English Luxury Brand Mulberry Bows in San Francisco’s Union Square

It was a truly “un-S.F.” moment. A line of stylish guests gussied up in cocktail dresses, platforms, and trim-cut suits snaked down the block as a stern bouncer dressed in all black held back impatient line-jumpers from storming their way through the glass doors–at 6:30 p.m. “One in, one out,” he barked. “No exceptions.”

Photos by Nerissa Pacio Itchon, unless otherwise noted.

It took me a minute to realize I was not, in fact, awaiting entrance to a swank nightclub in Manhattan, but the new Union Square Mulberry store located in the former Kenneth Cole space on Grant Avenue. Clearly, this invitation-only fete for the English luxury retailer’s San Francisco opening was recently one of the city’s hottest fashion tickets in town.

Drawing such local celebs as Wilkes Bashford and Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the packed event hosted by Vogue magazine featured the brand’s crave-worthy Fall/Winter 2012 leather accessories and clothing collections (inspired by “Where the Wild Things Are”). Also on display was an artful selection of portraits from the magazine’s archives featuring famous and beautiful Brits Kate Winslet, Karen Elson, Keira Knightley, and others, in the store’s top-floor gallery.

Once inside, partygoers posed for on-the-spot portraits, enjoyed cocktails and a raw oyster bar, and perused the goods, with some eagerly pre-ordering their own iconic Bayswater, Alexa, and Roxy handbags in special-order colors.

If you haven’t yet been, this new addition to the city’s shopping scene is worth a linger for checking out the understated cool of their buttery leather goods and to see the way they’ve re-imagined the expansive loft-like space.

Photo by Drew Altizer
Photo by Drew Altizer
Photo by Drew Altizer
Photo by Drew Altizer
Photo by Drew Altizer
Photo by Drew Altizer

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