San Francisco: Shopping
Westfield San Francisco Centre
The biggest and most opulent of the shopping centers in the city, Westfield has the biggest branches of every U.S. brand that foreign visitors could want to find. This includes a five-story Nordstom’s, a two-level Abercrombie & Fitch and a host of other clothing outlets such as Kenneth Cole and Club Monaco. It is a short walk from Union Square so easily reachable for a quick visit during a break between sessions and the area itself is populated by all the other brands not already housed in Westfield.
Open: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Sunday 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Address: 865 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
In stark contrast to the monolithic Westfield, Margaret O’Leary typifies the craft and artisan traditions behind much of San Francisco retail. O’Leary’s hand-loomed, locally made cashmere sweaters draw on her Irish roots and combine quality construction with some of the finest cashmere in the U.S. The sweaters, sold alongside some of O’Leary’s favorite brands, have such a following among local residents that some wear no other knitwear at all. And visitors quickly appreciate the sweaters’ insulating qualities when the infamous San Francisco fog rolls in.
Open: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Address: 2400 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Luxury clothes shopping at its best, Wilkes Bashford carries some of Europe’s top clothiers, such as Kiton, Brioni and Brunello Cucinelli. The chain’s philosophy is ‘quality not quantity’ and it has been driven by the vision of fashion icon Bashford ever since he opened the store in 1966. For European visitors most of the brands will be familiar and, given the import costs, more expensive than they are back home. But for attendees from across the U.S. and particularly from Asia, this is an unrivalled opportunity to find exclusive luxury brands.
Open: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Sunday closed
Address: 375 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Vintage clothing has always been a strength of San Francisco, particularly given its history as a center of alternative movements. CRIS features some of the best vintage clothing in the city, with designer brands such as Dior, Gucci and Valentino, set in clean and modern facilities for a vintage shop. Located on Polk Street just before Broadway, it is a little further than the other recommendations here but well worth the trip.
Open: Monday to Saturday, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Address: 2056 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
Contact: (415) 474-1191