OPENING IN JACKSON SQUARE Opening a retail showroom is exhausting work. The grand opening of our new JAKE flagship showroom and atelier was in early March, and it’s taken us a month to catch up enough to recount how we turned an aggressive fixer-upper into the gorgeous space that we now love.

From Market Street to Sansome Street

From Market Street to Sansome Street

CLASSIC. MODERN. DEFIANT. In particular, we wanted to highlight some of our more fun design decisions, in part because we love how they turned out, and in part because in the age of Pinterest, fabulous design has never been more accessible, so if you’re not doing interesting things to begin with, you’re already behind.

The JAKE aesthetic is classic, modern, defiant, and our new showroom embraces that vision, from the layered storefront through the pop-art and embossed faux-hide wallpaper rear.

GREYHOUNDS The bird baths came with the place, though they were, like the rest of the location, which had sat fallow for a few years thanks to the San Francisco Planning Commission, a bit dilapidated. We cleaned them, painted them white, and bolted a pair of concrete greyhound statues that we also painted white. A bit of potting soil and some flowering plants, and now we never find cigarette butts in them.

Why greyhounds? If you’ve never visited us, and love dogs, then you’re going to love meeting our mascots, the rescued greyhound racers Echo and SCOTUS (Supreme Canine of the United States; he was named after 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case).

WINDOWS To create a transitional boundary between the sidewalk windows and the showroom, we created floating irregular barriers out of reinforced cloth strips that we dip-dyed and suspended with monofilament from bars hung just below the high ceiling. Since the strips hang at different heights, they partially obscure the showroom’s interior, allowing in light and enticing, one hopes, passersby into coming in for a closer look.

NICE RACK Since our showroom’s main focus is a large, open room, we wanted beautiful, minimalist racks that we could easily reconfigure as needed. We worked with a local artisan to create custom-welded steel modular racks, which are surprisingly easy to move around the showroom ands to reconfigure, depending on what we want to display.

TURNING TABLES The heart of the custom clothing shopping experience is in finding wools, silks, and other materials that really speak to you. We wanted oversized tables at a height comfortable for standing, and it was terrifically fortunate that our previous landlords--the wonderful McRoskey Mattress Company--offered to let us repurpose the massive aluminum oven doors that, a generation or two ago, the same family-owned company used to forge the springs for their mattresses. Given that they had been stored in a basement for decades, they were heavily corroded. But if you’ve ever worked with aluminum, you know that it’s only the very outer layer that corrodes, and once you polish off the oxidized metal, you’ll uncover a gleaming interior. We added some legs that complement the doors, and they’re now among the most striking pieces in our showroom.

DRESSING UP Dressing rooms are frequently one of the most unpleasant aspects of retail. They’re often cold and sterile, and you hurry to shuck off your clothes to try the new ones on. It’s a little lonely staring into the mirror, critiquing yourself, especially since clothes are usually meant to be worn around other people. Not at JAKE, though. No lonely dressing rooms here!

NOW KISS We wanted dressing rooms that are fun, whimsical, a pleasure to be in, and--because we didn’t put mirrors in them--don’t let you get lost in your head. We named each room after the two locations we’ve grown through--San Francisco's Harrison and Market Streets--and our current home, Sansome Street. They're decorated in a mix of oversized pop-art wallpaper and mock alligator embossed wallpaper; we're biased, sure, but they truly are the most fun dressing rooms you've ever seen.

WHATEVER, BITCHES Oversized houndstooth wallpaper plus layers and layers of glitter paint. Works equally well for bathrooms and JAKE womenswear designer Blake Patterson, but also for life in general.

BRIC-À-BRAC The key to a collage wall is to mix sizes, textures, and positions enough that it doesn’t look forced, too ordered, or too chaotic. You can diagram it out on butcher paper, but if you’re covering a series of 15+ foot walls while rushing to finish in time for your grand opening, just grab a drill and make it work.

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THE BAR METHOD What’s a fashion destination without a bar these days? We refinished and flipped an old door on its side, added a mirror cut to the door’s interior dimensions, and--this is the most important part--caulked the seam between the mirror and the door, keeping the door from warping when a melted ice bucket was promptly overturned on the bar during our grand opening. Unfortunately, we hadn't anticipated that someone would explode an entire magnum of champagne by JCB Wines underneath it during the same party. You can't plan against everything your excessively enthusiastic guests might do, we suppose.

YOU REALLY SHOULD COME SEE US We think the overall effect of our effort is a sleek and elegant showroom that echoes our fashion point of view. It took a fair amount of effort, and our clients seem to love it as much as we do. If you haven't already visited, reserve a free style session now or just drop by some time to see what we're up to next.