“When it comes to shopping for great fashion in San Francisco, there is a handful of stores, but largely it’s an underserved city. I wanted to bring what I learnt from working in the industry in NYC back to my hometown,” says Emily Holt, a former Vogue editor and founder of Hero Shop, a boutique in the up-and-coming Tenderloin district that I literally stumbled across on a recent visit.
I was warmly greeted by Holt as I browsed the racks and display tables that line the exposed-brick space. The industrial setting is perfect for her launch edit – one that includes beautiful swimsuits by California-based Nu Swim (high bottom and dia top, $161), elegant wool coats by Creatures of the Wind (from $1,795), ribbed cashmere and wool sweaters by Claudia Schiffer for TSE Cashmere ($280) and some of the best vintage-style Levi’s 501s ($198) I’ve seen.
Holt filled me in on the different designers she carries; there’s a focus on handbag designer Theresa Lee of Future Glory, and plenty from New York, including Oscar de la Renta alumnus Adam Lippes, as well as further afield. I loved Paris designer Myriam Schaefer’s sculpturally simple cross-body bags ($3,450, first picture) and larger Byron bags ($5,445), and was struck by LA-based Rosetta Getty’s sumptuous bell-sleeved alpaca sweaters ($780). One of the most eye-catching offerings, however, was a pair of statement-making gold birdcage earrings ($1,850, second picture) by mother-and-daughter jewellers Of Rare Origin, with coral, pearl and agate embellishments.
In addition to fashion finds, there’s a diverse collection of books – particularly cookbooks – as well as ceramic bowls and cocktail napkins ($40 for six) in shades of chartreuse and cornflower blue that I couldn’t pass up. I reasoned that they would make perfect gifts, although I’m having a hard time parting with either of the sets I bought.