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Style Council 2014: Unionmade's Todd Barket and Carl Chiara

Todd Barket and Carl Chiara

Carl Chiara (left) and Todd Barket (right). Photography by Cooper Carras / Styling by Kat Yeh

Todd Barket and Carl Chiara, co-owners of the men’s boutique Unionmade, have more than 35 years of fashion retail experience between them, mostly at the Gap and Levi’s, respectively, which explains how the couple honed their unparalleled sense of style. After all, the shop goods, which range from Kapital denim (Japan) to Saint James striped sailor shirts (France) to Filson field jackets (United States) are nothing if not time-tested and craft-driven. Although global style meccas are well represented in Unionmade’s impressive inventory (100 labels and counting), Barket, 42, and Chiara, 46, spotlight American-made merch, citing its honesty and authenticity. “American guys are no-fuss, uncontrived, and invested in quality,” says Barket, who is often spotted in a simple uniform of Levi’s vintage jeans, Gitman Vintage shirt, and Jack Purcell kicks. Chiara, who prefers New Balance sneakers with his Levi’s 501s, chimes in, “We are not the Zara type.” Barket and Chiara opened their fourth location in February 2014 at the Grove in Los Angeles. Next up: a fifth-anniversary capsule collection of indigo pieces, scheduled to be hung on the racks in November. 

TODD BARKET

Favorite classic SF experience?

Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge. I still get excited and amazed every time I go over it. The International Orange is so pretty close up.

Favorite SF street to stroll and why?

My favorite street is still Noe street between Market and 15th. I think it's quintessential San Francisco and I love the trees and all of the planters that the neighbors have installed. It feels slightly 1970's, but classic.

Favorite public artwork in the Bay Area?

My favorite piece of public art is the rope sculpture at the Embarcadero Bart Station called "Legs". It was installed in 1976. I love the way it contrasts off of the brutalist architecture. I'm sad to say that the sculpture is being returned to its artist Barbara Shawcroft and it's going to be repurposed. It's a really monumental piece.

Go-to spot in the Bay Area for a culture fix?

I always like seeing art. I like the De Young. I think the park and the museum are really thoughtful and beautiful. I always see a show that I normally wouldn't be interested in or know much about. I think they do a great job of mixing things up.

Day-off itinerary:

I usually get Coffee at Peet's. It's the original artisan coffee.

I go to acupuncture. I've been seeing my acupuncturist John Gavzer for 15 years or so.

I like to browse the bookstore Aardvark's on Church Street.

Hit the gym. I go to Studiomix on Van Ness.

Get a late lunch at La Taqueria.

Head over to Tartine to get bread out of the oven at 4:30.

Then I go to Bi-Rite to buy something to make dinner.

One word to describe the Bay Area:

Inspiring

If you could bring one Bay Area eat to a deserted island to subsist on for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A chicken burrito with avocado and spicy verde salsa from La Taqueria.

CARL CHIARA 

Favorite classic SF experience?

Peaches Christ Showgirls at the Castro. It’s so silly and so fun and you can’t beat the free lap dances with the purchase of a large popcorn.

Favorite SF street to stroll and why?

Bernal Hill Park. It feels a bit like you are on top of the world and you can loop through the park and see everything from downtown, the Mission, Buena Vista Park, Twin Peaks and Diamond Heights. It’s a great way to spend the morning walking through the park and hiking on the trails through Bernal Hill.

Favorite public artwork in the Bay Area?

Andy Goldsworthy’s ‘Faultline’ near the entry to the De Young.

Go-to spot in the Bay Area for a culture fix?

La Taqueria on Mission at 25th. Nothing beats the best burrito in the city in the cultural corridor of Mission Street.

Day-off itinerary:

I like to start with brunch at Heirloom in the Mission. They have a lovely Croque that is out of this world and giant. Then I like to take a nap in my garden.

One word to describe the Bay Area:

Home

If you could bring one Bay Area eat to a deserted island to subsist on for the rest of your days, what would it be?

The Tartine Chocolate Pudding.

 This article was published in 7x7's September 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe.