Where to shop in San Francisco: Trendsetter picks

Where to shop in San Francisco: Trendsetter picks

Taste makers in the City by the Bay reveal how and where they make their most cutting sartorial statements

In San Francisco, upheaval is a regular occurrence. Whether siesmic or social, the land this city is built on is a platform for anything and anyone that likes to shake things up.

So when it comes to shopping, it's best to be shown around by the locals.

We asked five of the city's taste makers from the trendiest neighborhoods to recommend the boutiques that offer authentic San Francisco treats.

More on CNN: Insider Guide: Best of San Francisco


Alexis Rask recommends: HeidiSays

HeidiSays Casual

Alexis RaskAlexis Rask likes to stay casual, but curated.

Name: Alexis Rask

Title: Vice president and general manager of brand partnerships at Shopkick, a shopping app with more than 4 million users.

Home neighborhood: Lower Pacific Heights
A New York City transplant, Rask's love of shopping extends to her job at Shopkick, where she works on partnerships with Macy's, Old Navy, American Eagle Outfitters and other popular brands.

Rask suggests venturing beyond the tourist haven of Union Square to boutiques in San Francisco’s liveliest neighborhoods.

"Walking along Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights, Valencia Street in the Mission, Union Street in Cow Hollow or Hayes Street in Hayes Valley is a great way to see the individual neighborhoods," she says.

"A personal favorite is HeidiSays Casual for extremely well curated designer casual wear with brands like M by Missoni, Haute Hippie and Mackage.”

The boutique also carries cashmere sweaters from the store’s private label, HeidiSays (US$300).

HeidiSays Casual, 2416 Fillmore St.; +1 415 749 1144; www.heidisays.com


Maggie and Annie Ford Danielson recommend: Jeremys

Maggie & Annie Ford Danielson-Jeremys

Maggie & Annie Ford DanielsonThe Danielson sisters know all about style and where to find it.

Names: Maggie and Annie Ford Danielson

Titles: Global beauty authorities for Benefit Cosmetics, on-air spokespeople for HSN and daughters of company co-founder Jean Ford.

Home neighborhood: SoMa
Just blocks from AT&T Park in SoMa, Jeremys is a two-story department store that sells designer labels at low prices -- much of the discounted merchandise comes from manufacturers’ window displays, samples and other overstock inventory.

Among the racks of clothing are bargains such as a red one-shoulder Nicole Miller couture gown for US$239 (regularly US$695).

“I love this shop so much that I moved into the building down the street,” Annie says. “Whenever I have an event, I always look to this store. I know I’ll find something nobody else will have.

"For example, I have a Helmut Lang dress that I absolutely adore and have never seen anywhere else.”

“I love how the store combines items from Anthropologie with designers like Givenchy and Celine. Shopping here is always exciting, like a treasure hunt in a beautiful mahogany cabin,” adds big sister Maggie.

Jeremys, 2 South Park; +1 415 882 4929; www.jeremys.com

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Thomas McNaughton recommends: Unionmade


Thomas McNaughtonThomas McNaughton: star chef, snappy dresser.

Name: Thomas McNaughton

Title: Executive chef/partner of flour + water, Central Kitchen and Salumeria restaurants.

Home neighborhood: Mission District
A two-time finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef award, Thomas McNaughton has one of the best Bay Area commutes -- he lives upstairs from his buzz-worthy restaurant, flour + water.

McNaughton clothes himself at three-year-old Unionmade, a men’s store located near the border of the Mission and Castro districts.

“Unionmade is known for its outstanding selection of men's casual and fine clothing, shoes, new and vintage books and men's grooming products,” McNaughton says.

“They make their own shirts, which are pretty awesome. I also love the Scott & Charters sweaters.”

The store’s fall 2012 collection has some unique items. The line of indigo products was made exclusively for Unionmade, including cardigans (US$198), button-down shirts (US$210) and laptop bags (US$350).

Unionmade, 493-495 Sanchez St.; +1 415 861 3373; www.unionmadegoods.com


Eugenia Chien recommends: Inner Richmond

Eugenia- Seed Store

Eugenia ChienEugenia Chien can't select a single shop, so she recommends an entire neighborhood. Name: Eugenia Chien

Title: Blogger marketing manager at Polyvore.com, a social commerce website.

Home neighborhood: Lower Pacific Heights
As marketing manager for a website that allows customers to create outfits, share them via digital magazine-inspired layouts and buy the featured products, Eugenia Chien is about as up-to-the-minute as it gets.

For visitors who want off-the-beaten path, Chien recommends the Inner Richmond neighborhood.

“Along Clement Street between Arguello Boulevard and Tenth Avenue, you’ll find a bustling mini-Chinatown, delicious ethnic restaurants, a great indie bookstore, Irish pubs and cool local boutiques.”

Seedstore opened about two years ago. Here, you can pick up a U.S.-made Pendleton wool scarf (US$118) or an organic canvas tote bag by San Francisco design company FluffyCo (US$68).

A few doors down, the Park Life Store and Gallery has shelves of soft shirts with retro designs (US$28) that put a fun twist on the typical tourist T-shirt.

“My favorite shirt features ‘The Richmond’ in a circle of fog,” Chien says. (The local joke refers to the neighborhood’s reputation as being among the foggiest parts of San Francisco.)

Seedstore, 212 Clement St.; +1 415 386 1600

Park Life Store and Gallery (220 Clement St.; +1 415 386 7275; www.parklifestore.com

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James Freeman recommends: Modern Appealing Clothing

Modern Appealing/Health Ceramics

James FreemanJames Freeman feels at home in "unhipstery" clothes.

Name: James Freeman

Title: Founder and CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee, and co-author of "The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee."

Home neighborhood: Alamo Square
His day job is coffee -- in less than 10 years James Freeman's Blue Bottle has expanded into a multimillion dollar coffee empire with six locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, four outposts in New York City and a strong presence at farmers’ markets in both cities.

Despite his super-growth, Freeman still frequents the neighborhood where it all began, Hayes Valley, to visit his old alleyway coffee kiosk and shop.

Freeman prefers Modern Appealing Clothing, which has a selection of men’s and women’s clothing that makes “unhipstery old guys like me feel right at home.”

In the hipster-heavy Mission District, the new Heath Ceramics store has a Blue Bottle coffee bar “and a beautiful retail space,” Freeman says. Mugs (US$34), plates (from US$36) and serving platters (US$84) are made at the Heath factory across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito.

You can’t go wrong with the Chez Panisse Line, named after (and used at) the Alice Waters restaurant across the Bay in Berkeley.

No room left in your suitcase? Heath, which also has a small storefront in the iconic Ferry Building, can arrange to ship purchases internationally.

Modern Appealing Clothing, 387 Grove St.; +1 415 863 3011; www.modernappealingclothing.com

Heath Ceramics store, 2900 18th St.; +1 415 361 5552 ext. 13; www.heathceramics.com