Last night, in a Fashion’s Night Out-inspired runaround, guests were treated with food, drinks, and music while extravagantly-trained representatives and managers gave them the 411 regarding fall looks at its first annual Fashion Fest (F3) in Union Square. Also in attendance, were local trendsetters from San Francisco’s very own Fashion Incubator, which included a showcase from local designer Sarah Miller from Parsons.
The magic of fashion began at 6pm when attendees arrived at the TIX booth in Union Square Park, where they received maps that highlighted participating stores, which included: 7 For All Mankind, Adam Neeley, Ferrari Store, Theory, and Vince, and among others that made sure to leave a mark on event goers—if even only to welcome them as new clientele.
In what seems to be a growing trend in San Francisco, lots of people showed face and participated in various prize-winning competitions while they enjoyed luxury refreshments and all the champagne their hearts’ desired, fully embracing and establishing the city as a rising contender in fashion culture. In efforts to create a buzz in the SF fashion scene, event publicist Rena Ramirez informs 429Magazine that the fabulous night on the town was partially due to the cancellation of New York City’s popular Fashion’s Night Out.
“It did take quite a bit of convincing,” said the stylish publicist, in reference to not only getting Union Square Business Improvement District on board, but also collaborating with the many different stores to offer incentives (and of course alcoholic beverages) for shoppers. One of the biggest goals, according to Ramirez, was to drive more locals to come out to Union Square—one of San Francisco’s largest shopping districts, especially for tourists. “I think it’s been a great turnout, we promised them (Union Square and participating stores) about 500 attendees and we secured over 1500.” Not bad at all for F3’s kickoff year; perhaps this can give San Francisco the style recognition that it so desperately needs.
Highlights from a few of the more memorable stores can be found below.
Agent Provocateur: What can most simply be described as Goth Glam (appropriately for fall and the coming celebrations for Halloween—San Francisco’s most celebrated holiday), Agent Provocateur did nothing less than impress with the debut of its high-end Soiree 2013 collection, showcased in the stylish upstairs level of the store. With dressing rooms that were strategically reminiscent of private showrooms one might find at a high-end strip club, this store can definitely expect to establish a brand that is sure to turn heads this season.
“We had a store renovation, so it’s become very luxurious,” said beautiful store rep, Brooke Silva. “The upstairs is higher-end lingerie, we’re using Swarovski crystals and real leather, and it’s unlike anything we’ve ever done before. Bringing in things that can also work as outerwear is big this season.” It certainly won’t hurt that every representative in the store looked as if she’d been plucked from a sixties pinup calendar. No offense to the ladies, they were all quite breathtaking.
“This is my dream, this store is my inspiration,” said Mariana Salas, an inspiring lingerie designer from Mexico.
Scotch and champagne were provided and served to guests.
Porsche Design: When thinking fashion, this store may not be the first to come to mind, but with the debut of its sleek, new outerwear and first-ever women’s handbags (the impeccable crocodile leather TwinBag and the Holly—which just hit stores two days ago), it seems like that may surely change.
“We’re really evolving into becoming a recognizable lifestyle brand,” said Regan Bradley-Brown. “This is the first season that we are really trying to brand ourselves [as a fashion label]and step away from just being associated with the Porsche car brand, and really make a mark on the fashion scene.” Porsche seems to be doing just that, stepping into high gear with the New York Fashion Week debut of their Spring 2014 collection. No stranger to the fashion world, store manager Fariha Alam has styled for hit television shows like ABC’s Scandal and recently helped pull clothes for the new film, Runner, Runner with Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck.
Guests were treated to Porsche water, variety macaroons and champagne while they looked around.
Fashion Incubator: Hosted by the upscale Nespresso Boutique, these hip designers have come together from various backgrounds to collectively form the Fashion Incubator—made of various designers of menswear, sportswear, contemporary women’s wear, and more. Standout designer Sarah Miller SF of contemporary women’s line Vermulen & Co. was available to give an interview for 429Magazine.
“They take us in and give us business development, teach us about production, and then go over our designers—it’s like Project Runway, without all of the creepy cameras,” Miller said about the leaders of Fashion Incubator who brought all of the designers together. “I have come from Parsons, I have a very classic background in fashion, but I’ve never been able to take this final step of actually putting together a real collection,” Miller said with a glee that clearly reflected a dream becoming reality for her. “Now I have to sell the damn thing.” Spring 2014 collection for Vermulen and Co. is available now.
Ted Baker: London Lemonades and Hotel Chcolat chocolates were served to any customer who “at least looked around” at the Autumn/Winter line—which, according to the look book, is the perfect platform to leave a lasting impression. However, one customer clearly didn’t feel as inspired.
“Where is the champagne?” he asked, as he bypassed the clothing.