Style Council 2014: Designer Tina Frey

Style Council 2014: Designer Tina Frey


It’s natural that local resin crafter Tina Frey, 46—renowned for her streamlined dishware, jewelry, and furniture—would draw inspiration from places. The lifelong globetrotter (her husband, Jochen, calls her a gypsy) was born in Hong Kong but grew up in Alberta, Canada, and abandoned plans to move to London to continue her lucrative career in finance. She finally landed in San Francisco in 1997. Influenced by such edgy international designers as Belgium-based Sofie D’Hoore and Swedish denim label Acne, Frey’s sculptural wares have landed her a coveted retail contract with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Her new workshop/atelier in Dogpatch, where she’s toiling on her fall collection of pom-pom-adorned pieces, is open to the public. When she’s not sporting studio clothes—J.Crew capris, a neoprene sweatshirt, and white Adidas sneakers—you can catch the Marina resident in Carven high-waisted skirts and Celine slip-ons at Locanda (where the staff recognize her at the door), partaking of grilled lamb and artichokes, or at Frances for her monthly reservation.

Suitcase essentials

White T-shirts from The Gap, SkinCeuticals moisturizer and sunscreen, and Nars Satin Lip Pencil—all packed in an aluminum Rimowa Topas Cabin trolley

Summer must-have

Freida sunglasses by Illesteva

Style icons

Carine Roitfeld, Emmanuelle Alt, the Olsen twins

Strap On

I have a red, white, and blue Isabel Marant woven belt that I wear a lot, but I also like to repurpose linen tape from Fog Linen Work for the same function.

Epiphany moment

In the shower, I came up with the idea of using other materials with the resin—leather handles with the buckets and cotton ropes with the planters. Now I try to shower often. Like daily.

Snooze fest

At my bedside, I have six small wool sheep with beechwood legs in various sizes, which are handmade by Hanns-Peter Krafft.

Style tip

Don’t overdo it.

Favorite classic SF experience?

Bike or walk across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Vista Point on the other side and look back at the beautiful city skyline...preferably on a nice day.

Favorite SF street to stroll and why?

My favorite street stroll is the Lyon Street Steps from Green to Broadway. The view is amazing and it is a great workout! I often run here from our house and do the stairs 3-4 times with the dog. But it doesn't feel like a workout since I am so distracted by the beauty of the place. I always feel completely refreshed afterwards.

Favorite public artwork in the Bay Area?

Ugo Rondinone's "Moonrise Sculptures".  They are a trio of mottled aluminum heads at 555 Mission.

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


Day-off itinerary:

Go to Ocean Beach in the early morning, possibly surf if it looks right, or take the dogs out for a long walk along the beach. Then have the Smoked Salmon Sunrise for a long breakfast with a nice coffee, while sitting at tables and chairs outside at the Beachside Cafe.

One word to describe the Bay Area:  


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?

Valrhona Chocolate Claw from Neighbor Bakehouse with a Sightglass Coffee (Blueboon blend), but with properly hand ground beans using the Porlex Mini Mill, the Hario V60 Glass Dripper, and filters.

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

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