Bespoke Matchmaking Service LastFirst Launches In SF

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Dating in San Francisco is tough. The men don’t want to grow up and the women, fed up with their immaturity, come across bitchy or aloof, and in worst case scenarios, crazy. Although it’s a great city for singles in terms of activities, events, and friendliness, once you hit a certain age there is a shortage of eligible, prosperous, and normal men. Factor in the high population of gays and it’s hard not to be desperate when you’re a single and fabulous(!) 35-year old female in SF. Enter Emily Holmes Hahn, the founder of LastFirst, a bespoke matchmaking service that is currently filling its San Francisco database with lovely ladies.

LastFirst’s end goal? To help you go on your last first date. It’s an luxury unparalleled process unlike anything else on the market. Hahn and her small team relay on intuition rather than science to find the perfect match. LastFirst only accepts a small handful of male clients—in SF their cap is 10—and the matchmakers offer guidance along the entire dating journey. They make reservations and provide styling tips to ensure that clients present their best selves. The service is free to females who are vetted and screened before being added to LastFirst’s pool. To learn more about the New York-based brand, which just launched in SF, we sat down with Holmes Hahn. Here is what she had too say about dating in the modern world and why she hates the apps.

Emily Hahn
Emily Holmes Hahn

HL: What makes LastFirst different from other luxury matchmaking services?  

Emily Holmes Hahn: We are the youngest and most modern-thinking of anyone in the industry. That’s neither good nor bad, but it means that we attract a different demographic than more old-school competitors. We’ve also branded ourselves in a commercially appealing, but edgier manner, avoiding hearts and cupids (like the Plague!) and emphasizing the sexier and more mysterious elements of falling in love. With our unique branding and a powerhouse team, mostly from luxury fashion and hospitality backgrounds, we’re attempting to turn matchmaking into a lifestyle career that young, educated, tasteful people will pursue more often. We want to chip away at that stereotype of the aggressive, know-it-all matchmakers we see in pop culture, and make the industry a little more discreet. . . a little more haute!  

HL: You’re taking on only a handful of SF-based clients. What is the reasoning behind this?  

EHH: We work with ten clients in SF at a time, and once one gets into a relationship, we rotate in a new one, often and ideally from a waiting list. We do more hand-holding here than you’d imagine, so ten is the maximum capacity for our level of service, at this stage of our growth.  

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HL: What distinguishes the SF pool of singles from other pools of singles like New York?

EHH: I think one thing to understand is that the kind of men who proactively seek and hire an expensive matchmaker are a special slice of the singles-scape, and not really indicative of the population. The SF clients we currently represent are similar to our NYC clients, but on tons of caffeine, I guess you could say! They are incredibly ambitious, dynamic, enterprising, and a few are literally off-the-charts smart too, so they are acutely aware (plus their moms tell them!) of what great catches they are, probably to their own detriment. They have this inexorable phobia of settling, which often has blurred lines with compromising, so that can be tricky when I’m trying to get them to appreciate a good match that’s right in front of them! That said, I’d rather work with overly confident men than the opposite!

HL: Many people believe that SF is a city filled with men who are Peter Pans. What is your opinion of this?

EHH: I’ve met a ton of Peter Pans out here socially! While they are beyond charming, it’s in our network’s best interest to NOT accept those men (boys!) as clients, since LastFirst ladies usually want something serious.

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HL: Dating apps: love them or hate them?  

EHH: Hate them! I find it so de-humanizing to swipe through picture after picture. It feels you’re playing a casino game. I believe that our love lives are one thing we can’t let computers take over.  

HL: Do you recommend that your clients get off of the apps?  

EHH: We absolutely do. We think the culture of dating apps promotes a kid-in-the-candy-store mentality, wherein it’s hard to focus on just one person. Apps have an addicting quality to them. Right down to the color scheme and fonts, they are designed to keep you playing! Thus, it can be hard to unplug and realize you are dealing with actual people here. If our client insists on keeping his apps active, we can help shape up his profiles with commitment-oriented buzzwords and great quality, interesting photos that represent him accurately.  

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HL: What is the ideal last first date?

EHH: The ideal date is hard to say. We are a bespoke agency, meaning everything is customized precisely to the individual client’s tastes. While some of our clients feel most confident at a vibe-y bar like Local Edition others put their best foot forward on a brisk walk (no pun intended!) with a latte in hand through Golden Gate Park!

HL: How many successful matches have you made?

EHH: Success is a concept that is hard to quantify, with all the modern variations on love. We estimate that about 85% of our clients freeze their memberships to test out introductions we have made. Of those, we have numerous lasting partnerships, move-ins, marriages and babies. We like to say that it’s up to our clients to take the dive. If a man can meet me 3/4 of the way, i.e., he’s got a positive attitude, plenty of self-love and true willingness to get into a relationship, then I will fill the remaining 1/4 by lining up those high-probability, pre-vetted introductions in front of him!