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:
Photos courtesy Leah Bershad and Reliquary