The quality-over-quantity movement has been a big driver in men’s fashion and grooming over the past few years, with plenty of independent brands popping up to quench the demand for well-made goods. Here to curate it all is Unionmade, a menswear boutique with a casual yet dapper West Coast aesthetic.
Since Unionmade was co-founded by Todd Barket, a 20-year veteran of GAP, in San Francisco in 2009, it has gained a legion of dedicated followers. What has made Unionmade such a success is its ability to seamlessly mix and match up-and-coming designers with established classics.
Housed in a pre-1906 earthquake Victorian space that was home to a grocery store in the 1870s (and still very much maintains its Victorian exterior), Unionmade feels intimate, and though the store’s price point tends to fall on the higher end, it’s completely free of guise. Step inside and you’ll find yourself surrounded by carefully picked heritage items that complement one another and ooze Americana (though the boutique does carry brands from outside the United States).
Barket and his staff are all highly knowledgeable about the provenance of every shirt, shoe, and watch they carry, an indicator that you’re getting some seriously refined stuff.
Unionmade is very much an extension of Barket, a man who truly loves clothing. Pieces are chosen to be carried in the store based on one unified point of view for each season. From there, the final selection criteria is whether or not Barket would wear the piece himself – in an interview with Cool Hunting, he stated, “I think for us it’s if we would all wear it, would we want to hold onto it for a few years. Do we think it’s something we’d break out in a few years again and wear it? Does it look better when it’s washed?”
The issue of longevity is why Unionmade tends to favor the classics. The boutique has an extensive collection of Converse and Levi’s Vintage Clothing. And then there are the new classics – selvedge chambray ties and pocket squares from Brooklyn-based The Hill-Side, and handsome watches from Chicago’s Shinola. No matter what your style, Unionmade supplies the basis of a strong wardrobe.
Those of you in Northern California can visit Unionmade at their flagship store on the border of San Francisco’s Mission and Castro districts, while Southern Californians can hit up their location in the Brentwood Country Mart.
You can shop Unionmade on their website and follow them on Instagram @unionmadegoods.