What is San Francisco style? Street-smart SOMA casual or Pacific Heights haute couture? It's Hitchcock blond meets Haight Street hippy. It's everything from designer jeans to ball gowns, and in the case of Sonya Molodetskaya, both at the same time. Maybe we can't pinpoint exactly what we mean by San Francisco style, but we do know that the tastemakers of our City are a vibrant group of men and women who are redefining it day by day. Here we take a look at nine such women who we think will shape fashion in the year to come.
The Stylists: Brittany Hampton and Mary Gonsalves Kinney
Fashion stylist Brittany Hampton was one of eight young women competing to be named as Diane Von Furstenberg's brand ambassador on E!'s House of DVF, and emerged the winner on last weekend's finale. As one viewer noted, "sometimes she sweet and sometimes she's not so sweet, but either way, Brittany managed to impress those around her on multiple occasions!"
Diane Von Furstenberg and Brittany Hampton
(photo: Brittany Hampton/Instagram)
Granddaughter of San Francisco fashion designer Crisanta Malig, she knew she wanted to be in fashion since she was a child, and graduated from FIDM in San Francisco before becoming a celebrity stylist.
"She will travel the world, she will represent me, and I know she will do a great job," says Von Furstenberg. We'll be following her Instagram feed for all her international fashion adventures!
Fun fact: Brittany is goddaughter of local fashion show producer Charleston Pierce, whom we selected for our 2010 Style Council!
Mary Gonsalves Kinney with Sonya Molodetskaya, Lora DuBain, Laurie Levenfeld and Olivia Palermo (photos: Drew Altizer)
If you're a prominent person in San Francisco, your calendar could be crowded with social events several times a week. How do you look your best without spending too much precious time shopping? That's where personal stylist Mary Gonsalves Kinney comes in.
We first spotted Kinney at the opening of the Christian Louboutin boutique a few months ago, and immediately became obsessed with her Euro Chic look, glamorous and polished, but with a bit of street savvy to keep it youthful and interesting. Whether wearing Stella McCartney, Chanel, Alexander Wang or something vintage, she always commands our attention. No wonder, then, that she has already captured some of the City's best dressed women as clients in the short time she's been in business here. We have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot of her in 2015!
The Glam Gals: Moanalani Jeffrey and Angella Sprauve
When Glam.com was searching for top tastemakers to film for its next generation of video programming, two San Francisco women quickly rose to the top of the list: Moanalani Jeffrey and Angella Sprauve.
As one of the most popular social photographers in San Francisco, Moanalani is just as comfortable in front of the camera as she is behind it, as evidenced by her fashion blog, Clique. Angella is the founder of Auve, a new online destination for beauty and lifestyle news, and is in the process of launching her own beauty line. They've just started filming their segments, and we can't wait to see the results in 2015 -- but as Glam is recognized as one of the top 10 most visited sites in the world, we certainly won't be the only ones watching!
The Designers: Alice Larkin Cahan and Olga Dzilikhova
For a city that gave the world such mega-brands as Levi Strauss, Gap, Banana Republic, Jessica McClintock, Lilli Ann, N.I.C.E Collective, Joe Boxer, and Esprit, San Francisco gets no respect when it comes to fashion. "San Francisco has no style," is a common refrain from our New York friends. But while young New York designers struggle for attention in an ultra-competitive environment, there are two savvy and stylish women launching major labels in San Francisco this year: Alice Larkin Cahan and Olga Dzilikhova.
Road 22 Co-Founder Fif Ghobadian with Alice Larkin Cahan; Cahan at the Mid Winter Gala (photos: Drew Altizer)
Alice Larkin Cahan was raised in London and made a name for herself as a New York society "It Girl" in the '90s before moving to San Francisco with her tech executive husband Adam Cahan. Often turning heads at the most high profile galas in the city, the willowy blond has mastered the art of "effortless chic," that "thrown together" look that some women would pay a fortune to get. Surprisingly, her new label, Road 22, isn't for fancy dinner parties, but is comprised of luxurious t-shirts produced locally and in Los Angeles. According to her partner, Fif Ghobadian, the brand is named for the highway that leads out of Chowchilla prison, which is California’s largest female correctional facility, and the company plans to hire former prisoners from programs like America Works, Rubicon Foundation and Glide Memorial Church.
Olga Dzilikhova Channels The Duchess of Windsor by Day, and Sleek City Sophisticate by Night (photos: Drew Altizer)
If photographers aren't shooting Alice Cahan at the city's chicest parties, then they're probably looking for Olga Dzilikhova. Due to her polished, minimalist look and a certain undefinable "chicness" she's a favorite of society photographer Drew Altizer, and is often featured at WWD.com and, of course, 7x7! After designing under the Mina + Olya label for four years with friend Mina Yazdi, Olga is striking out on her own in 2015 with Olya DZ, a capsule collection of 12-16 pieces. She's keeping everything under wraps so far, but we have a feeling San Francisco fashion is going to be all about Olya DZ.
The Collectors: Christine Suppes and the Legion of Honor
Christine Suppes with Frederic Aranda, Laura Mulleavy and Kate Mulleavy (photos: Drew Altizer)
She has the look of a sleek 1920s garçonne (think Coco Chanel or Australian TV's Phryne Fisher), the poetic fashion sensibility of a Daphne Guinness, and the kind of knowledge and respect for haute couture you would expect from a historian or museum curator. Bay Area native Christine Suppes has dedicated her life to promoting the fashion industry as a writer, editor, collector and supporter of young designers (she was one of the first to champion Rodarte!), and this year a new book, "Electric Fashion," documents her collection, three decades in the making. Photographed by one of the top fashion photographers in the world, Frederic Aranda, with a foreword by Neiman Marcus' fashion director, Ken Downing, it's one of the books we're looking forward to the most this year.
Charles James, "Four-Leaf Clover" dress, at Legion of Honor (photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Anyone who cares about fashion will be making a visit to the Rosekrans Gallery at the Legion of Honor for "High Style: The Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection," which runs from March 14 to July 19, 2015. First shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2010, the exhibit features some of the most iconic designs of 20th-century fashion, with rare pieces from Elsa Schiaparelli, Chanel, Hubert de Givenchy, among others, and a special section devoted to the extraordinary Charles James.
The Billionaires: Jill Woodman and Alexandra Parker
Almost every major international luxury brand has a boutique in the Bay Area, and if they don't, they're planning on opening one (Dior opens this year in Union Square!) The tremendous amount of wealth created by our tech firms is the main reason. Why else would you find Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Prada boutiques in Santa Clara? But the ultimate customer for brands such as these are our newly minted billionaires. They're young, many of them are quite attractive, and if anyone can afford $50,000 bags and $100,000 gowns, they can.
Katie Simpson, Carlos Souza and Jill Woodman (photo: Drew Altizer); Alexandra Parker (photo: Instagram)
A new name that should be at the top of any luxury brand's list this year is Jill Woodman, wife of hunky Go Pro founder Nick Woodman, whose net worth is estimated at $4.8 billion. A petite blond with a warm smile and easygoing California personality, we've spotted Jill at a preview of designer Rubin Singer's collection, fundraisers for Tipping Point, and a cocktail party at the Valentino boutique for jetsetter Carlos Souza. If fashion houses don't clamor for her in 2015, they're not as clever as one might think.
Fashion played a big role in the growth of Go Pro, by the way. It was initially funded by the sale of belts that Jill designed, and that she and then boyfriend Nick sold together on street fairs and concerts while traveling up and down the west coast in a 1974 VW bus!
Another young billionaire with a special flair for fashion is Alexandra Parker, wife of Facebook co-founder Sean Parker, whose wealth is estimated at $3.1 billion. Her style ranges from comfy-luxe in oversized knits and exquisite shawls and scarves, to theatrical looks inspired by fantasy world characters, faeries, mermaids and, most of all, "Game of Thrones." While we can't picture Alexandra having much fun at a department store, we would love to see her in beautifully crafted pieces by Rodarte or a French haute couture house such as Chanel or Christian Dior. Will 2015 be the year for Mrs. Parker's big fashion moment? We'll be following her Instagram feed for when it happens!