Local vintage shops and designers give old clothes new life
From the colorful storefronts of Haight-Ashbury to the sunny streets of Mission, San Francisco is full of thrift stores selling second-hand clothing and vintage jewelry.
Bay-by-the-Bay is one of the more expensive cities to shop for second-hand goods, but San Francisco has everything locals and suburbs can find from the mid-century; There are a wide variety of vintage stores. Modification to Y2K fashion that exposes the midriff.
Among the city’s thrift stores, a handful of small businesses are building on the thrift store tradition with bespoke décor and a renewed vintage look with sustainability in mind. We have companies and studios.
As the city celebrates National Thrift Shop Day, here are some shopkeepers and designers who specialize in fixing rips, fixing waistlines, and making old things new.
12 Clement Street, San Francisco
Lindsey Hansen explores the turmoil and waste of the fashion industry: unused clothing in warehouses, synthetic dyes that pollute the planet, and the general disconnect between fashion buyers, manufacturers and consumers in the global supply chain. I was fed up.
Hansen, who spent years working in the fashion industry in Los Angeles, sometimes creating 90 jacket designs in a month, said, “Throughout my career, I’ve felt this guilt about the amount of waste I’m contributing. I think I have,” he said.
The Napa native moved to San Francisco about 10 years ago and finally decided to leave the grind behind. She opened her revived vintage boutique and atelier, The Future Her Past, on Clement Street in November 2019, just before the pandemic hit. At one point, the Otis College of Art and Design graduate mostly made masks, but eventually her neighbors began to customize, tailor, and repair vintage fashion items, especially denim, and garments made from natural fabrics. I came across a store that specialized in selling .or colored with natural dyes.
““Everyone was hyper-shopping locally,” said Hansen.
Now, when customers walk into the store, they can browse upcycled clothing from local designers and Futurepast’s collection of revived vintage pieces. This includes anything from jeans with sashiko stitching (a Japanese repair technique that uses white geometric threads on an indigo background) to bags of flour. turned into a shirt. Customers can choose a piece from the rack to have it made to order, or they can bring in an heirloom piece they wish to repair, modify, or rework for a more modern fit and style. $5 to $10 to repair, $300 to rework an entire pair of jeans.
A seamstress, designer, and owner, she hopes to one day host sewing classes at her shop. But until then, we want our customers to feel comfortable in our store and wardrobe.
“I want people to feel like they can be themselves,” Hansen said. “That’s the kind of experience that I’m really trying to hone and nurture.”
3608 19th Street, San Francisco
Similarly, sustainability has been the mission of Marie Biscara and Ivy Chan’s boutique, Isso, for 15 years.
The funky, colorful shop on the corner of Guerrero Street and 19th Street not only sells goods “made, found, or designed in the Bay Area,” but it’s also the most popular store of the past two years. The upcycled seller has made his mark on the hyperlocal fashion scene. A 2-piece top and bottom set with an oversized men’s polo shirt cut in half. Inspired by his 1960s Frankie Avalon “Beach at his Party Movie” halter his tops and two-piece outfits, Biscarra repurposed the polo into cropped his colored tops and sporty skirts.
“It was just being talked about, so it never stopped,” Vizcarra said. (Vizcarra is in charge of design and merchandising, while Chang concentrates on sewing.)
Other bespoke items in the store include vintage jackets with San Francisco-themed patches made by local artists, and ruffled popcorn blouses cut into crop tops and bandeaus. If the tops don’t sell, Vizcarra isn’t opposed to cutting them into smaller scarves or scrunchies so that no material is wasted.)
“Our planet needs to be more conscious of what we are doing. This is just one of the things we are trying to do ourselves to help.,” Vizcarra said.
Finally, Vizcarra hopes Isso will inspire shoppers to take inspiration from vintage fashion and second-hand clothing rather than be “intimidated” by it. “I like to think of what we carry in our store as classics with a twist,” said Vizcarra. It’s timeless because it continues.The twist is because each of us is going to wear this item in a different way.We hope you can imagine it. I am here at”
The brainchild of Gene Duven and Michael Falsetto-Mapp, WRN FRSH also includes comfort and sustainability at its core. From Castro’s flats, the couple produce a line or “batch” of unisex jackets, sweatshirts, pants and dresses sewn from “deconstructed vintage clothes” and sell them pop-up, online or at local outlets like The The shop sells upcycled fashion. future past. Falsetto-Mapp finds and collects vintage clothing and fabric materials (sometimes couples receive donations), cleans them, sorts them by fabric type, and then begins the ‘deconstruction’ process. .
The couple cuts the clothes into panels, which Duven sorts, sews and assembles to create WRN FRSH clothes. The final product is a unique patchwork with subtle variations in panel size and hue, deliberately non-dual and bespoke in a unique way.
“Paneling is always different,” explains Falsetto-Mapp. “Even though it’s in a collection, it’s basically one-to-one. ”
“They get a certain amount of … individuality, but they also get things that they understand,” he says, allowing them to “manipulate their size” at work, “defy their gender,” and that comfort. Duven added that she feels free to share her sensibility with others. .
“Being non-binary is central to our cut,” added Falsetto-Mapp. “We do not have a men’s or women’s section. we never haveIt was always intentional as a physical way to take control and regain power”
Duven will further customize the piece if the client says they don’t want the material worn, pierced, or in a more solid color.
“It’s a little more flexible,” Falsetto-Mapp explains. “It’s just the two of us and Gene makes it by hand so we can make those adjustments.”
Ultimately, the couple hopes their “thread-to-table” work, as Falsetto-Mapp describes it, will be the antidote to fast fashion’s severe environmental impact.
“The way we do it is kind of crazy for most people because it takes time. We call it slow fashion,” Falsetto-Mapp says. “It’s very meticulous and requires a lot of purpose.”