Reformation’s Tech Forward Boutique Now Open in the Mission


Reformation’s Tech Forward Boutique Now Open in the Mission

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Yael Aflalo
Yael Aflalo

Photo Credit: Myles Pettengill

In 2009 after visiting China, Yael Aflalo was upset by how much pollution affected the country and took it upon herself to change the world one vintage dress at a time. Back at home in LA, she launched her own fashion brand, Reformation, with the collection initially consisting of repurposed dresses that Aflalo found at flea markets and vintage shops. Since nothing new had to be made in a factory in someplace like China, Aflalo was helping to reduce fashion’s carbon footprint. Three years later in 2012, with funds from Reformation’s early success, Aflalo relaunched the brand as an e-commerce business with an LA-based factory and three stores—two in New York and one in LA.

The bright new Reformation boutique in the Mission
The bright new Reformation boutique in the Mission

Photo Credit: Matthew Millman

Having the factory in her backyard allowed Aflalo to churn out new styles much faster than regular fashion brands. If she noticed that large florals were selling out, she would whip up a new style in a different print and get the dresses on the shelves in a month’s time. Celebrities like Taylor Swift and Rihanna started wearing her flirty, made-in-the USA dresses and suddenly, Reformation had a cult following of devoted and loyal customers hungry for Aflalo’s eco female-friendly silhouettes. All of the fabrics are vintage or sustainably sourced, the factory is housed in a green building, and each garment’s environmental footprint is calculated on the Reformation website.

The store front
The store front

Photo Credit: Matthew Millman

Since green living, sustainability, and making smart consumer choices are priorities to many San Franciscans, Reformation knew that the Bay Area was an important market to tap into; plus it’s the third largest market of the web business. Thus, last month Aflalo opened her fourth stand alone Reformation store on Valencia Street in the Mission. Aflalo preferred the diversity of the neighborhood over a more traditional area for high fashion like Fillmore Street or Jackson Square. The trendy gentrifying neighborhood aligns with the brand perfectly. The space used to be a bike shop, but it’s been completely transformed into a chic and inviting retail boutique. The white walls are made from sustainable materials, the hangers are recycled, and the lighting is green LED. What makes the boutique unlike anything else is its interactive and futuristic approach to sell clothing.

A touchscreen allows shoppers to browse clothing without having to sift through racks or stacks
A touchscreen allows shoppers to browse clothing without having to sift through racks or stacks

Photo Credit: Matthew Millman

Aflalo spent a lot of time rethinking the way people shop and has created a new tech-forward system to make the experience more manageable and fun. Instead of displaying the same article of clothing in various sizes, only one of each garment hangs in the boutique. Thus, when you walk in, it feels more like a sophisticated showroom rather than a regular clothing store. If you see a dress you like, you speak with one of the Reformation concierges, elegantly dressed in black and white stripes, and they will make a note of your size and the style of the dress. All the concierges busy with other customers? No matter. Head to one of the large flatscreen televisions that hang on the walls. Browse the current collection until you find the dress, punch in your size, and send it to your dressing room. It’s pure genius! You never have to search the racks while holding all the clothing you want to try on.

The pretty shop
The pretty shop

Photo Credit: Matthew Millman

When you’re ready to try clothing on, you simply head to the dressing rooms. Each room is equipped with a screen, customizable lighting, music station, and wardrobe. Open the wardrobe and all the clothes you liked will be hanging there, ready for you to try on. If you want a different size, simply type it into the screen, close the wardrobe, and wait for a knock. When you open it, the new size will be ready for you to try on. When you’re ready to checkout, you click checkout on the screen. A concierge will appear with a mobile cashier, so you never have to wait in line at a register. In fact, the store doesn’t even have a register. New styles come out twice a week, so the shop will constantly be filled with covetable pieces. Reformation recently launched a denim collection, which can also be found at the boutique along with jewelry and accessories from like-minded third party brands. Reformation is a thrilling addition to the changing landscape of the city and we can’t wait to see what Aflalo does next.

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