Isaia Brings New Life to a Maiden Lane Landmark

The address of 140 Maiden Lane is known by architectural fans and students worldwide as one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most important buildings.

Gianluca Isaia
Gianluca Isaia at Isaia,
140 Maiden Lane, San Francisco.

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Built in 1948 as the V.C. Morris Gift Shop, it was Wright’s prototype for one of his most famous projects, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, with its similar circular ramp.

Nearly 70 years later, 140 Maiden Lane now has a new tenant bringing life to the fully restored building, which was formerly used as an art gallery — Isaia, one of the world’s leading menswear houses.

Todd Traina, Gianluca Isaia, Anne Vyalitsyna and Adam Cahan.

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

To mark the Italian luxury brand’s new presence in the city, CEO Gianluca Isaia (pronounced is-I-E-ah… it might take practice!) recently hosted a cocktail party at the store in partnership with SF Film, as well as Katie and Todd Traina, Anne Vyalitsyna and Adam Cahan, and Spencer and Alexandra Wells.

A fun Vespa photo booth and caviar ice bar at the Maiden Lane entrance awaited guests such as Roman Coppola, Willie Brown, Sonya Molodetskaya, Alexis and Trevor Traina, Lindsay Bolton and Caley Castelein, Scott and Nina Stanford, Joni Binder and Robert Shwarts, Michael Murphy and Michael Bauer, and Dr. Alan Malouf, among others.

Gianluca Isaia arrives on Maiden Lane<div class="photoby">Photo: Drew Altizer Photography</div>
Gianluca Isaia arrives on Maiden Lane.

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

It was a wonderful opportunity to peruse the Naples-based brand’s latest collection of luxury separates and custom tailoring, and take in the incredibly chic decor.

Chosen personally by interior designer Alberta Saladino, the furnishings all came from Esprit Nouveau in Naples, and includes a Jelly Pea sofa by India Mahdavi, vintage 1950s chairs by Paolo Buffa, a sculpture by Michele Iodice, a 1950s wet bar, and an assortment of pieces from the 1940s to now.

Because of the building’s important historical status, Isaia worked closely with preservation planners in the San Francisco Planning Department to maintain the integrity of the site, down to the finest details.

For instance, preservationists required that the interior be painted the exact color that Wright had used in 1948, so a paint analysis was performed which identified not only the exact color but the manufacturer of the paint!

Isaia’s respect for tradition and high standards of quality proved invaluable when taking responsibility for Wright’s building — attributes that are very much apparent when wearing pieces from the collection, as many of the world’s best dressed men already know.

See more photos from Isaia’s arrival on Maiden Lane below!

Trevor Traina and Alexis Traina, Allison Speer.

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography
Willie Brown and Sonya Molodetskaya

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography
Anne V

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography
Lisa Alexander and Lindsay Bolton

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography
Scott Stanford and Nina Stanford

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography
Michael Franti and Sara Franti

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography
Alexis Traina

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography
Katie Traina

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography
Jeffrey Alan Marks, Mary Beth Shimmon and Riccardo Benavides

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography
Alexandra Wells and Spencer Wells.

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography
Todd Traina and Alan Malouf

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography
Sarrah Candee, Gianluca Isaia and Jim Shay

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography
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