The Fixers: Where to Get Your Stuff Repaired in Austin, Chicago, Portland, and San Francisco

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How do you find a cobbler who really gets leather or a tailor who can replace the zipper on a favorite dress like it ain’t no thang? Inquire with the designers in town. Well, we went ahead and did the asking for you—so bookmark this business. —erica

TAILORS

Austin – Ace Custom Tailors / 700 S. Lamar Blvd.
“They’re old school and precise—and I can peek in Kick Pleat next door to see what’s new.” —Katie Kime

Chicago – The Alterationist / 804 N. Bishop St.
“The owner Mary is incredibly talented and sweet. She specializes in bridal alterations, but she makes anything fit perfectly.” —Laura Lombardi

Chicago – De Louice / 1755 W. North Ave. #102
“My husband has had great service from De Louice in Wicker Park for custom shirts. He had a simple classic white button down made to his measurements that will last and last.” —Sarah Fox of Cursive Design

Portland - John Blasioli / john@johnblasioli.com
“One of my favorite friends and designers in town, John is unmatched in his eye for tailoring and construction.” —Caesy Oney of Draught Dry Goods

San Francisco – Lora Dukler Couture / 3112 California St.
“In addition to doing exquisite custom work, Lora is one of the best in Northern California for altering wedding gowns and elaborate dresses of any kind. She’s expensive but more than worth it.” —Ryan DeBonville

SHOE REPAIRS

Austin – Austin Shoe Hospital / multiple locations
“They are surgeons for shoes. Those designer shoes that are so old they’re becoming vintage but you have to hold on to? They make it possible.” —Katie Kime

Austin – Golden Slipper Modern Boot Repair / 1903 S. 1st St.
“I trust my vintage cowboy boots to Golden Slipper. They can repair handbags and luggage, too.” —Natalie Davis of Canoe

Chicago – Beehive Shoe Works / 35 N. Wells St.
“Winter in Chicago is very, very rough on shoes. Beehive has been able to take even my most beat-up pairs and make them look brand-new. Quick turnaround time is a major plus.” —Laura Lombardi

Oakland – Rockridge Keys Cut & Shoes Repair / 5100 Broadway
“I took my cork Dieppa Restrepos here. He took the time to carefully stain the new soles to perfectly match my shoes and added a complimentary repair to the toe of the shoes. There is also an amazing selection of neon custom keys to choose from.” Kindah Khalidy

Portland – Hollywood Shoe Repair / 4504 NE Sandy Blvd.
“They’re great problem-solvers.” —Caesy Oney of Draught Dry Goods

San Francisco – Anthony Shoe Services / 340 Kearny St.
“These guys will bring back your favorite Prada shoes from the dead, and they repair handbags, too!” —Ryan DeBonville

DRY CLEANERS

Portland – Plaza Cleaners / 803 NW 21st Ave.; 909 NW Everett
“Green dry-cleaning—I actually worked there part-time in college!” —Caesy Oney of Draught Dry Goods

JEWELRY REPAIRS

Austin – Bead It / 2058 S. Lamar Blvd.
“For all of my costume-jewelry repair, I use Bead It. I take all of my mega-pieces here.” —Katie Kime

Portland - Simon Golub & Sons / 2820 SE 8th Ave. #2
“This is one of my favorite places in town, and I work with them often—super-sweet people who do great work.” —Caesy Oney of Draught Dry Goods

San Francisco – Balzan Jewelry Repair / 210 Post St. #306
“They do phenomenal work with costume and fine jewelry. It’s not inexpensive, but it’s completely worth it.” —Ryan DeBonville 

Click here for recs in L.A.! And here for ones in NYC!

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Dive into Happy French Gang’s Frenchified Guide to San Francisco

The Paris of the West meets, er, actual Paris.

Sandra Dejanovic says the colors of San Francisco are the primary inspiration for her dreamily tie-dyed blankets, bedspreads, and pillows for Happy French Gang. But before she became entranced by Fog City, she was a Parisienne through and through. How does she navigate S.F. like a French woman? Here, her favorite activities. —eleanor hooker

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Eating the Best Pastries
“In Paris, fresh pastries are everywhere, and I do miss that. In San Francisco, I like to go to Tartine when I feel I need to eat something quickly and French. I always buy the same thing: country bread, croissant, and pain au chocolat. Every morning, there is a huge line, but since I live on the same block, I have many opportunities to stop by when there is almost nobody.”
(600 Guerrero St.)

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Getting Outside and Exploring
“I live with my family in the Mission, and going to Dolores Park is our favorite activity on the weekend. When it’s sunny, we lay down our blanket and stay there for hours. We can see the park from our house, and we call it our garden because we’re there so often.”

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Drinking Wine with Friends
“In San Francisco, I like to go to Loló for wine and an aperitif, and Farina Pizza is also good. In Paris, I am always out with friends, getting wine and listening to live music. But in San Francisco, it’s more low-key. I find that I invite people over for drinks, or I go to their houses.”
(Loló: 974 Valencia St.; Farina Pizza: 700 Valencia St.)

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Hitting Up a Museum
“Paris has all the best museums, but in San Francisco, even though it’s smaller, the de Young Museum is really great. There are always new exhibitions, and there’s a tower with a view of Golden Gate Park and the rest of the city. It’s beautiful.”
(50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr.)

You’ve got to see the oh so pretty throw Sandra made us by hand!

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Hello, S.F.! Baggu Goes Bi-Coastal

This company is not choosing sides.

When Emily Sugihara and her mom Joan launched Baggu back in 2007, they were shipping orders out of a family garage in San Diego. Soon enough—after Emily’s bestie Ellen van der Laan joined the team—they moved cool-bag HQ to Brooklyn, and, in November 2012, they added a second studio in San Fran’s Dogpatch ‘hood to the mix—with lots of light and plenty of space to spread out. “It’s cool because there are a ton of creative businesses in the building—photo studios, a place that gives cooking classes, another with sewing classes, a chocolate maker, a granola company,” says Ellen. “It’s actually a lot like our street in Brooklyn.” Ellen shows off their new digs below. —alisha prakash

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“The front door is Baggu blue!”

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“There’s an amazing plant store near to our office called Flora Grubb. We’ve gotten a ton of plants from there—both for the office and for photo props that have turned into office plants. They remind us that we’re in California now.”

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“Here’s me, Kabir Fernandez (product designer and photographer), Joan Sugihara, and Emily Sugihara. We love these huge columns, the light, and the white walls. We have identical columns in our Brooklyn studio.”

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“We searched high and low and just kept coming back to this desk set-up. It’s the same one we use in our office in Brooklyn. It’s an oak butcher block from IKEA, on top of two of their white metal screw-in legs and a white set of drawers. They’re big but great.”

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“When we ordered vinyl lettering for our front door, the company included this weird SMILE lettering. Now it’s our mirror flair.”

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“Our office in Williamsburg is jam-packed to the brim. When Kabir needed to photograph something, he would have to come in early or late once the store was closed, just to be able to have the space to unroll a seamless. Our studio here is big enough to have a seamless to photograph with at all times. So luxurious!”

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“We have this huge table. It’s probably a quarter of the size of our whole office in New York. It’s really amazing to be able to spread out and work together on it, but it’s a constant struggle to keep it clean and cleared off!”

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“We have these huge windows that look out over the bay, downtown San Francisco, and Potrero Hill.”

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“Emily knew about these water heaters from Japan. It’s a Zojirushi—it permanently keeps water at tea-making temperature. And the rad circular cutting board, we got from Mociun in Brooklyn.”

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“Another great feature of our office—the industrial sewing machine! There’s finally space for it here.”

We can’t even with Baggu’s latest leather edition—it’s that good.

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Head to the Golden Gate Conservatory of Flowers With Julia Kostreva

She’s a total petal pusher.

“The Conservatory of Flowers is just this breathtaking white gem of a building by Golden Gate Park that looks like it’s from the Victorian era,” says Julia Kostreva. The oasis, stuffed with green, provides some serious fuel for Julia’s incredible paper-goods line—and it helps that she lives just five blocks away. See what she sees in the spot. —kristina erfe

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“The main reason I really love the Conservatory of Flowers is because of the really wild colors and different plant types that you would never be able to see otherwise. The journey there is really fun.”

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“This is the lily pad room—a beautiful pond of water with an amazing skylight. Incredibly inspiring!”

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“One of the best examples of wild-looking patterns in the conservatory—with half pink, half green leaves.”

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“I can be inspired by something as simple as seeing a leaf that has one color on one side and has an inverse of color on the other—which really is more an abstract inspiration that I can then translate into my work.”

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“Another example of a wild pattern—this leaf looks like it was painted.”

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“I can be inspired directly or abstractly. Sometimes, I’ll collage with the patterns that I took photos of, and then I’ll use the texture or the color or a really subtle piece of the collage. Or sometimes it can be a direct transition to my product.”

Planning ahead has never looked so good as it does with Julia’s notebook and planner set.

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Hortense Jewelry

Long before French-born Hortense Bonneau was designing her line, she was a kid with an eye for jewelry. “When I was five, I went to Florence with my dad. There’s one street with jewelers on both sides, and I wanted to go inside every store,” she says. “Then, at 10, I went Place Vendôme in Paris, spending hours looking into the windows of Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier.”

But she ended up working as a photo editor at a magazine for years before realizing she had an itch. “I wanted to do something with my hands, but I didn’t know what. So my husband sat me down and asked me what I liked in life,” she recalls. The first thing that came to mind: jewelry.

When she moved to San Fran with her movie-animator man, she made the switch. “I washed dogs. That’s how I made money to buy a bench and tools,” she says. One year later, Hortense registered at the Academy of Art and the Alan Revere Academy, and after working as a metalsmith for other designers, launched her own fine-jewelry label in 2007. Over the years, it’s evolved as her life has—taking a pause when her daughter Lola was born, making the move to L.A. when she did, getting daintier when the mood struck her. “Step by step, that’s how I grew.” —alisha prakash

hortensejewelry.com

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Joshu+Vela Unearths 4 of the Coolest Vintage Bags Around

The puppies have survived decades.

“A big part of making something new is figuring out what worked in the past,” explains Noah Guy of the S.F. bag line Joshu+Vela. So his old-school inspo is always close-at-hand, Noah keeps his favorite vintage satchels on display in his studio—allowing he and his cohorts to look back as they move forward. Here, a quartet of stars. —carrie neill

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Eastpak duffel, from the mid eighties
“The shape and proportions of this eighties Eastpak duffel were the inspiration for my Of a Kind edition. When I started out making bags, I made something a bit bigger and sent it on the road with my friend who was touring through Europe with his band. His feedback was that it was too big, too heavy—so I went back to this size. The handles are really great, and the spacing and placement of them is nice.”

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Filson duffel, from the early eighties
“I love the colors on this and the leather details. This is a higher-end version of what the Eastpak was—it’s definitely a West Coast bag.”

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French linen backpack, from the forties
“This is from another era. I got in in Alameda at an army-navy store and scrawled my last name on it, which you might be able to see. The details are great—there’s felt and wool on the back, and it has this great steel hardware, too.”

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Bass split leather tote, from the seventies
“This is one of my favorite bags. It has sort of a Connecticut-Northeastern vibe—maybe for a fly fisherman who has a house in Manhattan but is actually quite country and rugged. This is totally a bag my grandfather would have had.”

Now’s your chance to score Noah’s exclusive, crazy-cool denim weekender, inspired by these classics.

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Joshu+Vela

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The best ideas come when you aren’t looking for them. At least, that was the case for Joshu+Vela founder Noah Guy, who first dreamt of starting his own bag and accessories company during a beach hang in Seminyak, Bali, a few years back. Feeling inspired, he came up with a few early designs and made use of Indonesia’s organic indigo dye, which his company still incorporates today. But don’t let Joshu+Vela’s exotic origins fool you: Noah is a fan of things American-made, through and through.

“I grew up appreciating quality,” says the designer, who describes visiting Orvis and L.L.Bean frequently as a kid with his dad—and being dismayed when so much American production got shipped overseas in the nineties. His determination to bring back the high-quality nature of war-era bags from the forties and fifties led Noah to decide to handcraft everything from a 900-square-foot studio in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood—taking the skills he’d honed at Levi’s, Old Navy, and Northface and throwing himself into Joshu+Vela full-force in 2010.

Now, Joshu+Vela produces a whole range of goodness—bags of all sizes, dopp kits, wallets—but the original design ethos remains intact. “There’s a certain pride in having a nice cloth,” Noah says. “That’s basically where we started with Joshu+Vela, and that’s what we’re trying to hold true to.” —carrie neill

joshuvela.com

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Noah Guy Shares the Best Places to Bike to in All of San Fran

The spots you’ve gotta hit on a pair of wheels.

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For Noah Guy, traveling through the streets of San Fransisco on his custom eighties bicycle—American-made, just like his bags for Joshu+Vela—is oh-so-much better than driving his truck. And that’s only partially because of his bike’s rad graphics. For Noah, an ideal trip starts out in the Mission and ends up at the coast—with the stops below on the way. —carrie neill

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Adobe Bookshop
“I’d start out at Adobe Books at the corner of 16th and Valencia. It’s an independent bookstore, a sort of San Fran institution, and it’s struggling to stay alive. It shows a more relaxed side of the city—they have punk concerts, poetry readings, and art shows in the back. It’s kind of a relic of the pre-money age.”
(3166 16th St.)

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The Wiggle to the Conservatory of Flowers
“Then I’d take the Wiggle—SF’s mile-long, zigzagging bike route—into Golden Gate Park, and check out the Conservatory of Flowers. They’ve recently painted bike lines and bike symbols on the roads. It seems like there are more bikers in San Francisco per capita than anywhere else.”
(Conservatory: 100 John F. Kennedy Dr.; conservatoryofflowers.org)

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Happy Bakery to de Young Museum
“At Happy Bakery, just south of the park at 24th and Irving, you can get the best vegetarian steamed rice buns. I’d grab a couple of those and then head to the de Young museum, which is a really interesting building. I saw the Vivienne Westwood exhibit there a few years ago. It was cool to look at the things she was doing right out of art school, when she was just making things with her buddies, and to think that years later, those pieces ended up in a museum.”
(Bakery: 2253 Irving St.; Museum: 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr.; deyoung.famsf.org)

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Trouble Coffee Company to Ocean Beach
“After that, I’d head out to Ocean Beach, stopping for some cinnamon toast from Trouble Coffee. The surf at the beach is a bit rough, so the surfers there are really good. It’s a very relaxing place—a real stress-reliever.”
(Coffee: 4033 Judah St.; troublecoffee.com)

Score Noah’s adventure-ready edition: A sturdy, so-cool denim weekender.

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Ryan DeBonville

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It’s hardly rare for designers to hold down odd jobs to pursue their fashion goals, but Ryan DeBonville’s current gig takes the cake. “In 2009, I quit my men’s personal shopper job at J.Crew so I could work at my friend’s tanning salon and knit more,” chuckles the San Francisco native. “I was so embarrassed to tell J.Crew.”

But the time had come to focus more on his work—Ryan had been perfecting his craft for 25 years. “My Grandma used to pick me up from pre-school, and there wasn’t anything to play with other than my mom’s old dolls,” Ryan explains. “She tried to teach me to knit a few times. But that didn’t work out too well, so I made up a way.” This eventually led to his first apparel creation: an oversized sweater inspired by one of his mother’s Neiman Marcus pieces from the eighties.

Ryan’s current collection of infinity scarves and beanies is more timeless but just as thoughtful. “It is an amazing amount of work. About 100 to 200 hours goes into the design and development of each piece,” he notes. “I’d love to start doing sweaters and bags…and to start using knitting machines!” —jessie pascoe

etsy.com/shop/ryandebonville

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Ryan DeBonville’s Guide to Stuffing Your Face in SF’s Mission District

Ten meals worth making room for.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Ryan DeBonville has got the whole Bay Area on lock. But living in the Mission now means he rarely has to leave his ‘hood for a meal. “The main street, Valencia, has gotten about 12 new restaurants in the last few years. All of my favorites are a block from my house, so I have to go to the gym a lot,” he explains. If you want to break bread with the discerning knitter, here are the 10 places you are most likely to find him. —jessie pascoe 

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Mmm…Beretta.

Beretta
“I love the dark atmosphere in this place—and the kitchen is open past 1 A.M., a rarity in SF. Order their beet salad followed by house-made vanilla ice cream drizzled with olive oil and sea salt.”

Yo-Yo Sushi
“I pretend to go here for the sushi, but, really, all I ever want is the deep-fried, tempura-battered green tea ice cream.”

Picaro
“This is one of the older Spanish tapas restaurants in the city. It gets loud and crowded, but their spicy potatoes are so worth it. And it’s cheap—most plates are under $10.”

Cha-Ya
“Vegetarian Japanese food! This place has all kinds of really great veggie dishes, but my go-to is the veg-tofu curry with soba noodles.”

Thorough Bread and Pastry
“A few short blocks from the Mission, this place has a tiny Frenchwoman behind the counter who reminds me of the soup guy from Seinfeld. They have some of the best sandwiches and pastries around—I buy their chocolate-dipped cream puffs by the dozen.”

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Caffeination nation—a.k.a., Four Barrel.

Four Barrel
“Amazing cappuccinos—my favorite in the city. They carry pastries like bacon-maple donuts that are basically why I have a gym membership and do yoga in the first place.”

Pancho Villa
“This is a quick-and-dirty burrito place that’s open late. I love getting extra to-go containers of their salsa and putting it on eggs in the morning.”

Sunflower Vietnamese Restaurant
“They have amazing, hearty pho and incredible beef dishes—it’s also fairly inexpensive. The goal of the servers is to get people in and out—and they have no problem telling you to move it sometimes—but that’s somehow part of the charm.”

Mozzeria
“This place is fairly new and is practically in my living room—I live next door. They have a special, 5,000-pound oven that cooks their stellar pizzas, but some of my favorites are the fresh salads and small plates they do. The restaurant is run by a mostly deaf staff, so be prepared to be greeted with pieces of paper with questions written on them.” 

Crazy Sushi
“Also right next door to my apartment. They have really great rolls here, and I always try to go on Tuesdays when they get their shipments of fish in from Japan for the week.”

Get Ryan’s made-in-San Fran knit hat now! Cozier than a Four Barrel latte.

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