September 1, 2014

What’s New in Old Oakland’s Popuphood

In the heart of Old Oakland, it’s time for a catch up session on the latest with Popuphood. New retailers Umamimart and McMullen recently joined the mix of independent shops, and the organization is offering other interested independent retailers an opportunity to apply to the expanding project through its web site. Read on for the details.

Here’s the lowdown: with the rise in popularity of pop-up retail, the idea of a mini neighborhood inspired by the concept presented a unique opportunity for a group of lucky retailers last fall.

Popuphood, an urban revitalization project and small business incubator, aims to draw foot traffic to the heart of Old Oakland while offering local artisans and merchants the opportunity to open temporary shops to present their work to the public.

When Popuphood debuted this past December, creators Alfonso Dominguez and Sarah Filley made it possible for a handful of independent retailers to try out the newly renovated retail spaces of Old Oakland for six months – completely rent-free. Opportunities to sign long term leases after the trial period made the opportunity even sweeter, and five out of eight retailers ended up signing leases. There were benefits to the surrounding community, as well. Along with bringing new energy to the streets, the shops are easily accessible via public transportation and BART, and are only a few short blocks from a handful of restaurants and bars.

The project has plans to expand to more neighborhoods and communities in the future and has created an online platform for interested businesses to get in touch: independent retailers interested in joining the eclectic mix of talent can apply online for their opportunity to connect with Old Oakland – or wherever the next popuphood lands.

More San Francisco fashion news…

 

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.

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SF Fashion Events: SFMade’s Factory Tour, Wild Feather + Fashion on the Square

The week ahead is a quieter one than most where local fashion is concerned, but three events stand out. On Friday, SFMade offers a chance to see the inner workings of the fashion biz during its latest local fashion factory tour. Saturday brings an all-day opening party for new Haight Street boutique Wild Feather, and, on Sunday, the annual Fashion on the Square event delivers a fashion show featuring San Francisco’s Joseph Domingo alongside apparel from a varied mix that includes Old Navy, Apple Bottoms, Keneuoe, Dark Garden and San Francisco State University student designers, among others.

Find details on these and other upcoming San Francisco fashion events waiting on the SF Indie Fashion Calendar. And of course, as you know, it doesn’t stop there. We’re adding new fashion happenings all the time, so check back often.

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Party Seen: Boutiika’s Wear SF Mixer at The Bold Italic

The author with Boutiika Founder Ruchika Kumar.(Photo courtesy of Boutiika)

Local love graces a wall at The Bold Italic.

As the lights went down in the city, the music was being turned up and drinks were being poured at the recent Wear SF Fashion Mixer thrown by San Francisco fashion startup Boutiika and The Bold Italic. Arriving fashionably late (is there any other way to arrive?) a stylish crowd came dressed to impress in cocktail attire.

The scene: over food and drinks, independent designers, boutique owners and bloggers networked and exchanged tales of their latest fashion endeavors. Getting to scope out the inside of The Bold Italic was also part of the fun. Assorted typewriters and clocks displaying times from all around the world were arranged on the walls, and a giant wooden San Francisco sign displayed just outside the doors is a permanent shout out to the city the online culture site covers on a daily basis.

Taking over another wall was a projection of Instagram photos taken by event goers throughout the evening. Whenever anyone took a picture, he or she could instantly upload it into the photo stream.

For the folks at The Bold Italic, the event was just an extension of what the pub tries to do everyday. As Chris Appelgren of The Bold Italic describes it, the events help to, “celebrate what makes SF uniquely special.”

The event also celebrated the independent fashion scene of San Francisco.

As Devon Chulick, owner of event co-sponsor D-Structure SF puts it, “unlike the fashion scenes in New York and LA, San Francisco is a fashion community. It’s not about what you buy or what you are wearing. Our overall outlook is that the person makes the clothes, the clothes don’t make the fashion.”

Another highlight of the evening was the announcement of the new and revamped Boutiika.com site. Boutiika creates a “personalized shopping experience,” explained site founder Ruchika Kumar, “the philosophy of better fashion is about fit.”

The retooled site was based on feedback from site users. Taken down for site renovations, the newly revamped site is now live and now offers its users a more seamless experience connecting them directly to the boutiques they enjoy.

The goal of Boutiika, which helps its users locate local boutiques to find unique and one-of-a-kind pieces, is to send people into the stores.

“You can’t match the boutique experience,” explained Mo Julapalli of Boutiika. “E-commerce is the craze, but boutique owners have a passion and want people to come in.”

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Tomorrow: SF Secret Boutique Blowout

The San Francisco Secret Boutique Blowout sale is a secret no longer. Here are the details on where to go tomorrow to take advantage of a one-day sale with over 500 dresses, jackets, tops and more.

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