Are You in SF? Oakland? Menlo Park? Palo Alto?

Well, all you Bay Area-ers, come out and see us tomorrow night and meet some way cool designers. We’re co-hosting a low-key little shindig at Lauren Wolf's aaaahh-mazing Oakland shop Esqueleto, and it’s a total come-one, come-all affair. So: COME. —erica

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Around the World with Wanderluster

Tag along to Iceland and San Francisco, on staycations and weekend trips.

When Rammy Lee Park started her jewelry line in June 2011, the name Wanderluster came almost instantly. A hardcore traveler, Rammy wanted her architectural, attitudinal pieces to embody the same sense of adventure that the word wanderlust (and she!) does. And these days, like most everybody, she logs her journeys via Instagram (handle: @xwanderluster). These are some of her most recent worth-a-pic moments. —jiayi ying

Rammy made us a necklace (that transforms into a bracelet!) inspired by these travels—check it out, pronto. 

TRAVEL CHARMS
"I never go anywhere without this antique porcelain elephant and blue heart—both were given to me by my boyfriend."

PACKING
"I try to pack in a way that helps me get through security as quickly as possible. These are my go-to bags for trips under five days long. The larger one is Stella McCartney for LeSportsac from years ago, and I’ve taken it to Ireland, Istanbul, Iceland, and so on."

REYKJAVIK
"Iceland! I went to celebrate my birthday, and it was one of my most memorable trips. I spent most of my time there with my eyes agog at the natural yet surreal beauty of the land and the elegance and simplicity of the architecture. As a result, my fall/winter 2013 collection is going to be all about Iceland."

COLORADO SUN
"This was taken on Father’s Day, when my parents and I went boating on a lake in the Rocky Mountains. I’m from Denver, but I never appreciated the mountains until after I moved to New York twelve years ago. Now, I try to explore them every time I’m home."

SAN FRANCISCO
"I’ve been spending a lot of time in SF lately, and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite American cities. I never actually visited as an adult until last year, and since then, I’ve gone four or five times. I’ve been ceaselessly charmed by the riotous colors, the Victorian homes, and the way the streets slope."

NEW YORK CITY
"I love moments in the city when I feel transported to another place. Here’s this magical little oasis in midtown. #wanderlocally"

WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE
"This is going to make it into a bangle soon. I’m not sure when my NYC-inspired collection will come out, but it can’t be avoided—it’s my home."

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Annie Costello Brown

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One might say Annie Costello Brown, the incomprehensibly cool L.A.-based mastermind behind the accessories line ACB, was destined to go into design. Growing up on a houseboat in Sausalito in the seventies, Annie was surrounded by artists, musicians, and craftspeople right from the start. “My first job was working for a jewelry designer at 15. It was an after-school, stringing-beads job,” she says.

She tried to escape the world of chains, charms, and clasps by enrolling at the San Francisco Art Institute for painting, but that first medium just kept calling her back—as she says, “I feel like jewelry just happened. It kind of chose me, I think.” So in 2006, she embraced it, launching her business driven by handmade pieces that combine leather, bronze, natural shell, and semi-precious stones in a way that’s “not über-feminine or necessarily sexy.”

Her seafaring and art-school days still shine through in her work—she cites female abstract impressionist painters and sculptors like Louise Nevelson as recent influences. “It’s weird—as I’ve gotten older, I’ve really honed in on loving only female artists,” Annie notes. And lately, her home life has been a big factor, too, thanks to Dion, her three-year-old son. “I don’t sleep, I drink way too much green tea, and I’m a spaz,” she explains. “I try to make something for every mood—I’m very moody that way myself.” —alisha prakash

anniecostellobrown.com

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Materials + Process

Most tales of design success don’t begin with a girl nerding out in engineering class. But enchanted by a Materials and Process course at University of Illinois—the core concept of which was finding new features and functionalities inherent to each material—Christine Marcelino set out to create products that speak to that ethos. Hell, she even named her line after the class. “I wanted to challenge myself and make a functional product,” she explains. “I wanted to design things that look good so you can seamlessly go between different events in your life, whether you’re working at the coffee shop or just have your iPad in your purse.”

But it wasn’t until she was introduced to vegetable-tanned leather, a natural-looking hide that gets its nude and mauve hues from the remnants of—yep—veggies, that Christine really felt like she was onto something. With its aesthetic purity, it was the perfect match for her design principles, which she also puts to use for clients as disparate as Pottery Barn and Marmot. Plus, the skin looked stellar used for her first undertaking, sleek leather knapsacks destined for people who are always on the go—the sort she encounters daily in San Francisco, and (most importantly!) the type she is herself. —carlye wisel

materialsandprocess.com

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Of a Kind

A week ago—ok, maybe longer?—Louisa Parris stopped by with some of her new scarves in tow. WHOA, right? They’re inspired by San Francisco, the city she just left for England! —erica

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Going Local: Elizabeth Yarborough Gets to Know the Sheep Behind the Yarn

For Elizabeth Yarborough, who makes awesome bangles like these under the name Yarbie, a key inspiration hub is also a place of production: She visits a close-to-SF farm to spin yarn and meet the animals she has to thank for it. Amazing, right? Dive on in…

Wind Rush Farm is near Petaluma, California, just an hour’s drive from my home in San Francisco. Pictured here is a beautiful barn and courtyard where I spin sheep’s wool into yarn and then dye it using all-natural materials like onion skins and annatto seeds. My teachers are Mimi and Marlie, master yarn-spinners and lovely ladies, and classes always start with a visit to the pastures! Mimi invites people to learn more about yarn-making and farm life on her blog, too.” —elizabeth

There’s more local inspiration to be had! Click here!

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Meet Bing Bang

How large-scale pieces gave way to much smaller ones.

“I didn’t really think of it as something that was going to become my life’s work—I was just doing it for fun,” designer Anna Sheffield says on Bing Bang, her now-decade-old jewelry line. While studying fine-art sculpture at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, Anna dabbled in small pieces as she focused on big ones. “I started to delve into every single process known to man—bronze-casting, plaster-mold-making, ceramics, and raku-firing,” she says. “I started working with pieces of steel and bronze that I would find in the studio—random chunks cut off from bigger pieces.”

Those little designs found buyers by word-of-mouth, and Anna decided to make the move to the Big Apple to see which took over—her fine art or Bing Bang, a collection of mixed-metal works that, as she puts it, “walk the line between sweet and edgy.” “It was really organic and amorphous—I didn’t have a business plan; I didn’t set out to start a jewelry company. But it has been a really fun ride,” she says. She did, however, put some thought into what to call this thing: “I wanted to have a company name around the concept of two hands, the sound of the hammer anvil, and the idea of the creator being involved,” Anna explains. “Bing and bang are the two concepts—it’s the hand that holds the hammer, and the hand that holds the material while you hammer it.” —alisha prakash

Score the super-teeny edition Anna made for us. This little bracelet has skulls and a crystal—go see!

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Ilana Kohn Dives into Textile Design

Her very first print: her Of a Kind edition.

When Ilana Kohn started her line in 2010, she had to teach herself how to make clothes, starting more or less at the beginning. “My mom got me a starter sewing machine when I was in middle school—but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I got a real machine. And then it just became an obsession,” the Brooklyn-based designer says. Now, five collections and a ton of online research and pattern-studying later, Ilana’s delving into textile design. And the scarves she made for Of a Kind? They’re the very first pieces to be produced from one of her creations. Here’s a look behind the scenes. —jiayi ying

Snag Ilana’s first print EVER on the scarf she designed just for Of a Kind. Right this way…

Marbled scarves hanging in Ilana’s Fort Greene apartment-slash-studio.

“My best friend Emily and I took a marbling class just for fun one day last year. We marbled a lot of scarves and really liked it. I already had the line, so we decided to sell some of them on the site—they ended up doing really well.”

A painting from Ilana’s illustrator years.

“I’ve been making clothes for some time now, so it made sense to start doing textiles—I kind of feel like all of my creative experiences are coming full-circle with this. Having worked in print, I know how to tweak the colors, and what colors work best with what medium. Now I’m learning that all over again with textiles—certain fabrics hold more pigments, so you have to bump up the contrast more.”

The sketchbook starting point.

“The whole process begins with my sketchbook. I’ll doodle random stuff, scan it, and then play around with it in Photoshop or Illustrator to create a repeat. If I like it, I’ll just fiddle around with it until something that grabs my eye comes up.”

Modeling her Ermie scarf.

“Most of the textiles for the collection will be screen-printed because they’re flat two-tone, but the scarves are actually digitally printed in San Francisco. Jennifer Parry Dodge from Ermie was so helpful in recommending places. I wish she lived on the East Coast—she’d be my best friend.”

“The print on the chiffon Of a Kind scarves is actually from a textile I designed for the upcoming collection—with the colorway inverted. This is the first time the print’s going out into the world.” 

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Of a Kind

This Filly look—designed in Portland, OR, and made in San Fran!—is what you’d call moneyed. —erica

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Of a Kind

Not sure what surprises me more: Just how versatile these First Rite designs are—with a vest that easily transforms into a breezy dressor the fact that the designer, Nikki Garcia, sews everything from her San Francisco studio. Either way, damn impressed. —jiayi

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