The Bar Code Brings New Fashion Experience To San Francisco

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The Bar Code
The Bar Code

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer Photography

Danielle Bourhis wants to change the face of retail as we know it. With her new Sacramento Street boutique, The Bar Code, she’s introducing the world to a concept she calls revolving retail. At the store, Bourhis showcases local emerging designers, young artists, and international powerhouses that don’t have a retail presence in San Francisco. It’s a pop-up of sorts with a continually rotating selection of clothing, artwork, accessories, and small home goods like candles. There is a social aspect to The Bar Code as well: with every purchase, 5% of the sale goes to Planned Parenthood.

Danielle Bourhis
Danielle Bourhis

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer Photography

“I’m trying to create something new in the industry. It’s for people that want to pop in and get something new that’s cute and fun and wearable, and kind of easy fashion,” Bourhis explains. “But also, I researched where every product comes from, and it has to be done in humane ways. I have all these regulations about who we will buy from and who we won’t, based on how and where they manufacture. The idea is, anything you can put a barcode on you can also embed social good too.”

The Bar Code
The Bar Code

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer Photography

While some shop owners shy away from being political, Bourhis hopes to use her voice as a local business owner to raise awareness and support women. “San Francisco has sky-rocket rents and is becoming a two-class city. I’m trying to provide that in-between again and remind people that artists and young designers trying to break in can make it here. They don’t have to spend $200,000 trying to get a lease.” Instead, they can rent space—for a week, six months or a year—from Bourhis to test out how their wares do in an upscale retail environment.

Statement sweatshirts
Statement sweatshirts

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer Photography

It’s an interesting concept that is catching on quickly—Bourhis says the two-week-old storefront has been packed with shoppers. Bourhis is no stranger to the world of retail, so it’s not a surprise that she would deliver a concept that’s focused and well-thought-out. She owned Brown Eyed Girl, a popular womenswear boutique in the early aughts that led to three more sister shops. She’s banking on her connections from this time to stock The Bar Code with vintage-inspired sweatshirts, designer denim, and flirty dresses.

Socialite Sobia Shaikh and the founder of Galvan London, Katherine Holmgren, at the Galvan pop-up at The Bar Code earlier this month
Socialite Sobia Shaikh and the founder of Galvan London, Katherine Holmgren, at the Galvan pop-up at The Bar Code earlier this month

Photo Credit: @sobiaashaikh

Then, several times a month, she moves all of the clothing out of the store and makes way for a limited-edition trunk show of a luxury designer. November 1 and 2, Dovima Paris, a chic French womenswear designer will pop-up and November 7 and 8, Andrew Gn will showcase his latest collection at The Bar Code. Catherine Prevost Paris will be at the shop on November 14.

The Bar Code
The Bar Code

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer Photography

This is another reason The Bar Code is a unique concept: it isn’t a shop marketed toward one type of customer. According to Bourhis, this is intentional. “I always want everyone to feel included. That’s also the mission behind this. Inclusion. So you’re included whether you’re a $20-price point, or you’re a $20,000-price point. We have artwork here that sells for $20,000, and we have mugs in here that sell for $22,” Bourhis explains. “I’m very inclusive, and it’s new to the industry because normally you’re used to seeing one or the other. You’re either kind of lower-end, and you don’t dabble in the high-end, or you’re high-end, and you don’t dabble in the low-end.” With The Bar Code, Bourhis is proving that both can co-exist in the same environment and thrive.

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