Last week, we caught up with vintage boutique owner, Stephanie Madrinan, at her Bernal Heights shop, 31 RAX. The 31 refers to Stephanie's birthday (December 31), while Rax holds a double meaning. "'RAX' was supposed to be 'racks', but I stuck with the 'x' because it's different and, in the dictionary, 'rax' means to extend a hand or to stretch," said Stephanie. "31 RAX is an extension of my previous business, Steph's Closet."
Stephanie, a Pacifica native, originally started collecting and selling men's and women's vintage for Steph's Closet, a pop-up shop, mostly run out of her SF apartment. With growing success, she opened 31 RAX last September in a cleared-out gym space in Bernal Heights, and travels to LA twice a month to restock her inventory of hand-picked, affordable vintage. Stephanie says her vision for the boutique is "to have a place where people can be creative and make beautiful things out of nothing."
What she's wearing: Vintage clothing, bracelets, and ring from 31 RAX, Michael Kors watch, purchased from Nordstrom; Earrings from Forever 21, Steve Madden lace-up platform booties, purchased from Nordstrom.
7 Questions for Stephanie:
1. Where do you shop?
Painted Bird in SF, Pretty Penny in Oakland, and Salvation Army.
2. What products do you swear by?
I've been wearing Smashbox makeup since 2000 -- their foundation is seamless.
3. Who are your fashion icons?
Coco Chanel, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell, and Sarah Jessica Parker.
4. What's in your bag?
Coconut Lime Breeze lotion from Bath and Body Works, my back notebook, iPad, makeup bag, wallet, hair-ties, pens, Nerds candy, and candy, candy, candy!
5. Lipstick or ice cream?
6. What's your style philosophy?
Be yourself. Feel comfortable in your skin. Wear what you want.
7. What's your SF top 5?
Locanda, Anthony's Cookies, Bi-Rite Ice Cream, Ichi Sushi, and The Front Porch.
Lily Ko (lily.7x7 @ gmail.com) studied fashion design and merchandising at Central Saint Martins and the Academy of Art University. In addition to writing for 7x7, Lily is an editor at SF Station, and works as a freelance stylist and apparel designer.