Recently, our beloved San Francisco has snuggled its way onto the tab bar of the popular fashion-focused blog Refinery29 among cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The trend-reporting site known for delivering fun and attention-grabbing scoops on fashion to devoted followers nationwide now has a local edition, headed up by San Francisco editor, Katie Hintz-Zambrano.
As big fans of local fashion content, we were excited to sit down with Zambrano recently for a chat about all things fashion. Read on for her take on style, San Francisco and what’s to come for our very own local edition of Refinery29.
What was it like moving from New York City, the fashion capital, to San Francisco?
I’ve been out here for over a year and a half, and I really like it. I’m really glad that we decided to make the move. There’s something really exciting here. New York is just so saturated. Everyone looks so amazing in New York. Everyone has style, and it’s almost a given. Whereas here, I feel like it’s much more refreshing when you see people with great style.
What stands out to you about the San Francisco fashion scene?
I think that the stores here are incredible. They’re independent boutiques, and people are really prideful about shopping local. I think that that’s unique to the area, and it’s really cool. It gives so many shop owners a chance to be successful, and that’s why we have to many great stores here. Specifically, my favorite stores: I think Bell Jar was one of the first stores I came to when I moved here ,and I was just blown away. I think Sasha [Wingate, a.k.a. Darling] has such a cool set-up. It’s so cute and girlie and maybe that’s my aesthetic half the time. I think the people from M.A.C. are so sweet, and that store just shows what San Francisco is all about.
As a newcomer, what strikes you about San Francisco style?
I think the style is getting better and better, and I think that in San Francisco there are extremes. I think there’s some really, really horrible style sometimes and you’re like, “Oh my god.” But there are also small clusters of people that dress really well, and they’re just cool. I think they care about style versus caring about fashion with a capital “F” and that’s what I like. The way that they mix their outfits is interesting. I think the guys here dress really well. It’s a stylish city, but stylish in little pockets. Sometimes it’s even hard to figure out where to shoot street style, but I’d say the Mission is pretty stylish.
What’s your shopping strategy?
I go to Crossroads a lot because it’s just so guilt-less. I like to dig through something and feel like I found it and that it’s special and maybe not everyone has it because there’s not five next to it sitting there. I like the hunt. If I’m going to spend $350 on a dress, maybe instead of going with a label that’s based in New York, [I'll] seek something here that’s the same quality of design and invest in that just because it means a lot for a small label to get a sale versus a bigger label in New York or somewhere else.
What kind of pieces do you hunt for?
I think it has to be a unique design. I think that as I get a little bit older, I’m just picking out things that are more my style, and I know that I can let certain trends go and it’s really not going to affect me, like the flat form shoes. I really don’t like flat forms, I would never invest in it just because it’s a trend and I want to look “of the moment.” If you’re going to indulge in that trend, get it really cheap.
What looks are you into right now?
When I started loving fashion, it was the late ’90s, so I really love that minimalist aesthetic, and it’s coming back round again, as it was bound to. And so I love the idea of Jill Sander. They did plain white t-shirts with these big, voluminous ball gown skirts. I’m really loving the minimalism that’s coming back and like color blocking and just keeping things simple. I’m not the type to wear like ten million rings on my finger and all these accessories. I really want to try to get a pair of Martha Davis shoes. Her shoes are walk-able. That’s pretty important to me.
What are you working on for the site?
I’m doing a round-up of the best cover-ups for the after-4 p.m. chill, and I feel that’s very San Francisco, and it’s something that I think everyone can relate to here. I’m definitely going to branch out and do more home stuff and profiles of some really cool homes in town, because personally I can’t get enough of home porn—I don’t think anybody can. More home stuff will definitely be on-deck.