When it comes to the Golden State, Diane von Furstenberg operates four full-price units in Los Angeles and an outlet store a day trip away. Surprisingly, there are no stores in San Francisco, a situation that will be partially remedied by a four-day pop-up stint: a 3,500-square-foot DVF Studio x San Francisco experiential space in the Marina district that combines commerce and creativity. Brand partners Levi’s and Google will be featured at the space either through products, participation in events, or both.
“We noticed from our web site that we have a lot of clients in San Francisco, so we decided to do a pop-up there, and viola! We have a collaboration with Levi’s,” von Furstenberg said. “The Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan has my wrap dress [circa 1974] and Levi’s jeans are there and we’re going to celebrate that.”
Asked about her role in DVF Studio x San Francisco, which operates today through Friday, the designer said, “I made the discussions with guest speakers happen. I’m going to kind of show up and be there and Godmother it. The whole of retail is changing and so much is online. I love the idea of these pop-ups, and San Francisco is a very vibrant city.”
“We some fantastic stores in America and globally. We have a presence in L.A. The priority had been on other areas in the past. You can do so many different things now in terms of the retail experience,” said Jonathan Saunders, chief creative officer at Diane von Furstenberg, adding that the San Francisco pop-up “may lead to a permanent space or a more regular occurrence for pop-ups. It’s an exciting time for fashion.”
“What’s fun with the brand is that it lends itself to prints, color and the notion of decoration. Those are things we can show. We have one global vision and one identity, but we love the idea of slight nuances,” Saunders said, adding that the DVF Studio concept first launched in New York last month at the SoHo store. “It wasn’t only the collection, but artists and sculptors and paintings, [as well as items from Levi’s and Reebok].”
Saunders wanted to create a similar energy for DVF Studio x San Francisco. “We thought of really relevant things to do. I’ve always loved to represent more than just clothes.” The pop-up will feature a special edit of DVF’s fall 2017 collection. Like the New York version, a selection of ceramics by Morgan Peck and books from Carl Freeman Gallery will be on hand.
Saunders will screen-print on Levi’s vintage-inspired Premium denim. “I had so much fun with the screen printing. I haven’t done it in quite a few years. I studied it in university. There’s something amazing about the instantaneous-ness of it and the mix of colors. All of the imperfections are part of the beauty of the products,” said Saunders, who will be demonstrating the process on jeans and T-shirts. “I can work with customers and help them design and customize denim and fall in love with something. And the prices aren’t unaffordable.”
Google is inviting to DVF Studio leaders from across the tech company and Bay Area to discuss the role of women in Silicon Valley. The role of technology and philanthropy as agents for change in society will be another topic of discussion. A portion of sales from shopping nights will be donated to local charities.
Saunders said DVF will make a donation in support of those impacted by the recent forest fires in California. “Because of the fires, we wondered for a moment if this was the right thing to do,” he said. “We decided that people wanted something positive.
“I’ve done pop-ups and I’ve done experiences with customers but never something so multifaceted,” Saunders said. “If you’re agile as a company and open to new ideas, doing versions of what we’re doing globally is a great and exciting way to interact, learn from and inspire our customers.”