Could San Francisco become a fashion capital?
It’s not a media hub like New York or a manufacturing center like L.A., but it is a hotbed of fashion disruptors following historic blue jeans maker Levi Strauss & Co. and casual Friday pioneer Gap in changing the way people dress and shop.
What sets many of San Francisco’s fashion brands apart is that they are direct-to-consumer, mission-driven and digitally enabled from inception to tackle industry challenges, including sizing and transparency. Many are also led by female chief executive officers or creative directors designing into a polished, functional aesthetic that’s resonating in this new feminist era.
Now that these start-ups are coming of age (and setting $1 billion-plus public offerings), they are attracting more talent, including designers, stylists and editorial directors, and a new creative class is starting to emerge in San Francisco.
Everlane has ambitions to be the next Gap, only with a transparent supply chain. ThirdLove, the size-inclusive, female-first lingerie maker, is taking on Victoria’s Secret. Cuyana is selling attainable luxury ready-to-wear and leather goods with the mantra “fewer, better things.” Meanwhile, fashion-tech brands Stitch Fix and online resale giant The RealReal are reshaping the shopping experience.
“We’re not a fashion-forward city, but that’s OK.
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