For the way things are going it seems like it’ll take a full year to complete my San Francisco guide. So I apologise for the space between posts.
This week’s store was one of the more exciting finds. If anyone’s been to San Francisco, you’ll know that it’s not a huge, sprawling city. Coming from London I found that I had explored most of what I thought was San Francisco within the first week. That was until I took a few wrong turns and ended up in Valencia.
It was pouring down with rain and all I wanted to do was jump in a cab and head home after a long day of shopping. Just as we were flagging one down, I spotted a quirky-looking store across the road, and my inner ‘Dandy’ took over. I rushed over and the moment I stepped in, I knew I’d found something a little special.
The Common is (here comes the copy from their website) is a dynamic retail experience centered around fine craftsmanship, and an educated aesthetic, perhaps traditional in tendency, contemporary in conduct (Thanks to Waylan for an impromptu phrasing of what my mind was thinking). We will have a men’s and women’s clothing store, Four Barrel Coffee shop, art gallery as well as an event space that will hold art openings, concerts, film screenings, workshops and speaker series. Oh yeah, it is also available for private parties.
The first thing that greets you as you enter the store is this random Caram/Bowling table planted bang in the middle of the store. P.S. I told you it was pouring it down - look at the weather outside!
The selection of menswear had me producing more water than what was hitting the windows outside. I was literally drooling. These delightful pieces of neckwear were part of the Taylor Stitch collection; a small independent shirt company that offers a range of fabrics to help make your own shirt/tie that little bit more unique.
Just some of the fabrics that were available for customers to choose. Ahh how we wish they’d open up shop in London. Hint Hint!
The Common stocked a wide range of products. It wouldn’t be California if they didn’t stock a pair of shades or two.
Another feature of the store that just added to its charm was the coffee shop that was tucked away at the back. These guys really seemed to have the retail game on lock. It helped create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Although, with me snapping away as everyone sipped the coffee, the atmosphere was short-lived!
For me, it was the small items that really stood out. These metal collar stiffeners were a must buy. But unfortunately for me, it is a ‘must buy’ when I go again with more money!
I say if you’re ever going to stop over in San Francisco, a visit to Valencia is a must and The Common should be top of your list. And did I mention how cool the staff were? I was chatting to store owner for a good 45 minutes on everything style related. They not only know their product well but they live the lifestyle and have a real passion. Now that’s not COMMON….sorry guys I had to!