We recently attended a dinner in honor of Jennifer Siebel Newsom and her film “Miss Representation“. The event was held at the gorgeous new Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers store on Fillmore (2223 Fillmore Street, between Clay and Sacramento).
Brooks Brothers Chairman and CEO Claudio del Vecchio and Black Fleece designer Thom Browne were joined by approximately 50 guests in what is only the second Black Fleece store in the US (the other being located on Bleecker Street in NYC). The 1,600 square foot store houses the entire men’s and women’s collections as well as the full line of accessories.
Looking around the room, Mayor Gavin Newsom commented “I can say, having been around this town a while, this is a pretty impressive crowd. You got the right folks here!”
Guests included Sex in the City’s Jason Lewis, Ask Aida’s Aida Mollencamp, Elizabeth Montana, Marissa Mayer, Maggie Rizer and Alex Mehran, Marcy Carmack, Katya Sorokko and Greg Spencer, Robert Fountain, Zem Joaquin, Ann Ferrell, Lynne Hale, Katie and Todd Traina, among others.
Before dinner, Gavin Newsom acknowledged the lengthy permit process that Black Fleece went through before they could open the store on Fillmore Street.
“There are engaged and engaging neighbors in the area, and they, to their credit, have made Fillmore Street a special street. I think all of us can acknowledge this is not like a lot of other commercial streets in San Francisco, and candidly it’s because of them. But at times they have strong opinions, and those things sometimes get in the way of the permitting process.”
But by the positive reception Black Fleece has received, the timing of the opening worked out great (afterall, who wanted to be in retail in 2009?)
“I think all of us tonight have a sense that this is about something very unique and very distinctive,” Newsom said. “I’m honored that you chose San Francisco as your second location. You can’t get too upset when New York is first.”
The evening provided guests the opportunity to learn more about Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s documentary, Miss Representation, which she hopes to finish in May 2010. “It seems daunting, but I think we can do it,” she said, noting that she didn’t take a leave of absence after having her baby. “I just kept working through in trying to finalize this film. It’s timely. It needs to be finished.”
She is worried about the polarization that’s happening in America right now, and hopes that her film will encourage people to realize that we’re all on the same team, and treat each other with respect.
Gavin obviously shares his wife’s passion for gender equity. He surprised the crowd when he cited some alarming statistics. “This country is 84th in the world of having women in legislative positions. That means that yes, if you were wondering, Cuba is ahead of us. Rwanda is ahead of us. Pakistan is ahead of us. China is ahead of us. And I know you’re thinking Iraq can’t be, but they are. And Afghanistan can’t be, but they are ahead of us in women in positions of leadership,” he said.
“And so this is a documentary that not underscores the problem but gives solutions and ideas, and it’s really an action oriented film.”
To make room for the dinner, most of the store’s merchandise was packed away, but according to the store manager Robert Oren, the collection has been a hit. “Our customers know and understand fashion and want something unique, but timeless.”
Indeed, we already know of several folks in town who are wearing pieces from the latest Spring 2010 collection.
At the launch party for Jetsetextra.com later in the week, we spotted Joel Goodrich wearing this fun nautical themed jacket ($1200).
Photo: Bobby Chang
Photo: Moanalani Jeffrey
You can expect to see a lot more of the Black Fleece collection on notable people in San Francisco. It’s the perfect look for our City, which always manages to be both classic and avant garde. In Black Fleece one can be a little bit more playful and risky than usual without worrying about going over-the-top.