When lawyer Pia Oien Cohler moved with her husband to San Francisco from Paris last year, she had a bit of down time while she was waiting for her Visa to come through. She took the time to do a very Silicon Valley thing: She “pivoted.”
Cohler opened the doors of her boutique, Pia, The Store, with a well-attended party Thursday night.
Among the guests were leaders and lovers of the tech-meets-culture set, with high-profile Instagram accounts to boot: investor Joshua Kushner, who is Karlie Kloss’ boyfriend; Sutro Energy Group founder Nicole Systrom, who is married to Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom; doctor Priscilla Chan, who is married to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg; art consultant Sabrina Buell and her husband, industrial designer Yves Behar, One King’s Lane cofounder Ali Pincus, and San Francisco Ballet principal dancer and style icon Maria Kochetkova all came out to support, snap — and, ostensibly — shop.
The store is located at 414 Jackson Street in San Francisco, which is quickly becoming a bit of a retail hub in the city’s financial district. It’s stocked with apparel, accessories and jewelry from brands such as David Koma, Giambattista Valli, Roksanda and Nina Ricci. Not-so-basic basics from Raquel Allegra are in the $150 to $400 range, special occasion dresses from Zac Posen, Nina Ricci and Delpozo run from $1,000 to $15,000 and fine jewelry goes up to $10,000.
The sun-filled 2,500-square-foot location, with a makeover from interior designer Eric Cohler, boasts tall ceilings and light wood floors. Neighbors include the recently opened A.P.C. as well as Isabel Marant, Aesop and a store run by “Project Runway” designers Jake Wall and Blake Patterson.
“Fashion had always been a hobby,” said the native Norwegian, who was drawn to the idea of a store because she loves working with creative people, creating something tangible and taking part in the community.
To that end, she commissioned local fashion photographer and artist Anna-Alexia Basile to design a custom “optical installation” that plays off the whimsical, playful feel of Cohler’s aesthetic. Basile worked with local wood sculptor Sean Newport to build the hardware and used artwork from Tyler Spangler, incorporating painted fruit and Plexiglas, rotating platforms and a number of triangular kaleidoscope tunnels.