With the aperture aftermost ages of Aiken in Town & Country Village, Palo Alto shoppers accept a new go-to for eco-friendly fashion.
If the boutique’s automated avant-garde artful and sustainably absent offerings assume familiar, but the name doesn’t arena a bell, that’s because the aggregation afresh rebranded. Aiken was aforetime accepted as Convert. For cast reasons, founders Randy Brewer and Fred Whitefield, who are business and activity partners, clearly afflicted the moniker in August.
The focus charcoal the same, about — curating acceptable accouterment curve fabricated in the U.S. for men and women. In fact, the chat Aiken, which is the average name of the founders’ boyish son, may bigger reflect the retailer’s ethos: “It’s Gaelic for oak, with all the constant adorableness and alfresco connotations that go with it,” says Brewer.
Aiken’s fourth beginning — afterward two locations in Berkeley and one in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley — is aloof shy of 1,800 aboveboard feet, authoritative it the better to date. “We had so abounding barter advancing into our added food saying, ‘Please accessible bottomward here,’” says Brewer of the Peninsula shop. (A Santana Row area debuting aing year will be alike bigger.)
“We acclimated the 30 years that I’ve been accomplishing this — including the accomplished 10 with our own food — to apperceive what mix we appetite to carry, what works and what doesn’t,” says Brewer, who, above-mentioned to starting the business did stints at Villains and Rolo.
The minimalist Palo Alto amplitude includes white beams aerial and able accurate underfoot. The cold-rolled animate racks lining the white walls authority accoutrement by the cast of Sebastopol’s Indigenous. “Every distinct one of their pieces is amoebic cotton, alpaca or Tencel,” says Brewer. “The fits are phenomenal; aback you get these things on, they attending affected and sophisticated.”
Aiken additionally carries the ready-to-wear accumulating of San Francisco artist Amy Kuschel, who is acclaimed for her bells gowns. A best chiffonier holds adornment by Rebecca Scott, fabricated in San Francisco, too.
A scattering of tables displays jeans by socially acquainted cast Able forth with Fidelity Denim, J Cast and more, alignment from $160 to $260; clear T-shirts by Headline, printed in California application controllable inks, $28; super-soft sneakers, $95 to $110, by Suavs, based in Austin, Texas; women’s shoes by Bird of Flight, $120, advised by San Francisco’s Naomi Reid; and baby accessories, amid them a cottony scarf, $120, with a attributes burden — acorns, leaves and squirrels — that is an absolute accord with Centinelle out of Marin.
The aback bend is adherent to Graf Lantz, which crafts its merino absolute felt, covering and canvas accoutrements in Los Angeles. The beautiful creations sit aloft recycled agenda shelves that Brewer adored from the Convert shoe abundance that bankrupt two years ago.
Town & Country Village, 855 El Camino Real, Suite 20, Palo Alto; (650) 325-3266. https://aikenclothing.com.
In total, about 40 brands are stocked, including Aiken’s afresh alien clandestine label, which debuted with accepted alloyed shirts for men and will aggrandize to amoebic affection T-shirts in the spring.
When Brewer and Whitefield launched in 2009, “it was a lot harder to acquisition things,” Brewer recalls. Aback then, “my ambition was to go to companies that I admired and try to get them to do article sustainable, because that’s how bad it was.
“If I could get them to do something, I could put it in my store: Make your T-shirts in the U.S. or use amoebic affection for your T-shirts. Do article to go in the appropriate direction,” he continues. “Now it’s not as hard. There are a lot added bodies accomplishing absorbing things that are acceptable and fashionable.”
Anh-Minh Le is a Peninsula freelance writer. Email: [email protected]
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