May 30, 2015

Joshu + Vela Launches Online Boutique

Charcoal waxed black leather backpack by Joshu + Vela

The roomy, durable Joshu + Vela A-Tote

This just in: the folks at Joshu + Vela, the handmade organic tote and backpack company, have launched an online store. Ranging from $195 to $300, these bags are made from USA-born materials, natural dyes and premium leather.

As always, all the dyes used are from plants–like indigo for the blues and mango leaves for the yellow hues. Leather accents and straps are vegetable-tanned, and solid brass hardware means they’re in it for the long haul.

In February of 2011, Joshu + Vela worked with Tartine Bakery’s head chef Chad Robertson and manager Sierra Zumwalt to create a custom tote sold exclusively at the local eatery, whose lines regularly stretch out the door and around the corner. Two styles were designed: a one-strap crossbody shopper with steel adjuster and a traditional two-handled tote.

Tartine shopper from Joshu + Vela.

To scope the latest from this local label in person, head to the Joshu+Vela Pop-Up Shop at The Common, which celebrates its opening tonight at the Mission store. You’ll also find select bags at such boutiques in San Francisco as General Store in the Outer Sunset and Unionmade near Dolores Park.

More San Francisco fashion news

JNBY Pop-Up Shop Parties with Google

JNBY Pop-up at The Common

Proving its growing interest in all things fashionable, Google joined designers+artists (DNA) last Friday at The Common for a special party closing the JNBY pop-up shop. Based out of China and internationally recognized, JNBY chose San Francisco for its two-month pop-up event, which doubled as the label’s West Coast debut.

Catered by Bar Bambino, the party was an invite-only final shopping event for the JNBY line, otherwise only available online at Pieces from JNBY’s contemporary, edgy F/W 2010 collection were on sale for guests, most of whom were from Google, the evening’s special guest.

One notable among the casually-dressed Friday night crowd was Marissa Goodman, Google’s fashion and style specialist. Goodman, part of Google’s development team for its recently launched fashion venture, shared that Google was enthusiastic to collaborate in this closing event for JNBY, a featured designer on

Google is also brainstorming future ventures with its internal club, dubbed ‘GStyle,’ Goodman revealed. GStyle meets monthly to brainstorm ideas and events primarily targeted around technology and the increasingly influential world of bloggers. No specifics yet on what to expect from GStyle, but do prepare for innovative pushes in true Google fashion — no pun intended — likely to bridge fashion and technology and advance services for bloggers, designers and other fashion industry players.

From the sounds of it, Google is revving up to take on the fashion world. Can Google change the game of fashion? We’ll have to patiently watch as the world’s number one search engine reveals its strategies.

Photos from the JNBY Closing Party:

Photos courtesy DNA Pop-up Shop

Spotted at Storefront Pop-up: Men’s Jewelry by Kate Ellen

At the collective space The Common last Thursday during a Storefront pop-up shop event hosted by DNA, we were taken with jewelry designer Kate Ellen and her array of intriguing jewelry for men. Recently listed among the ‘Best of San Francisco 2010’ for fashion and beauty by 7×7 magazine, the self-taught jewelry designer – who, it should be noted, designs for both men and women – gave us the run down on her men’s pieces.

What inspired you to design men’s jewelry?

I started designing jewelry to make things I wanted to wear, and likewise, with men’s accessories, I like to design things I would like to see a man wearing. I think about what I would find attractive on a dude, and I go from there. When I was a little girl, I was always fascinated with my dad’s garage, with all the tools and hardware, and in wonder that he knew how to use it all. My men’s stuff is an homage to the garage and to people who still know how to make and build things with their hands.

What type of man wears your jewelry? Do you feel it takes a certain type of man to pull off jewelry – or would you say it’s something any man can wear?

I think any man can pull it off. My line is comprised of throw-back and retro designs, like cuff-links, tie tacks and tie clips. So any man who has an occasion to put on a shirt and tie will look amazing in my stuff. The designs are very masculine and stylish, so both a dude’s dude and a really fashion conscientious man will look sexy.

Your thoughts on The Common Storefront pop-up and how this event benefited you as a vendor?

I love getting opportunities to meet other local designers and engage with people who appreciate local artisans. I love these type of events because they are so unique and creative – this is not your mama’s trip to the mall.

For more on Kate Ellen, check out our previous coverage here. For more on her men’s items, check out her webpage catalog here.

Photography courtesy of Philipp Striebe for Kate Ellen Metals; make-up by Nadia Metwally; styling by Lynsey Clark.