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Phi-nally: Phi Arrives in San Francisco

In today’s zero-to-fame-in-a-heartbeat media landscape, it is a rare time indeed in any fashion label’s life when it is simultaneously well-known enough to be drooled over by the elite fashion press and coveted by celebrity-slash-socialites bound for red carpet events, but yet still not quite an easily-recognized name among mainstream consumers (outside of those pouring over fashion glossies and blogs, of course).

But such is the unusual case of Phi. The Susan Dell-backed (yes, that Dell) fashion label has gained no small amount of attention from fashion watchers since Norwegian-born designer Andreas Melbostad assumed the helm in 2003 (the label’s second season). With previous stints at Alber Elbaz, Guy Laroche and Yves Saint Laurent, among others, Melbostad has gained quite the fashion following of his own in recent years. At the Costume Institute Gala last spring, always a barometer of style, Phi arrived on no fewer than four celeb attendees, including Erin Wasson, Natasha Poly, Lauren Santo Domingo and Vanessa Traina.

More importantly, perhaps, is the label’s arrival in San Francisco this week. Launching today and available throughout the fall season, Jackson Square’s Carrots will host a Phi pop-up shop housing both line’s ready-to-wear collection and its accessories.

"Phi is a very sophisticated collection and we're excited to have it in store for fall. We're the only store selling the line in Northern California, so the exclusivity is very important to us. The chic, body-conscious styles are perfect for the urban women of San Francisco," says Melissa Grimm.

Inspired by the paintings of German-American artist Richard Lindner, Phi looks for fall are defined by their body-consciousness, mix of textures (materials include wool stretch flannel, silk georgette, leather and shearling) and dark color palette of black, charcoal and navy.

Want to get your Phi fix in person? Carrots (843 Montgomery St., 415-834-9040) is open Tue-Sat from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.