Hayes Valley is getting chicer by the minute, no small thanks to the folks behind Azalea and Tobi.com. The latest addition to their mini-empire is Welcome Stranger, a beautifully appointed shop at 460 Gough St. They scoured Bay Area flea markets and online outlets to create a gilded hunting lodge aesthetic that should make any man feel inspired to get their style on. The shop’s been open since late September, but yesterday they finally received all of their fall shipments and celebrated with an official opening party.
The highlight was their exclusive denim collection from Naked & Famous. Welcome Stranger is the only place in SF you can get your hands on the Montreal-based brand. I chatted with Bahzad Trinos, one of the two dudes who run the company. He told me all about how their jeans are made exclusively with raw denim imported from Japan, and how they eliminate dyes and washes (at least for the men’s styles–look for women’s styles coming soon that will have minimal washes). He took great pride in their 32 ounce jeans, which literally stand up on their own. He says it’s the heaviest denim in the world. “We like superlatives,” he said. And yes, they are apply for the Guinness Book of World Records. If you’re not yet convinced, here’s another reason to love Naked & Famous (from their site):
[pullquote]The brand name Naked & Famous is a satire of our celeb-obsessed culture. We aim to poke fun at “Hollywood” and “Glamour” brands that sell jeans for $300 and up solely because they are celebrity endorsed, and not because they are higher quality.[/pullquote]
Other brands you’ll find at Welcome Stranger include Woolrich, Garbstore, and Whillas & Gunn, Gant, Simon Spurr, and I saw some amazing pea coats last night by Billy Reid that were so substantial they also seemed like they could stand up on their own.