The Chronicle’s New Style Section, Plus What’s Hot in Hayes Valley

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Sunday Style section is re-launching this spring with a new look as it merges with its shinier cousin SFIS, the pullout style monthly the Chronicle has published in limited circulation. The marriage will hopefully result in a better, glossier weekly that will have a more design-y feel, added  color, and high-profile features on fashion, people, parties, and design.

Expansion in the newspaper biz, you ask? I know. Truly, I was just as surprised when my editor filled me in, but still pretty happy nevertheless and excited to see the new product. Maybe it was learning of the inspiring results of the recent Pulitzers, or the fact that (at least anecdotally) so many people I know were happy to shell out the new $15 per month cost to keep reading the New York Times online. Newspapers are still relevant and their content in demand—and even as I blog, tweet, and Facebook (yes, I’m using Facebook as a verb here), I’m still admittedly a newsperson at heart!

Courtesy of Capsule Design Festival

Speaking of the Chronicle … I’m in the midst of working on one of the new issues this week with a piece on shopping in Hayes Valley. The assignment happened to be an easy sell for me. It’s my favorite neighborhood in the city for its charming mix of non-chain, mostly locally owned boutiques and restaurants, all easily accessible by foot. After interviewing a host of store owners for my shopping round-up last night, I picked up this flyer (above), reminding me that the bi-annual Capsule Design Festival is just 10 days away.

For those of you who haven’t been, it’s one of the best festivals for indie fashion and design, and a place I go to discover new designers and one-of-a-kind accessories, clothing, and home décor. If you go, and you should, I recommend visiting these new shops and restaurants in the area. Interestingly, I discovered a trend emerging as I started reporting:  most of these places are extensions or expansions of retailers that are SF mainstays. For the sake of not totally scooping myself here, I’ll just list them in brief below. You’ll just have to come back to my blog a bit later to read my Chronicle piece for more!


Ver Unica: 526 Hayes St. (Vintage men’s and women’s, including high-end/designer)

425 Hayes: 425 Hayes (Designer men’s and women’s collections, an extension of Azalea boutique next door)

Gimme Shoes: 381 Hayes St. (Designer men’s and women’s shoes, many European, local, and hard-to-find brands)

Covet: 451 Hayes St. (Handmade jewelry by two SF designers, kids’ clothes, women’s accessories)

Smitten Ice Cream: 432 Octavia (Artisanal ice cream, made to order on the spot with a liquid nitrogen machine)

The Grove: 301 Hayes St. (California-inspired café food, coffee, wine and beer, plenty of outdoor seating)

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