May 29, 2015

Introducing SF’s First Fashion Blogger Runway Show

San Francisco will see it’s very first fashion show featuring fashion bloggers instead of models this weekend during the 3rd annual Beauty Expo, a competitive showcase of Bay Area styling and beauty talent produced by the San Francisco Fashion and Merchants Alliance. Read on for more detes and how to win tickets to this local fashion event.

Hosted by Charleston Pierce, the evening derives its main drama from a style-off featuring competing teams made up of hair and makeup pros culled from Bay Area salons and beauty schools. A judges panel made up of Celebrity Stylist Antonio Venegas, former model Joyce Hu of The Bookr, Stylist Dario Smith of Bellwether Project and Gwendolyn Wright of The Wright Consultants will decide the winners.

The evening will be capped off by a fashion show with bloggers as models, including Jules Vasic of The Green Stylist, Alison Messinger of Eclectic à la Mode and Lona Duncan of Lux Resale – each in apparel by designer Jennifer Ly.

Other reasons to go: A chance to mingle with participating designers and folks from sponsor companies such as Styletag, Fizz Marketing, Punchtab, Shopience, Intern Sushi, Wella,, The Brush Guard, Pigment Cosmetics, Rodan+Fields, Seacret SF, WorkPlayDate, Bachman’s Sparrow and Chloe+Isabel.

Want in? We’ll be giving away tickets later this week, so follow us on Twitter @sfindiefashion or visit our Facebook page. That’s where it will all go down.

More San Francisco fashion events

SF Indie Fashion is a Beauty Expo media sponsor

Style + Tech: FASHION+TECH SF Talks Social Media

Social media experts speak on best practices for branding businesses on the net.

Social media may seem easy enough, but if you’re a start-up fashion brand trying to carve out a space for yourself in the digital sphere, you already know that the process can be challenging. It was those very challenges that a group of social media aficionados and tech-curious entrepreneurs convened at Pigment Cosmetics to discuss during the most recent FASHION+TECH SF.

Online branding best practices and the complexities of internet marketing were hot topics, as were product presos from gift bag swapping phone app Swagg, Abrot Bags, talkTECH Communications and brand ambassador company RAF9.

Ania and Farooq of Abrot bags

The evening was engaging and informative with speakers Brad Carrick of Solz Shoes, Sabrina Bruning of Internet Savant, Uduak Oduak of Ladybrille Magazine, Willo O’Brien of Willo Toons, and Vishal Kalia of RAF9, all of whom took part in the panel focused on topics such as “How do you build online influence?” and “How much time do you invest in managing your online community?”

Formerly known as Fashion Mash-Up, this workshop hosted and organized by San Francisco Fashion And Merchants Alliance’s Owen Geronimo concentrated on the business of fashion and its growing relationship with technology. Local entrepreneurs, fashion designers, bloggers, retailers, startups, and tech-lovers interested in networking, brainstorming and sharing new business ideas are just some of the people who attended the event.

Attendees get acquainted with other entrepreneurs during the networking hour

Experts spoke about their company’s histories with social media and discussed how they set up a strategy and got social media to work for them. A few highlights:

- Sabrina Bruning and Willo O’Brien had this suggestion for brands who want more online influence and followers: be proactive. If you want a response from someone, tweet at them first. Just make sure what you’re tweeting is relevant and not spammy.

- Another social media tip that’s easy and effective: if you see that someone you follow is going out to an event, tweet at them to have a good time or wish them good luck. A little kindness goes a long way, and can help your brand get noticed.

- In terms of online social marketing tools, Twitter and Facebook seemed to be the fan favorites amongst the workshoppers, though the merits of newer applications such as Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram for visual-heavy purposes were also noted by several panelists.

Designer Ben Raviv (left) and SF Indie Fashion's Alexandra Naughton having fun with the #fashiontechsf hashtag sign.

Photography courtesy of Alexandra Naughton (except last photo, courtesy of FASHION+TECHSF)

More San Francisco fashion and technology

Alexandra is a San Francisco writer with a passion for style and creativity. You can find her on Twitter @theTsaritsa


Party Seen: Carrots 4th Anniversary Celebration

Sisters Melissa and Catie Grimm, who co-own CARROTS, celebrate the boutique's 4th anniversary

Ultra-chic boutique CARROTS, nestled in San Francisco’s posh Jackson Square neighborhood, celebrated its 4th birthday last Thursday evening and drew a crowd of uber-stylish San Franciscans, among them the evening’s hosts Taylor of Sterling Style, Samantha Rudd & Kendall Asmuth of Sequin Harvest, Erin Hiemstra of Apartment 34 and Caitlin of Sacramento Street. Read on for pics and detes from the night’s festivities.

Hosts Erin of Apartment34 and Caitlin of Sacramento Street strike poses in pairs of sweet sunnies.

Sam and Kendall of Sequin Harvest ventured into the City for the night from Napa to co-host the event and, of course, shop.

Taylor of Sterling Style

It’s no surprise that it was a working celebration for owner’s Catie and Melissa Grimm, as family, friends, shoppers and some of the city’s most style-savvy fashion bloggers such as Heather of Heather in a Candy Shop, Tara of Wonder Girl, Britt & Whit of Britt + Whit and Krystal of This Time Tomorrow oohed and ahhed over the boutique’s seemingly endless supply of lust-worthy goods. Needless to say, it was impossible to walk out the door without something on.

Party-goers take a break from shopping to catch up on the latest and dish

Josh of the Bon Vivants concocts one of many specialty cocktails served during the event.

Scott and Josh of  The Bon Vivants were busy behind the bar, where they speedily mixed up a few of their deadly delicious specialty cocktails (Pilgrim Punch, the Potrero Buck and the El Rio, to name a few) to keep guests going strong as they perused the merch.

Party-goers found items from such local designers as Geoffrey Young, Isly handbags by Sobia Shaikh and scarves from Camilla Olson in addition to the  a’bout + CARROTS pop up shop, the Grimm Sisters’ collaboration with designers Dean Hutchinson and Yunchieh Chang of Toronto-based a’bout, whom they have have teamed up with to create an exclusive line.

The party in full-swing

Carrots will no doubt be celebrating its 5th anniversary just as stylishly. If you can’t wait that long to snatch up some goods, and we don’t blame you if you can’t, you can find the Grimm sisters at 843 Montgomery st. San Francisco, Ca 94133.

More San Francisco fashion news

Photography courtesy of Colin Day

Party Seen: Pretty Pretty Collective’s Mira Mira Fashion Show

The runway at Pretty Pretty Collective

Last Thursday style-crazed bloggers and fashionistas flocked to Pretty Pretty Collective Salon and Art Gallery for the much-talked-about debut of the new look book  from Mission boutique Mira Mira. Together with PPC’s Georgia Rew, Mira Mira’s Mira Pickett threw a killer runway party featuring local style bloggers as models to celebrate her shop’s latest looks for fall.

Mira Pickett (left) and Georgia Rew

The dynamic duo, who have created quite the buzz on 22nd Street of late, worked with the rest of the PPC Productions crew to transform the venue into a style-heavy space complete with luminous light installations by Aleksandra Zee and a runway flanked by two rows of numbered seats, each with festive gift bag stuffed with goodies.

Guests Amber of Amber's Notebook, Natalie of Like Fresh laundry, media gal Joanna Reidl, Kristen of Stylenik, and Katie of Refinery29 strike a pose for the camera

As guests awaited the lookbook presentation, they ventured to the bar in back of the room for a silver bowl brimming with champagne cocktails and a spread of Sea Bells mini cupcakes. After quenching their thirst, snapping photos and catching up with friends, guests took their seats as the models in an upstairs dressing room dealt slipped into their first runway look.

A model wearing the first lookbook look.

The fashion show featured 15 looks ranging from feminine to romantic, bold, bohemian and vintage-inspired. Designs by To Be Adored, Annabelle, Mink Pink, Clover Canyon, Audrey 3+1 and Shakuhachi made their way down the runway modeled by a few of San Francisco’s favorite style bloggers: Blair of  Atlantic Pacific, Jennie of Going West, Laura of On the Racks.

Laura of On the Racks strikes a pose at the end of the runway

Jennie of Going West works a killer red coat on the runway

Blair of Atlantic Pacific wears a romantic blouse by to be adored

After the runway show wrapped, the models slipped out of their runway looks to join the party. We grabbed the host herself for a quick Q&A.

When asked what kind of woman shops at Mira Mira, Pickett said, ” Women who love fashion and like to have fun with it and take risks.”

What sets her store apart from the rest? Mira says, “I try to carry unique styles that aren’t available all over SF at affordable price-points.”

Not only does the Mira Mira girl love fashion, but she loves a girls night, which Mira holds once a month at her the boutique.

Blair and Jennie post-show.

Laura post-show

A glowing Mira

As the party began to wind down and it was time to close up shop, the crowd switched it up and scooted next door to the Latin America Club to continue the celebration with pinatas and a few rounds of round of ice-cold brews.

More on the San Francisco style scene...

Photography courtesy of SF Indie Fashion (1, 3, 8, 9, 10) and Mira Mira

Indie Biz Tip: Reaching Out Really Works

So you'd like more people to check out your rack? Read on for some thoughts.

Many owners of small, independent businesses that I run into at events and through my work as a journalist often ask me (after I’m done peppering them with questions, of course!), how can I get the word out about my new company, product or brand? And I often ask, have you reached out directly to any local journalists or bloggers? You wouldn’t believe how often the answer is no.

I’m not sure why that’s the case. There are obviously many owners of stores and boutique brands that do reach out frequently and do a great job of keeping their fans, followers and the media up-to-date on their latest news (not surprisingly, they’re often the ones that get the most press). But just as many do not. Several business owners have told me that they were just plain too shy to send a journalist an email. Others have said they didn’t want to seem obnoxious, self-aggrandizing or pushy. Others still have implied that they just thought journalists would find them when their company, brand or product was worthy enough of recognition. And I’m sure many, many owners of independent businesses are just too busy keeping their companies running smoothly to send emails randomly to writers.

But let me tell you from a journalist’s perspective, never underestimate the impact of a short, polite, informative email sent directly to a journalist or writer. In fact, the owner of a small design-oriented startup contacted me this week to let me know he’d read my stories in local publications and to ask whether I would be interested in covering an event he had in the works. As it turned out, that bit of news fit perfectly into a story I was already putting together for the San Francisco Chronicle’s SF Unzipped blog.

A coincidence? Of course. But then again, isn’t life built on them?

My advice: to achieve more recognition for your company, spend some time reaching out.

When you do that:

  • Reach out to the right person. Ask yourself, is my company or bit of news a good fit for what this person already writes about?
  • Follow-up if you don’t hear back. It’s completely fine to check-in if you haven’t heard anything. Who knows, the journalist in question may be literally drowning in email. It happens.
  • Make sure you’re ready for showtime. If your web site is due to be totally revamped in a month or your online shop is opening two months down the line, it’s probably a better idea to hold off on your press push. Most publications and web sites won’t cover the same companies over and over again, so hit ‘em when you’re really ready for the coverage.

Indie Biz Tips will be part of an ongoing series aimed at owners of small, independent businesses. Hope you’ll come back for more.

Photography courtesy of Christophe Tomatis