Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category
Hold on to your skinny jeans. It looks like there’s a battle brewing amongst the ranks of the hipster elites in the Mission. No, they aren’t fighting over who’s more emo. Instead, they’re protesting the potential opening of an American Apparel on Valencia St. Yup, you read that correctly: The hipster enclave is rejecting the very beacon of hipster fashion. Surely there must be a misunderstanding.
Well, not exactly. After reading several blog posts and comments, I’ve discovered a vocal group that thinks big box franchises will destroy the charm of the Valencia corridor; once one opens, a domino effect will occur leading to “Union Street”-ification followed very closely by the apocalypse and the the end of civilization.
I frequently have people come to Valencia St to check out Ritual and have a coffee. Out-of-towners then ask what else they should do while they are in the neighborhood. I take pride in directing them to the many unique offerings this neighborhood has: check out the bizarro furniture at X-21, stroll down to Paxton Gate and visit the taxidermied mice, stop into 826 for an eye-patch, cross the street for hand-made books, meander over to Dolores Park etc. Having an internationally recognizable store in the midst of it would definitely take away from our distinctive neighborhood.
This isn’t an attack on American Apparel. But as far as City Planning is concerned, once a neighborhood has allowed one formula retail to open, it must allow others. After the Kentucky Fried Chicken at 22nd St closed its doors, another fast food chain tried to take over the space. My neighbors here fought a long, hard battle to make sure that didn’t happen.
Eileen, first off: Thanks for directing tourists to my three favorite stores in the city: X-21, Paxton Gate and 826. Each one of those are indeed precious pearls, and I often take tourists and friends there to experience the feel of the Mission. But here’s the deal: We are in a tough economic climate. Those stores and the other independent retailers and restaurants on Valencia need as much foot traffic as possible to increase business. If having an American Apparel gives these shops 10 more visitors, then that’s more money that comes into the neighborhood. And what about the jobs it will bring?
Look, I can’t stand American Apparel. I don’t like big chains. I buy my clothes at thrift stores like Mission Thrift, from local artists like Upper Playground or Free Gold Watch, or from retailers like Villains. I vote with my wallet. If the neighborhood doesn’t want it, don’t shop there. It took the Haight a couple of decades, but they finally chased the Gap out.
Also, I’m all for neighborhood pride. But what about the latent racism that separates Mission Street from Valencia Street? What about the fact that Ritual’s popularity has ushered in a new era of gentrification, causing rent increases that force out the very population that keeps the Mission unique? I would love to see the business owners come together to try to improve the standard of living for all citizens of the Mission, not just white elites that can afford fancy handbags and overpriced furniture.
That said, I feel that the voice of the people should be heard. Should American Apparel be allowed to open a store in the Mission? Let us know in the comments.
Also, feel free to flex your democratic muscle through any of the following outlets:
Write a letter to the Planner in charge of this case:
Subject: 988 Valencia – Case No. 2008.0720C
M. Pilar LaValley
Preservation Technical Specialist/Planner
City & County of San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94103
Go to the hearing, Thursday February 5th
Case No. 2008.0720C
Call 558-6422 after Monday the 2nd for a more specific hearing time
BTW: Great discussion in the comments on this post, but it features a very NSFW American Apparel ad.
I love my iPhone, but I hate how you can’t use the touchscreen while wearing gloves. Good thing Apple just patented a glove that works with the iPhone. Check out this patent drawing:
Not too shabby looking. When I first saw the patent, I shudder at having to buy one more Apple product. So I did a little searching and found a few gloves already in the wild to help iPhone users get through the next few months of winter. Check it:
Tavo Glove looks nice, but I’m not a fan of fleece.
Then there is the Freehands. For me, the whole point of getting special gloves is to AVOID having to expose flesh to cold.
The Northface ETip glove looks cool. Kinda reminds me of Tron.
Overall, my favorite has to be the iPhone glove from DOTS. They look like the gloves I already wear, but with those cool tips at the end.
Which do you prefer? Know of any others? Let us know in the comments.