Verrieres & Sako  
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by
Anthea Ravanos & Janette Maack
 
 
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The Clothes: Timeless Pieces and Sample Sale Prices

Young and sophisticated: that’s exactly what came to mind when we had the pleasure of attending  Bay area design duo Verrieres & Sako’s sample sale event on April 18th at the Golden Bridge Lofts in downtown Oakland. Every piece was beautiful and delicately designed:  the looks ranged from screen-printed American Apparel tees to bias-cut silk evening dresses and even a gorgeous red wool coat with hand-ruched collar. Best-sellers for Spring are V&S high-waisted pencil skirts and an asymmetrical silk-cotton blend blouse that can be worn several different ways.


Overall there is definitely a very romantic feel to Verrieres & Sako’s collections. The color palette is focused on neutrals accented by a few pop colors like plum, garnet, and Caribbean sea-blue. Stephanie Verrieres and Kimie Sako, both graduates of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, do an amazing job of making transitional and timeless pieces that can be worn during any season and for every occasion. In today’s economy this is exactly what people are looking for: a classic that can be kept and worn forever.

 

 

Event Highlights

Attending the sample sale was great fun for us here at San Jose Fashion Week. Not only did we get to meet a very inspiring and intelligent designer, we also had the pleasure of running into Princess Fati Farmanfarmaian, a fixture on the San Francisco social scene. Last month Princess Fati wore a gorgeous shimmering grey ruckled Verrieres & Sako gown to the San Francisco Mid-winter Gala, a dress that Verrieres jokingly calls her ‘baby,’ because it boasts over 3,000 hand stitches and took an astonishing 3 weeks of 10-hour days to complete. Princess Fati (looking effortlessly stylish in dark jeans and a tailored jacket) was gracious and friendly, asking us about our website and chatting with Stephanie about her latest designs.

 

Aside from the Houndstooth Dress—our favorite thing about attending the Verrieres & Sako event? How absolutely humble and inspiring Stephanie Verrieres is. Listening to her talk about the collection, the creative process (and everything else that goes into making one piece), it’s easy to see how much she loves and appreciates her work. When asked what her ultimate goal for Verrieres & Sako is; Ms. Verrieres had to think for a minute and then said she loves the little comments people make about her clothing. “The women that come up to me and tell me how much they love their dress and how well it fits, makes it all worth it. I guess my ultimate goal is to make people love the way they feel in our clothes…and I feel like I’ve already hit that.” All of us in the room asked, “what about Vogue?” Stephanie smiled and simply said, “that’s not an ultimate goal, that’s next.” There is no doubt in our mind it will be.

The Design Team: A Match Made in Fashion

Though Kimie Sako was unable to attend the Sample Sale event, we got the chance to meet Stephanie Verrieres and ask her a few questions. Gracious and kind, Ms. Verrieres is one of the most down-to-earth people in the fashion industry that we have had the pleasure of meeting. We talked about Verrieres & Sako’s upcoming Fall 2010 collection, which is influenced by geometric shapes taken from a book on prisms. The fall collection will be very modern and architectural, with a focus on pleats and art deco inspirations.

 

 
We also got the inside story on the process behind those beautiful designs: Kimie and Stephanie are there every step of the way, hands-on with each classic piece they conceptualize. The designers work from their design studio in downtown Oakland, and pieces are produced right around the corner by a small mom and pop manufacturer. Not only does this help the design duo cut costs- keeping manufacturing local gives them a greater amount of quality control and enables them to support the local economy, which is especially important to Ms. Verrieres because she grew up in Oakland.

 


Stephanie Verrieres and Kimie Sako make a perfect team: “It’s like being married,” says Verrieres. She considers herself “the big idea person,” while dubbing Kimie “the voice of reason.” In regards to their future, they plan to continue perfecting their craft and making women feel feminine and beautiful. The design duo would love to eventually open up a flagship store in San Francisco, and in the  near future hope to be able to produce their own runway show.

 

Verrieres & Sako

www.verrieressako.com

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Foto Danielle Pearson SJFW

Anthea Ravanos & Janette Maack

 

 
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