SAN FRANCISCO — Leave it to Sir Paul Smith to shake up the San Francisco social scene.
Socialites, artists, rock musicians, interior designers and Silicon Valley techies packed a party at the British designer’s new boutique here this month to celebrate the opening of Smith’s first San Francisco store — his fourth in the U.S.
At one point, Smith led the Apple Computer Inc. design team into the women’s fitting room for photos on the chaise longue — taken with iPhones. The day before at Apple, Smith gave a talk on finding design ideas, at the invitation of his friend, industrial design senior vice president Jonathan Ive.
Guests included Mike Dimkitch, lead guitarist for the Los Angeles band The Cult; San Francisco socials Tatiana Sorokko and Vandy Woods Boudreau; Esprit co-founder and Hillary Clinton pal Susie Tompkins Buell; antiques impresario Tod Donobedian; industrial designer Yves Béhar; Google engineer Orkut Büyükkökten and partner Derek Holbrook, whose hand-painted Paul Smith shoes were autographed by the designer at the party, and Levi Strauss & Co. director of global innovations Eddie Curran.
“I love my shops,” Smith said before the party as he fiddled with a misbehaving “Flying Scotsman” cuckoo clock that’s part of a red wall of art, photos and objects, like “Paul’s note to self” to “Stop making sense. Logic is predictable. Think differently.”
Near the wall is a stack of Andy Warhol-designed album covers and a bundle of House & Garden magazines from 1987, the year Smith opened his first U.S. store, on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Contrasts continue throughout the 4,000-square-foot store, from its Fifties orange-and-gray exterior to the suit room’s paneling taken from a 19th-century bank and the white-cubbyhole women’s accessory display Smith designed using Le Corbusier proportions.
The store, which is near Union Square and has entrances on Geary Street and Maiden Lane, also sells Smith’s collection of men’s and women’s apparel and footwear. Smith said boutique sales worldwide are up 7 percent from a year ago, and e-commerce sales have jumped 136 percent.
A grooming moment between @tanfrance and @antoni last night at the The LGBT Community Center Trailblazer Awards honoring Anna Wintour, Ricky Martin and more. See more photos at WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“It was a very surreal feeling. It wasn’t like we were in the studio together coming up with it — it’s more like he discovered it and loved it. I didn’t let myself get my hopes up, but then it happened it was very exciting,” said singer-songwriter @nombe on discovering that @pharrell would be using his song, “Cant Catch Me” on his HBO documentary series “Outpost.” The German-born singer — named Noah MacBeth — talked to WWD about feminism, using art as a platform for political expression and personal style. Read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
This season, denim is going west – in influence. Brands like @fathersdaughterla (pictured here), @tommyhilfiger Jeans, @levis and more are opting for raw, top-stitching styles. (Styled by @thealexbadia; 📷: @ryanplett)
20-year-old British singer @jorjasmith_ made her debut at Coachella last weekend. We caught up with her and talked about her love for Amy Winehouse, working with Kendrick Lamar on the “Black Panther” album and her fashion philosophy. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @katiedaisyla)
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)