Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights has long been a shopping destination for savvy San Franciscans. While the neighborhood is a magnet for leading local and international retailers, over the past couple of months it has undergone a style renaissance with blockbuster boutiques setting up shop on the stretch between Pacific and Post. Newbies have refreshed the area with an irresistible, shop-till-you-drop mix of local fashion stalwarts (Margaret O’Leary) and international clothing stars (Scotch + Soda), along with trendy makeup shops like Kiehl’s, Benefit, and Nars. There’s also Jonathan Adler for chic home goods, Mudpie for adorable children’s wear, D&M Wine and Liquor for spirits, and Paper Source for stationery. DryBar and International Orange meet salon and spa needs, respectively. Plus, whatever food you’re craving you can find, from a turkey burger on a gluten-free bun at Roam Artisan Burgers to housemade pasta with uni carbonara at SPQR. Here, in brief, is our guide to Fillmore’s best shopping.
For the past 16 years, Heidi Sabelhaus Myers has been the queen of fashion on the street. She opened her namesake boutique HeidiSays Collections in 2000 and followed up with a shoe shop in 2007 and a casual wear boutique in 2008. In 2015 she decided to move the casual store into the collections location, and this July, she closed her beloved shoe shop. Now HeidiSays fans can find everything—chic dresses by Elizabeth and James, flared jeans from Frame, Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee suede boots—all under one roof. Enter the bright, airy shop and the first thing you see is a chic marble counter and a black-and-white illustration of a long-haired beauty. The front of the store has classic collection pieces like romantic tops by Zimmerman, while in the back you’ll find luxe loungewear, including sweat suits by Lady and the Sailor and Inhabit cashmere sweaters. It’s a one-stop shop with a loyal following of local customers.
Designer Stacey Bendet launched the flirty and fun womenswear brand Alice + Olivia in 2002. A decade later, after Bendet fell in love with Fillmore during a visit to the city for Outside Lands, she opened her first SF boutique on the corner of Clay and Fillmore streets. The large retail space is decorated with white walls; metallic gold columns; a lucite chandelier; and a ‘70s-inspired, Tetris-printed suede couch. At Alice + Olivia, you’ll find feminine, boldly colored womenswear suitable for day and evening. Shop for long-sleeved cropped tops with sequins, beaded black jumpsuits, red satin gowns, leather leggings, and high-waisted cream trousers. Bendet’s fall 2016 collection is full of ‘70s style inflections, with disco-worthy brocade jackets, geometric-print dresses, and velvet everything.
Although there are Intermix locations in Larkspur and Palo Alto, the New York-based retailer had yet to open a brick-and-mortar location in San Francisco proper. This changed in late September when Intermix President Jyothi Rao was in town to debut the new Fillmore Street Intermix. The space has more of an urban edge than the Marin and South Bay shops thanks to interior designer Kelly Ording, who covered part of the walls in a graphic mural and warmed up the airy space with wooden planks on other walls. The store is stocked with going-out tops by Jonathan Simkhai, cocktail dresses by A.L.C., L’Agence denim, Iro leather moto jackets, and pointy-toed pumps by Aquazzura. Plus, there are layering pieces—necessary for SF’s finicky climate—like oversize ponchos, cozy sweaters, and Veronica Beard’s blazers with dickey inserts. According to Rao, many styles we’ll be seeing at Intermix over the next months belong to the “era of decadence” trend, she says, describing this as “a mixture of textures—leather and velvet, romantic blouses, and exaggerated sleeve details.” Two more trends Intermix is loving right now include “menswear-inspired clothing with feminine silhouettes and girly details,” Rao says, and “the ‘90s revisited” with plaid dresses, distressed denim, and little sweaters.”
Rag & Bone’s roomy 1,289-square-foot stand-alone store has concrete walls and flooring, reclaimed-wood details, antique brass racks, custom wallpaper from Barneby Gates, and furniture by local brand Ohio Design. Shop edgy, understated menswear and womenswear from New York-based British designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville. The duo specialize in expertly crafted clothing, constructed with attention to detail. Think sophisticated basics made from the finest materials available. Their fall collection includes military and motocross references, asymmetrical knitwear, patchwork denim, and sateen trousers. The Rag & Bone jeans line comprises pants in all shapes, shades, and sizes, along with cozy, plush tees and plaid shirts. The brand’s comfortable boots have a cultlike following—we’re coveting the Agnes boot in burgundy suede. Its thick heel is ideal for tromping up and down the hilly streets of San Francisco.
Ready to invest in a statement piece or a multifunctional dress? Head to Elizabeth Charles’ namesake boutique, which has been a fashion presence on Fillmore since 2007. Charles curates a unique mix of merchandise from designers Isabel Marant, Ulla Johnson, Alexis, Self Portrait, and Yigal Azrouel. Elizabeth Charles appeals to the fashionable women who seek more classic items they can wear long term rather than ultratrendy pieces. While the store itself is small, narrow, and minimally decorated, it feels as though you’ve stepped into the oversize closet of an incredibly stylish friend.
Frye, the 153-year-old boot and leather goods maker, opened its first stand-alone West Coast shop on Fillmore Street. Frye CEO Adrienne Lazarus told Haute Living that she “specifically chose the Fillmore Street location because it is situated in a vibrant neighborhood that blends San Francisco’s historical charms and understated luxury and speaks to the brand’s deep sense of community. Fillmore Street is one of San Francisco’s great treasures.” The 900-square-foot space was designed by Frye’s in-house team and features both digital and tactile experiences. Decor is mid-century modern with sleek black shelving and white lacquered drawers. Minimalist couches are perfect for trying on the latest over-the-knee, Western-inspired, and jodhpur boots. An assortment of scarves, ponchos, and small leather accessories like zip wallets and belts are available as well. The interactive Maker Wall is a library of leather swatches that customers are invited to touch and feel. Five wall-length custom screens provide an in-depth look at Frye’s inventory, history, and current social media campaigns. The large window space at the front of the store will host local maker pop-ups.
In early September, Space NK the leading luxury beauty retailer from London, opened its first free-standing boutique in San Francisco on the corner of Fillmore and Pine streets. According to Space NK’s managing director, Noah Rosenblatt, Fillmore is the perfect neighborhood for the brand. “We answer the needs of the local customer,” he told Haute Living. “They are very discerning and inquisitive and, paired with our beauty advisor training, we feel it’s a perfect match. The location also allows us an opportunity to showcase the brand to the most cosmopolitan of tourists who explore the area.” An expertly curated assortment of beauty and wellness products are available at the shop. It’s an all-inclusive boutique that has skin care products, home scents, and hair-styling solutions. Some of our favorite brands at Space NK include Oribe, Chantecaille, Natura Bissé, By Terry, and Malin + Goetz. The emporium is sophisticated and laid-back with a contemporary design featuring white walls and shelving, inspired lighting, and art by local sculptor Ricardo Richey, who created a colorful and abstract spray paint mural on the store’s Pine Street wall. Space NK plans to update the mural seasonally, with various artists participating.
Outside the Fashion Cosmos
In addition to clothing and leather goods from the likes of Ralph Lauren, James Perse, Sandro, Ella Moss, Steven Alan, and Alexis Bittar, there are other cool offerings that are drawing more people to one of San Francisco’s favorite neighborhoods.
Photo Credit: Joe Fletcher
Yves Behar, Amir Mortazavi, and Steve Mohebi have opened a new forward-thinking coworking space they call Canopy. The custom-designed office building features local materials like Heath Ceramics tiles and cutting-edge technology such as August Smart Locks for individual offices. There are three membership options, ranging from a shared table to a private office—all with an elevated design aesthetic that includes furnishings from Herman Miller. A concierge-style amenities program includes conference rooms, private phone booths, expert tech support, and secure internet. The office space also has a fully stocked kitchen with Sightglass coffee, cold pressed juice, Pique tea, and food from the upmarket Jane café, which is nearby.
Photo Credit: Storey Photography
For 35 years, Elite Café was one of Fillmore Street’s most prosperous eateries. But all good things come to an end, and it closed this year the day after Easter. Since then, Sidecar Hospitality has renovated the New Orleans-inspired restaurant, and a star was reborn. The new Elite Café is being led by chef Chris Borges, who has kept favorites on the menu like the restaurant’s famous meetinghouse biscuits, but he modernized offerings with additions like kale salad with smoked onions and figs, and pork porterhouse with black-eyed pea succotash and pole beans. Kevin Diedrich, who heads up the bar program, serves up Big Easy favorites such as Sazeracs and Hurricanes, while a drink machine whips up frozen Irish coffees.