Bespoke Minimalists: Meet the Mi Concept


Since ever-so-quietly moving into its Sutter Street showroom in mid-December, Mi has piqued the curiosity of passersby with a spare window display featuring white garment bags that look eerily like straight jackets set against stark and industrial interiors.

And since the design studio has been open mostly only by appointment when Creative Director Dean Hutchinson, who splits his time between San Francisco and Toronto, is in town, those intrigued by the mysterious storefront have had to continue on with questions unanswered.

Luckily, we were able to pay a recent visit to the studio, where Hutchinson—whom you may recall from the eponymous Laurel Heights store he operated for 16 years until closing in 2007—filled us in on his latest retail venture. Offering capsule collections ($150 to $2,500) for men and women that are made-to-order, the company eschews labels and flashy features for such understated details as cowl necks that rise into moody hoods and wool coats with built-in scarves. A somber color palette of black, brown and cream hues keeps even edgier pieces, such as a body-hugging, sleeveless top with optional open back courtesy of a clever two-way zipper, squarely within the bounds of sophistication.

In the coming months, expect jewelry, accessories and art objects to land in the space alongside the apparel. Appointments are recommended.

Mi, 808 Sutter St., 415-567-8080,

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