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San Francisco with Victor Verdugo

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Photos of Victor Verdugo by Melissa de Mata for The Style Line

Story by Rachel Schwartzmann – Photos by Melissa de Mata

One of our last stories of 2015 features one of our amazing contributors and an equally amazing city.

As we’ve seen in our recent stories, San Francisco is the birthplace of innovation. Finding the intersection between technology, style, creativity and many other pertinent industries, the city’s inhabitants are among some of the most passionate in the nation. Enter Victor Verdugo, a young emerging professional whose bylines include pieces on Apartment34, POPSUGAR and even closer to home, here on The Style Line. We first truly connected with Victor this past May during our happy hour event at LEGION. Victor’s genuine sincerity and excitement around the San Francisco creative scene resonated with us, and we’ve been working together ever since to find a way to further showcase the city through his eyes. As he stated in our interview below, “San Francisco is a city full of unique characters. It has given me the confidence to not be afraid to stand out, and truly develop and embrace my own personal style…” Boasting a diverse array of people from all walks of life, we also wanted to get a better sense of the growing role menswear is playing in the development of San Francisco’s fashion community. Below you’ll have the opportunity to peruse four of Victor’s neighborhood favorites and recommended destinations for locals and first time dwellers alike. Victor also kindly shared insight on city-living in the modern age and where else he’d like to visit and perhaps live at some point in the future.

Hi, I’m Victor Verdugo

and I’m a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m a very visual person so I love traveling to beautiful destinations in or out of the city. I’m also a very social person so I’m always craving social interaction. I love sharing experiences and intimate moments with the most important people in my life, so I’m always inviting my friends to try out new things or places with me.

Walk us through your ideal San Francisco day from start to finish.

I love starting the day having breakfast or brunch with friends, it’s such a great moment to catch up and see what everyone has been up to.  After that we will either check out some shops or bookstores. I love ending the day by having a drink at a bar downtown – like Bourban and Branch!

How would you characterize the San Francisco menswear scene and how has it shaped your approach to personal style?

It’s funny, but I think a lot of the guys in San Francisco tend to dress very similar. It’s like they all dress each other. For the most part I don’t really pay attention to menswear. Of course, I’ll always appreciate the classic cuts and silhouettes, but my personal style is really inspired by so many other things. I think womenswear has appropriated the best aspects of classic menswear and then made it even better.

How has living in a city taught you to celebrate personal style?

San Francisco is a city full of unique characters. It has given me the confidence to not be afraid to stand out, and truly develop and embrace my own personal style. I love the fact that I can experiment with my personal style and not be self-conscious or feel out of place.

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

“What are you reading or what’s something you read recently?” I don’t think a lot of people talk about books anymore. People either don’t read or they keep the good books to themselves. Currently I’m reading Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin and the Little Book of Skincare by Charlotte Cho.

What is one thing you always find yourself discussing amongst fellow shop-owners and San Francisco small business owners?

The fact that every place in San Francisco has to have a certain “look”. Every coffee shop, restaurant, or boutique has a very distinct branding in order to differentiate themselves from everyone else. It can get it a little out of hand, but then it also allows for more opportunity for creativity.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe?

San Francisco’s microclimate has really changed the way I dress. It’s always about light layers that you can take on and off throughout the day, depending on where you are or headed. The weather app is definitely the first thing I check before getting dressed.
 

Samovar

Address: 411 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA

“I always come to Samovar in the mornings and usually on my own. It’s such a beautiful space to just sit and think or relax. I always order an almond chai, but their breakfast options are always tempting – today I ordered their and egg and avocado toast dish.”

Shop Victor’s Look: Oak and Fort jacket (Similar, $168) Adidas Yeezy Season 1 sweater $2,600, Madewell Jeans $125, Vintage boots

How would you characterize the collective personal style of San Francisco dwellers and what is one thing you’d like to see change?

San Francisco has really embraced the recent normcore trend. It’s all about comfort and casual dressing. I sometimes wish more people dressed in San Francisco, but the city’s attitude is so casual that it makes it very easy to look overdressed. But it’s hard to characterize the personal style in this city because people are constantly moving to San Francisco from all over the world, bringing with them different styles.

Le Point

Address: 301 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

“I’m a sucker for a pretty space, and I adore Shop Le Point’s selection of product. I tend to stop by when I’m looking for a unique gift for a friend (or for myself).”

Address: 1 Sausalito – San Francisco Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA 94111

“Heath is such a San Francisco classic and I always love stopping by to admire their minimal ceramics. I always love when they have “imperfect” items on sale. Because sometimes the imperfections add character, right?”

Shop Victor’s Look: ZARA jacket $69, GAP sweater $54.95, Madewell Jeans $125, J.Crew boots (Similar, $571)

In your opinion what is the most underrated neighborhood in SF and how do you see it changing?

The Tenderloin gets a really bad rep, for many reasons, but there are so many hidden gems that are unlike anything else in the city. The Tenderloin has also changed a lot in the last couple of years. The streets are being cleaned up and so many cool bars and restaurants have been opening up. I’m interested in seeing where the neighborhood is headed. 

Vive la Tarte

Address: 1164 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103

“Vive la Tarte is different to most coffee shops in the city because it’s incredibly spacious. Talk about a well designed space – I love the midcentury design mixed with retro details. And their hazelnut tart and iced latte is totally on point.”

Shop Victor’s Look: Madewell shirt (Similar, $88) Rivet and Thread jeans (Similar, $198) ZARA boots (Similar, $99)

What other cities can you see yourself living in and why?

I love the energy of New York, it’s so exhilarating and so different from San Francisco’s more chill vibe. But lately I’ve been contemplating living in Seoul. I’m obsessed with Korean food and beauty products, so I think I would be in wonderland living there.