Yet another significant retail closure to tick off for the Castro neighborhood: Unionmade has closed both its men's and women's stores on 18th Street after a decade in business.
The high-end clothing and accessories business specialized in American brands like Levi's Vintage Clothing, Alden shoes, Shinola, and Baxter of California, as well as niche Japanese labels and goods from smaller brands as well. And while they seemed to do a brisk mail-order business over the years, that was apparently not enough to keep the brick-and-mortar stores afloat.
Friend and sometime clothing model Juanita More reported the news to SFist, saying, "It's always sad to hear when one of our local businesses closes. But this one is especially tough." She says she considers the owners family, and heard from them that "the challenges in San Francisco to run and maintain an independent store are beyond challenging."
The Unionmade website and Facebook page are currently offline, and the owners could not be reached for comment.
Update: Owner Todd Barkett issued a statement saying, "After 10 years of independent retail I have decided to move on to new creative endeavors. Over the past few years it was exciting to create a unique fashion point of view to match the uniqueness of San Francisco. I especially loved meeting all of the customers who shared in my vision of unique quality clothing and expressing their personal style.
Men's style blog From Squalor to Baller first broke the news of the impending closure last week, after 30%-off and 50%-off clearance sales seemed mighty indicative of an impending shutter. Menswear buyer and writer of the blog Ian Anderson calls the closure "a huge loss for the local and global menswear community."
Barket opened the store in 2009, bringing on-trend, high-quality menswear to a neighborhood that had largely been home underwear shops and club wear. A women's store offshoot called Mill Mercantile debuted on 24th Street in Noe Valley in 2012, and it was moved to 18th Street in the Castro last year under the name Unionmade Women.
Says More, "Thank you for sharing your style with San Francisco."