Handmade, homespun, handcrafted. Made PR works with cool brands with a vision and an entrepreneurial approach to the way we live our lives today. Whether these companies grew from the inspiration of a founder 120 years ago or got dreamt up yesterday, the overarching trend is always local artisanal product, design and flavor that gets lots of word-of-mouth…that’s the Bay Area way.
Monica Powers
Made PR
2700 19th St, Suite B.
San Francisco, CA 94110
@MonPow2
www.madepr.com

San Francisco Bay Area native Monica Powers is a publicist with Made PR, a communications agency born in San Francisco. The team is focused on connecting the dots to spread the word about creative makers, local brands and noteworthy trends, especially those that begin life as grassroots efforts in the Bay Area, where Instagram often works better than an office phone number.

Watch Your Back: Mobile Me

The trend is a massive one. Live-work spaces, coffee shops with Wi-Fi, work from home days, flexi-hours, bike lanes, smartphones and startups. Who really yearns for a car commute to a permanent office any more? What we do need is a mobile office on our backs. Timbuk2, a San Francisco original, saw the trend early. Founded in a garage (of course!) in 1989 by Rob Honeycutt, a bike messenger, they’ve been building bags in the Mission District ever since. Waterproof, reflective, customized, convertible roll-top or top flap designed in collaboration with Apple, even. Don’t forget your yoga mat.

On Your Feet: Comfortable Heels

Powers knows a trend when she sees one, pointing to the Bay Area’s own Anyi Lu, who is a step ahead with “couture comfort.” A former competitive ballroom dancer, Lu explains, “I use my engineering background to create shoes that are comfortable — with great cushioning and arch support — and stylish.” Anyi Lu handmade shoes have soles lined with Poron, the memory foam NASA uses in seats on the space shuttle. Her newest line will introduce a 4-inch heel that feels great. “It’s the culmination of my 10 years of merging old-world Italian shoemaking with cutting edge technology and structural design,” says Lu. Bravo.

Cover Your Head: Hand-Woven Panama

On inauguration day in 1961, a bareheaded John F. Kennedy is credited with ending a fashion era by eschewing a hat. Nonetheless, fashion goes in cycles and the hat is back. For Goorin Bros., a fourth-generation family business established in 1895, that’s old news. It’s all eyes on travel to Cuba these days, re-focusing attention on the tropical look of a classic Panama hat, which never goes out of style. Powers says that Goorin Bros. has handy tips for looking after your hand-woven accessory, which doesn’t much like being handled by the crown.

Related: Best Places To Buy A Hat In The Bay Area

Pull On The Jeans: Selvedge Denim 

Denim enthusiasts say that Japanese raw selvedge denim is the world’s very best and most durable. Produced on a shuttle loom, the fabric has closed edges, displays more character and gains patina over time. The fabric is at its best when “it’s taken directly off the loom without further processing,” says Kiya Babzani, founder/owner at San Francisco-based Self Edge. Price tags aren’t cheap, but reflect handmade construction, not Madison Avenue advertising. Calling quality jeans “the most resilient article of clothing most people will ever own,” Babzani and the Valencia Street denim utopia crew can show you what to look for.

In Your Hand: Coffee Snobbery

San Francisco is the original home of California’s caffeine fix, perfectly suited for Gold Rush adrenaline and celebratory hangovers. These days, what your coffee cup says about you — whether disposable or branded thermos — is a covert, yet powerful, fashion statement. Seattle is a nice place, but Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, Philz, Sightglass, Ritual and Mr. Espresso are among the San Francisco Bay Area-centric bean scene statements you can make. Besides, we can all use a steaming, fresh cup of coffee to ward off the chill of San Francisco summer.

Related: Ask An Expert: Men’s Fashion Forward Thinking For The Season In San Francisco  

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on Examiner.com.
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