SF’s Urban Air Market in Hayes Valley was an afternoon of old school shopping, modern design and timeless creativity. The outdoor event was a breath of fresh air in the age of Amazon where we willingly exchange original design for cheaper/faster and where fair trade rarely wins out over free returns. No judgments. Life is expensive, so we do what we have to do, but even when we think we have found something unique somewhere, we can’t help but check Amazon to see if it is juuusst unoriginal enough for less money and free Prime shipping.
One of the best parts of SF’s Urban Air Market is none of the stuff is on Amazon. Everything I picked up was original, affordable and absolutely beautiful. I wish I posted before the event, but I only stumbled across it the night before. Thank goodness for the Internet where each booth is a click away.
Here are some of my favorites:
Blond Peacock. I like to think I am a good writer, but it is such a subjective talent that lacks a singular artifact to showcase itself, like a painting or a photograph, or in the case of Blond Peacock, a photograph turned screen-print. The artist and owner, Michelle, travels the world taking pictures and then returns to LA where she hand screen-prints the images onto super comfortable women’s clothing. Right now her out of office message says: In Nepal for design inspo and to build a school. Slightly more exotic than my last out of office, which was: In bed due to overdose of baby boogers. I bought her beautiful Bali lotus tee for $24.
Eden & Zoe. Sometimes I feel like it is the mission of all major clothing retailers to make little girls look like angels and little boys look like fools. I am tirelessly on the hunt for cute mini-menswear, and thrilled when I find a shop like Eden & Zoe. The owner’s three daughters inspire the children’s clothing line, but in addition to beautiful hand-knit dresses and sparkly tutus, she also makes adorable boys clothes. I scored this 100% cashmere hat for $24.
Unique Fitz. Fitz is the owner, artist and all around nice guy. He offers one-of-a-kind designs, all made by hand. I bought my brother a t-shirt inspired by Mazinger Z, a Japanese super robot from the 80’s. I knew he’d love it, but more importantly from my nephew’s 3-year-old vantage point, his dad looks super cool every time he wears it. The toddler approved robot t-shirt was $20.
Mini Chic. I have a fondness for European children’s designers but I don’t love the price tags. Mini Chic is je ne sais quoi fashion meets thrift store. They offer new and second hand French (& European) children’s clothes that can be purchased with good ‘ole American cash, credit or you can barter your own gently used French (& European) kids threads. Right now they have a showroom you can stop by and are on the hunt for a retail space if you have any leads. I bought the adorable cloud tee for $17.
So next time you hit up Amazon for something you don’t need anyway, visit one of the above links instead. Support this generation’s talent like we as parents hope the world will one day invest in our own mini chics.
And set a reminder to show up for real life talent and the best prices at these upcoming San Francisco Art Fairs:
November 11 – 12, 2017 – Renegade Craft Fair Holiday 2017
November 18-19, 2017 – West Coast Craft
December 10, 2017 – Sunset Mercantile Holiday Fair
Plus, there are two more Urban Air Market events happening this year in Oakland:
December 1, 2017 – Make Your Own Holiday Gift, Urban Air Market DIY Night
December 3, 2017 – Urban Air Market