Our Derby of San Francisco experience was pretty magical. Our journey began when we stumbled upon a hidden gem at the used clothing store, Wasteland. Mario had been casually coat shopping for a few weeks and fell in love with the style of a coat on the rack.We found the most beautiful jacket with golden paisley liner and a Golden Gate Bridge emblem on the neck tag. It was boxy on the shoulders and slim at the waist, just like his body type, and a rather unique cut for today’s styles. We featured the coat in a photo shoot the following week and were recognized on social media by the company. A few weeks later, on Black Friday, we decided to stop by the shop and see who the man behind the golden ticket was.
Derby of San Francisco’s Black Friday sale included a giveaway of 40 kids jackets, among other discounts, and the store was crowded when we initially arrived. We decided to wait until the crowd subsided before visiting and were able to connect with the man behind the dope jacket. Mario and the owner, Victor Suarez, chatted for a bit and I stood by listening. To my surprise, Victor turned to me and handed me a two-tone gray and black jacket for me to have, along with a beanie. I was surprised, flattered, and excited as I had not expected it at all!
Mario found a new classic black coat during the sale and I left with two unexpected treasures! I was excited to have a matching set and new product to feature on the blog! As it is, this was already an incredible experience for my boyfriend and I, but it gets even better. I later learned that this was the first time in 40 years that Derby kid’s jackets had been released. I’m not even a kid, and I was able to be a part of it which is really special. For our shoot, I wanted to keep it simple in order to focus on the San Francisco based coat company. I wore a plain turtleneck, M.Rena Leggings, and Jeffrey Campbell rain boots. Mario kept it simple as well with an H&M t-shirt, Uniqlo jeans, and leather Aesics.
I went online to learn more about the brand and found Victor's story inspiring. According to SF Gate, Victor is an Iraq war veteran who invested in bringing back the popular coat from his childhood. As a Bay Area native Victor recalled that the coat was a "right of passage for young men" and became the "working man's" jacket. He took a risky plunge and spent $40,000 on an advertisement at the 49ers stadium when announcing the release of his online store. Fans of the old school brand went bananas. The website did so well that it initially crashed within a few minutes, however he made $100,000 in sales within a few hours. Derby was rereleased as an online store, but now has a botique location at 1472 Haight street as well. Ironically, I used to work next door and remember the first day they opened. The line wrapped around the block and I had even wondered what the hype was about behind this little store.
After wearing the coat for a few weeks I can see why it's the perfect for the city. The jacket is incredibly warm and I find myself consatnly gravitating towards it for that reason. I wish each coat I owned came with the same cozy liner built in. Derby of San Francisco has transformed from the "working man's" jacket into a coat that women and children can incorporate into their wardrobe as well. I took a kid's size XL home and it fits well. It has a distinct and classic style suitable for every day wear and I often get asked where it's from. I never expected for the story behind this hidden gem to be so special, and I'm grateful I was able to be a part of it!