Shop stylized vintage at Berkeley's newest boutique, Ultra Cat, where owner and designer Xenia Curdova sources and remakes vintage (20th century) clothing to create one-of-a-kind pieces.
"When sourcing, I look for interesting patterns and high-quality fabrics," Curdova said. "Absolutely every piece has been touched by me. Expect to find looks you've never seen before. Pieces that bring joy and humor. I think of these clothes as wearable art, but still affordable and accessible."
Sustainability is at the heart of what Curdova creates, as reworking vintage styles means reducing waste. She makes and redesign all her pieces in the boutique's small upstairs studio. Curdova immigrated from Moldova seven years ago and worked hard to reach this dream. After arriving in the Bay Area, she learned English and then entered community college. After community college, she transferred to UC Berkeley where she earned her bachelor's in architecture.
"I practiced architecture for 1.5 years," Curdova said, "but it wasn't fulfilling me creatively. I decided to follow my passion. I started Ultra Cat online in early 2018 and then opened my Berkeley location in 2019."
Each month Curdova hosts a party at Ultra Cat. Stop by on Friday, March 8, 6-9 p.m. for an event to welcome spring and commemorate International Women's Day.
"We'll have wine, a live band, and snacks. Come and play dress up and connect with other people interested in fashion, design, and art. Everyone is invited."
The store is open 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. every day except Wednesday, or by appointment. It's also a fabulous location for hosting private parties, shopping events, or art openings. Contact Curdova at email@example.com. Ultra Cat, 2842 Prince St., Berkeley, www.ultra-cat.com, Instagram @ultra.c.a.t.
Edo Salon opened its doors in Oakland in February.
Chri Longstreet and Jayne Matthews, the creative duo behind Edo Salon in San Francisco, are well-versed in high-style hair. In 1998, they opened their flagship shop in the Lower Haight district, offering a signature boho style and creative approach to coloring. Despite their success, health challenges prompted changes.
"After I had my daughter," explained creative director Matthews, "I became allergic to the hair color products in the salon. We began using all organic and natural color in our San Francisco location in 2015, but we also wanted a space that was free of perfumes and harsh chemicals. We want to provide a clean-air space for everyone."
The Oakland location offers a safe haven for fragrance-sensitive clients while providing haircut makeovers and education during the week. Weekends will be the only time color will also be available at the Oakland location.
Edo is all about hair makeovers. "We celebrate your natural hair texture," Matthews said. "Whether you struggle with fine hair or frizz or how to manage your curls, we can help you. Instead of just trimming or giving you the look that's in fashion, we consider your eyes and cheekbones and determine what cut will flatter your face the most. Our styles are made to grow, so you only need a full cut every six months."
In the salon there are a range of luxury, organic hair-care products for all your styling needs, featuring brands like Rahua, Josh Rosebrook, Reverie, and Hairstory. Popular products include a Himalayan sea salt spray by Rahua that offers volume for the crown; a nourishing hair balm by Reverie for definition and separation (providing that lived-in look); and Hairstory—which is a big hit right now.
"Hairstory can be hard to find in brick-and-mortar shops," Matthews said, "but we carry the brand." New Wash, by Hairstory, is a cleaning cream, rather than a traditional shampoo—this gives hair a desirable, one-day dirty vibe instead of fluffy and dry, Matthews said.
"We're known for our French boho inspired-styles. It's a lived-in-but-chic and beautiful look. It's inspired by Parisian women who just wear their hair."
Stop in and see the Edo crew. Edo Salon, 4245 Piedmont Ave., questions and appointments at www.edosalon.com, Instagram @edosalonandgallery.
Get your fashion fix at Fashion Community Week in San Francisco, with events running Wednesday, March 13, through Saturday, March 16.
Fashion Community Week fosters local and global fashion growth by hosting designer runway shows, a fashion-focused conference, an industry pitch event for fashion startups to have their ideas heard by investors, industry meet-and-greets, and shop the runway events. This is the fifth year of Fashion Community Week, put on by an award-winning nonprofit of the same name. Tickets start at $25 for individual events or $100 for general admission to all four days (or $200 for VIP admission to all events). Proceeds help support local charitable causes, so your evening of glam is going toward the greater good. Details at www.FCWSF.org.
Local footwear favorite SoleSpace has downsized from two brick-and-mortar locations to one.
The Telegraph Avenue shoe shop is still going strong, but the Grand Aveune location—featuring boots and casual footwear—closed its doors as of Dec. 24, 2018. The reason? Rising rents and the challenge of competing with online giants like Amazon.
Shopping local for your shoes not only supports local businesses, in this case it helps foster community and local arts. Owner Jeff Perlstein has long provided his shop as a space for arts events, talks and gatherings. Stop by for all your sneaker needs. SoleSpace, 1714 Telegraph Ave., 510-306-1585, www.SoleSpace.com.