Noteworthy Newcomers to Hayes Valley

Me with Cindy Spade, the always-helpful co-owner and buyer for Ver Unica in Hayes Valley.

As much as I love shopping online, there’s no better substitute in my mind than exploring a neighborhood on foot—especially when that neighborhood is Hayes Valley. Popping in and out of some of my favorite boutiques there (Azalea, M.A.C.-Modern Appealing Clothing, and Flight 001, to name a few) never fails to remind me of why San Francisco is such a cool place to live.

Ver Unica is another local favorite I’d put at the top of my must-frequent list, namely because co-owner and veteran buyer Cindy Spade has a killer eye and stocks an impeccably edited collection of vintage clothing and accessories from the 1920s through 1980s, including one-of-a-kind dead stock. Although I’m usually game for rolling up my sleeves and digging for that hidden gem, sometimes I need the immediate gratification of easy-to-find, mint-condition goods.

Try not to panic if in the next couple months you find Ver Unica has vanished from its 437 Hayes Street digs. Just head over to the 500 block, where Spade says she and her husband will be opening a bigger and better shop by summer. They’ll celebrate with a grand re-opening party, which I’ll post here as soon as I get wind of it.

Vintage-inspired rings ($35) designed by Adrienne Wiley of Covet. Photography courtesy of Covet.

Covet is another new boutique in the ’hood worth taking note of. The cozy shop is the second location for SF jewelry designers Adrienne Wiley of the vintage-inspired line Frolick and Liza Anongchanya, who designs the clean and minimalist Ofina collection.

Enter the postage-stamp size space, and you’ll immediately feel like you’ve happened upon a chic boutique you might find meandering down an alleyway in Paris. Although smaller, the new location carries a different assortment of jewelry and more leather goods than their flagship in the Richmond District, Wiley says.

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