Nestled between Chinatown and FiDi, the few-months-old boutique Legion adds new flare to the hood as a welcome haven for tourists and locals alike. For owner Sydney Pfaff, it's an exciting first retail venture after working for years as a local writer (she even did a tour with 7x7).
The narrow interior is thoughtfully designed with minimal decor. Popping out from the bright yellow and white walls are a mix of hard-to-find and local lines, including Kaarem, Kathryn McCarron and Lotfi.
Two-parts women's wear to one-part gift shop, in addition to enviable soft goods, we loved the refined selection of ceramics and books, too. Feeling, smelling and looking amazing, every piece seems to charm the senses.
Sydney spoke with us about her vision for the shop, her personal style and more.
1. What's the story behind Legion?
I worked for some great stores here in San Francisco, and then got into fashion writing for magazines and corporate retailers. After a few years of writing, I knew I wanted to be back in a retail environment, but on a small scale and as my own boss! LEGION is everything I dreamed of in a job and in a shop.
2. How do you select the lines you carry?
I look for things I like! I like to work with small lines and try to stock things that feel unique and interesting.
3. What's one thing at Legion that every SF girl needs to own?
Baggu! Their leather totes and pouches are the ultimate staples. They're handmade in New York, great quality, and come in so many good colors. Lots of new ones coming for spring!
4. Why Chinatown?
I love the action! There's never a dull moment and it's extremely central. I live in North Beach, the shop is in Chinatown, and Jackson Square and the Financial District are right next to both. To me, this is the center of the city.
5. How would you describe your personal style?
Grey, grey, and a few prints in between.
6. What can we look forward to at Legion?
Evens, a new line from Houston. I'm so excited for this one! It'll be here in March and I can't wait. Also, the KAAREM spring collection will arrive soon. And lots to come! I'm working on some pop-up shops and events to happen in the near future...stay tuned! And I'm hoping to have clothes up on the web shop for spring.
7. What's your Chinatown/North Beach Top 5?
Park Tavern - I used to live in the building before it was this gorgeous place, but now I'm a couple blocks away. My favorite for brunch outside on a sunny day.
Latte Express (on Kearny) - My favorite Vietnamese sandwich and where I grab lunch most days when I'm at the shop.
Eden & Eden - Such a cool shop with eclectic jewelry and trinkets. The owner is a fantastic woman with a great eye for vintage.
Naked Lunch - One of my favorites for happy hour, lunch, dinner, Moscow Mules...all of the above.
Jai Yun Restaurant - Not your average Chinatown restaurant (you must make reservations). It's a pretty special place and right across the street from my shop, so I'm happy to call them neighbors.
Lily Ko (lily7x7 @gmail.com) studied fashion design and merchandising at Central Saint Martins and the Academy of Art University. In addition to writing for 7x7, Lily works as a freelance stylist, writer, and designer.