayes Valley independent fashion label and boutique Lemon Twist: “10 years locally owned and operated. 4 years at 537 Octavia Boulevard. Thank You! Please help us celebrate, Saturday September 19, 2009, 6-9 pm. See you there, over and out!”

Get it? 10-4? ‘Nuff said.

More upcoming San Francisco fashion events….