Fashion matters in San Francisco. One only had to witness the decidedly young and definitively fashionable crowd at San Francisco Fashion Week 2011. After a week of workshops, seminars, exhibits and parties they gathered at Madrone Studios in the City’s SOMA District for 3 runway shows – 2 emerging designer showcases, and a sold-out avant-garde show on closing night.
Prima Jiva (Higher Self) was founded by Salma Schempp in 2008. This eco-conscious Walnut Creek-based company’s mission is to ‘design and deliver a unique line of clothing that is strongly committed to a classic and timeless trend.' Everything is made in the San Francisco Bay Area and Schempp donates a percentage of all sales to charity. Currently, Prima Jiva is collaborating with Daraja Academy for Girls in Kenya, Children of War in Afghanistan, World Transformation Center and the Meridian Health Foundation.
Carole Wang knits are made from bamboo and other natural fibers. Bamboo fabrics are luxurious, featherweight, natural and biodegradable, soft and silky in texture, and have an insulating effect, that keeps you cool in the summer and warm in winter. Carol Wang’s Velveen Knits are sold in specialty stores and major retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.
Designer Avni Trivedi’s designs reflect the art and culture of her native India. All designs are crafted from fabrics from India -- hand-loomed and hand-dyed according to centuries-old Indian tradition. By requisitioning these fabrics, Avni not only helps maintain economic stability for artists, but also helps keep these ancient arts alive.
Amanda Everest for Lucky Lu
Amanda Everest for Lucky Lu specializes in retro style and vintage-inspired clothing and dresses. Amanda’s colorful designs in cotton, poplin, lace and tulle have names like Greta, Britt and Nicole – which speak to the charm and femininity of her designs.
This is the first collection for San Francisco-based designer Jennifer Ly. She juxtaposes sheer chiffon and bold knits demonstrating a strong feminine point of view using clean lines and a variety of textures. Ly’s goal is to ‘create clothes that have an effortlessly chic modern and sexy point of view.
Alyssa Nicole Casares is a 19-year-old emerging designer from San Francisco. She began her clothing line at the very young age of 16 continues to design and produce new collections every season. She personally hand makes each and every garment -- from custom prom dresses to bridal gowns.
Chui, Chui by Tracy Wong
'I have always had a fascination with historical eras, especially those that were opulent and exquisite. Sometimes I would imagine myself wearing a straight, fringed dress, swaying to jazz in an art deco hall, other times I’m a very affluent woman living in Shanghai in the 1930s.'
Boditecture - Convertible Fashion Construction
Founded by San Francisco architect Wen Guo, Boditecture is an architecture-inspired and convertible clothing line in which each garment can be worn in more than one style by utilizing zippers, strings or buttons. An office wear can be transformed into an evening gown, a poncho can be converted into a regular dress, and they are the architecture on the body.
An interest in photography lead to fashion for self-taught designer Mike Seneriches. His clothing is very simple and minimalist yet modern and chic, easy to don, whether on the streets or on the runway. ‘The Mikelsen woman is elegant, beautiful, and classic, but also confident, different, and fashion forward.’
Alphyn Industries Inc.
'Our goal is to help our customers enjoy the full potential of 21st century technologies, and to create garments and products that serve multiple functions and address daily necessities. A T-shirt can be more then just a shirt if you begin the design process with novel fibers. All of our products are designed, developed and manufactured right here in the USA.'
Photos: Mark Stephens Design
Jan Mabry, Red Carpet Bay Area