As one might expect, California is awash in movie star and socialite castoffs. Both groups are under tremendous pressure to appear in styles just off the runway. Starlets are often given items by designers in hopes that they will get caught by the paparazzi in their designs. Many of these pieces quickly end up in one of the many discreet consignment shops, worn once, if at all.
Sui Generis Illa Boutique, 2265 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94144
This recently opened store is located in the Castro neighborhood, a gritty part of town for a truly spectacular women’s consignment store. It is not the place for a young office worker to upgrade her professional wardrobe. Nothing is plain–no black pants or blazers, even by Chanel or Prada. If it were on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, I would expect an employee, dressed in black, to offer me a glass of white wine or Perrier.
Expect unique pieces by the usual high end suspects and some very rare ones, including the Macedonian designer, Marjan Pejoski, who designed Bjork’s iconic swan dress. Screaming deals include: a vintage multi-strand Chanel pearl necklace ($3,500); a Prada black lamb skin motorcycle jacket with gold hardware, instead of the usual silver ($400—one-sixth of what a new one costs); and a frayed-edge Junya Watanabe winter coat that is a work of art for about $600 instead of $3,000.