Two Parsons grads, Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie, teamed together upon graduating in 2008
to form Cushnie et Ochs. Starting with less than $100,000 to start their line, Cushnie and Ochs received critical acclaim for their first runway show and were instantly picked up by Bergdorf's in New York. Nine collections later, Cushnie et Ochs has become available in high end boutiques and department stores all over the globe.
Focusing on the beauty of the female form, Ochs and Cushnie combine brain power to create edgy, urban looks that celebrate femininity, minimalism, and sexiness.
Their emphasis on clean lines and saturated colors have made them two of the most sought after designers for celebrities like Kate Bosworth and Diane Kruger, and public figures like Michelle Obama.
The two 28 year old designers are taking the fashion world by storm with their clean aesthetic and
With its sharp lines, sexy cut outs, and bold bright colors, we can't help but fall in love with Cushnie et Ochs Resort 2013 collection.
Check below for a video link to see the inspiration behind their Spring 2013 collection
and shop the Cushnie et Ochs resort (in store now) and spring collections (coming soon)
Click here for a link to the Cushnie et Ochs spring inspiration video!
Cushnie et Ochs Resort 2013 collection available in store now.
Please call 510.658.6906 for more details.
In celebration of Pop Up Hood's one year anniversary McMullen teamed up with Mercy Vintage
for a fabulous night of champagne, shopping, and mixing the old with the new.
Mercy showcased some of their amazing vintage clothing, jewelry and shoes (including a killer pair of Lanvin heels), while guests sipped champagne, browsed McMullens new winter collections, and nibbled on cupcakes from James and the Giant Cupcake.
Thanks to all who braved the rain to come celebrate the one year anniversary of Pop Up Hood with McMullen and Mercy Vintage!
New York based designer Max Osterweis began his label Suno in 2008 after riots and a damaged economy arose post election in his second home town of Kenya.
Using traditional Kenyan fabrics that Osterweis had been collecting for years, Max collaborated with designer Erin Beatty to create a small collection predominately produced in Kenya.
Suno now produces in Kenya, Peru, New York and India, and combines both high end tailoring and traditional techniques and fabrics to create quirky, unique pieces that reflect Osterweis's upbringing in his beloved Kenya.
Suno provides a refreshing look at fashion with its use of bold prints, eclectic silhouettes, and playful color palettes.
This luxury line has been called one of the most "colorful and optimistic" labels of recent times, with its playful attitude and passion to support the Kenyan textile industry as well as American production.
We are in love with Suno's new Resort collection, featuring bright florals and dreamy pastels.
Stop by McMullen to shop the Suno resort collection.
Suno resort collection available in store only.
Stop by McMullen Grand Ave. location to shop Suno
or call 510.658.6906
for more information.
Westward Leaning, a San Francisco based sunglass company, is quickly becoming
the hottest accessory label for Hollywood's elite and fashionista's in the know.
The secret is in the design.
Each pair is crafted from one universally flattering shape,
while thoughtful accents and a mix of materials are used to distinguish one collection from another. Each collection focuses on an aspect of human achievement and social progress,
like the Children of California collection, which uses reclaimed redwood with proceeds going to Teach for America in the Bay Area. This quirky mixture of style and heart has made Westward Leaning one of our favorite new brands at McMullen. Check out an interview with the Westward Leaning team to find out how they created their signature shape and what causes they will be representing next.
Q. What's the key to creating sunglasses that are universally flattering?
key to creating sunglasses that are universally flattering is keeping
the design simple and minimalistic. Our universal frame is based on the
classic wayfarer frame, and we inlay the unique materials at the temples
in a flattering parallelogram shape.
Your project is based a lot on social causes and progressive issues.
How have these inspired Westward Leaning and the overall collection?
What issue is the current collection touching on and why is it important
to the brand to highlight human achievement?
original inspiration came from a brainstorm session when our
co-founders Robert Denning and Karlygash Burkitbayeva where classmates
at Stanford Business School. They were trying to figure out ways that
retail could better engage with contemporary social issues. Rather than
use social issues merely for marketing, they wanted to make them core to
a brand's identity, and central to the actual design and
manufacturing. Therefore a social lens has inspired every aspect of the
brand from where we source to the materials we choose to incorporate in
The current collection, Model No. 9 honors the color revolutions that
have brought about democratic change throughout the world. While the
sunglasses honor all the various color revolutions, the specific
models—in blue, orange and pink—celebrate the Orange Revolution, the
Blue Revolution, and both the Rose and the Velvet Revolutions,
respectively. For every pair of sunglasses sold, we donate $10 to
Reporters Without Borders, which works to protect and defend the
journalists who report on the front lines of social change.
is important for us to highlight human achievement for two reasons. The
first is that we strive to offer sunglasses that let people express
both their personal style and their outlook on the world around them.
The second is that, while past visionaries were responsible for the
achievements our sunglasses celebrate, we support education programs
dedicated to creating future visionaries in order to ensure we have a
bright future - bright enough for shades!
Q. What is your favorite style tip for women (of any age)?
favorite style tip, or something we love, is subtle color matching. For
example, when someone matches the reflective cobalt blue on the lenses
of our color revolution model with their belt, handbag, or the color of
their nails. It is subte, and hard to catch, but when you do it gives a
powerful sense of togetherness to the outfit.
Westward Leaning is now available at both McMullen locations.
Based in Berkeley, Erica Varize has quickly become one of our favorite local designers.
Erica's collections feature a contrast between soft, fluid jersey knits, and structural, vibrant Ankara print cotton. Her designs remain simple, allowing the fabrics to speak for themselves, but are always offering a unique architectural silhouette that works on every body type.
Recognized for being one of the first cut and sew boutiques in the bay area, Erica has now transitioned to off the rack collections so that she can quickly satiate the rising demand for her designs.
While Erica is deeply rooted in the urban community, her heart lies in Africa where she spent time as a teenager, and later as an adult, living and working in Guinea and Uganda. Erica's passion for her experiences in Africa inspired her use of traditional African wax fabrics from Uganda, which she incorporates into her collections through modern silhouettes.
Erica has also used her design skills to start a sewing camp for girls called Sew What, teaching them how to draft patterns, sew, and develop their creativity.
We love Erica's unique designs, and based on how quickly they've been flying off the McMullen racks, we're pretty sure you do to!
Check out an interview with Erica below, as well as a link to her website where you can find out more about her design process and involvement with the local community.
Q. Your designs utilize both architectural and fluid elements. What is your inspiration when creating your collections?
A. I have been asked this question many of times and the truth is this: I design for the woman that is in me, my inspiration comes from women that I am surrounded by ~ Self confident, moms, singles, career driven, women who understand the beauty of work and play ~ these women inspire our bohemian separates and also appreciate their own beauty when wearing one of our gowns. She is the same woman.
Q. Many of your designs feature traditional African wax fabrics. Do they have a particular meaning for you other than aesthetic appeal?
A. My love for the Ankara fabric began in 2007 after visiting Uganda, I immediately wanted to share my gift of design through this fabric, designing modern clothing with Ankara fabric that any woman could rock! I began supporting my passion of the fabric by purchasing from women in Uganda whom sell the fabric to support their families. Since 2007 EVarize has supported these women, and continues to design with Ankara.
Q. What is your style tip for women (of any age)?
A.Wear whatever the hell you wanna wear; just make sure you look good!
Q. What is your favorite fashion indulgence?
A. Shoes Shoes Shoes, all day!!!
Erica's pieces are available at McMullen and McMullen in Old Oakland. Stop by and browse her amazing collection! Click here for a link to her website where you can see more designs, and read more about this amazing local designer.
In their own words, the story goes something like this: boy meets girl, boy makes tees to impress girl, sparks fly, they launch a dream, boy and girl fall madly and deeply, boy needs girl's partnership, girl commits to loving and living the dream with boy, boy and girl run off together with wild abandon.
Thus is the beginning of the local, sustainable, and superbly chic line called The Podolls. Started in 2003 when abstract painter Josh Podoll met with, and later married, boutique buyer Lauren Berdell to discuss a line of graphic tees, The Podolls grew from t-shirts to a full collection of versatile, sustainable clothing for women.
With a focus on local production and using organic, responsibly grown materials, The Podolls create easy to wear, stylish clothes with a conscience. We love The Podolls because of the emphasis they place on keeping production, from the fibers in their textiles to the finished product, within the U.S.A. The Podolls combines comfort and style into versatile pieces that can be effortlessly mixed and matched for any occasion.
Check out an interview below with Josh and Lauren Podoll, as well as a link to their collection available at McMullen!
Q. The Podolls started as graphic tees. How did you move from t-shirts to an entire collection?
A. We started out designing tees and silk screening our drawings
onto them. Making t-shirts to our specifications taught us so much about
the process of creating patterns,
scaling them to fit and how various
fabrics affect the look and feel of the piece. Within a few seasons of
starting the collection of tees, we wanted to challenge ourselves and
started making other silhouettes like button down shirts and skirts. The
evolution of our line felt very natural to us and we tried to keep
learning and pushing our boundaries. Our experience drawing designs to
silkscreen on tops has informed our current process of creating
exclusive prints each season-- we still start with our drawings and
water colors and translate them into silk prints for our blouses,
dresses, and pants. Both of us love textiles and enjoy dreaming up new
ways to drape and execute our ideas to make beautiful, wearable
Q. What are you favorite fall indulgences?
A. Fall is such a cozy time of year.
At home we start making soups, roasted applesauce, homemade chai and
slow rise breads. We love hosting friends and family so we cultivate a
warm environment for entertaining. Our climate here in San Francisco is
perfect sweater weather so it's easy to justify adding some new pieces
to our wardrobes come fall!
Q. What is your favorite style tip for women (of any age)?
3. The best style
advice we follow is that comfort is key. You'll look your best when you
feel good in your skin and comfortable in your clothing. Trust your
first reaction when you try on clothes and choose what contributes to a
sense of ease and confidence. And besides that-- enjoy getting dressed!
Life can be tough so choose to be playful with fashion-- take some
risks, try something new and have fun!
Stop by McMullen to see the fall/winter 2012 Podolls collection!
Join us Thursday, November 8th, as we celebrate the one year anniversary of Pop Up Hood Oakland with our Neighbor Appreciation Night! As a small business community, we want to take the time to say thank you to all who have supported Pop Up Hood and its retail businesses, including the McMullen Old Oakland location, for the past year. We will be celebrating our neighbors with
food, drinks, music and late night shopping at all of the Pop Up Hood stores. Come celebrate with us this Thursday from 5-8pm and discover how Pop Up Hood is changing small businesses in Oakland. See details below, as well as a link to Pop Up Hood's homepage to find out more about their program and amazing stores. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you there!
Click here to find out more about Pop Up Hood and our Neighbor Appreciation Event
When fashion and good deeds come together, we can't resist. That's why we are obsessed with Obakki, a clothing line and non-profit fundraiser dedicated to providing fresh water wells, sustainability, food, and education in Sudan.
Creator Treana Peake started Obakki and the Obakki Foundation in 2005, after dedicating years to philanthropic work in Africa, as a way to combine her creative talents and passion for humanitarianism. Using her experiences with the Obakki Foundation as the inspiration for her
brand and collections, Treana and her team create clean silhouettes that showcase an
endless variety of texture influenced by the landscape of the Sudan.
For Treana, fashion is a canvas on which she can tell the story of the Sudanese people, a story they can't relay themselves. Obakki allows the consumer to become directly related to changing lives by donating as much as 100% of proceeds from a purchase to the Obakki Foundation.
Obakki truly is changing the world, one garment at a time.
Check out an interview with the Obakki team below, as well as a video for their Fall/Winter 2012 campaign and a link to find out how you can help Obakki change lives.
Q. How did Obakki and the Obakki Foundation start?
A. The founder and Creative Director, Treana Peake uses Obakki as a medium for change. Her intention is to bring awareness and funding to global issues through creative platforms such as fashion. The Obakki collection grew out of a passion for philanthropy.
Q. How did Treana get started in design?
A. Treana is a conceptual storyteller and fashion is a natural medium for her to communicate these narratives. For example, our fall.winter 2012 collection is all about South Sudan where the Obakki Foundation has currently drilled over 300 water wells with collection proceeds. Through color, texture, and pattern, Treana explores the dramatic timeline of the country from the beginning of the 40 year civil war to present day. The collection is completed with optimism for the future - a time for rebuilding and celebration.
Q. How would you describe the Obakki style? What kind of woman wears Obakki clothes?
A. We see her as a confident, free-spirited type. She is authentic, which aligns with Obakki's value system as a transparent and credible charity. We also know that she is deeply passionate about global causes, insightful, and current….but knows how to have a good time. We believe that all Obakki customers have one need: beautiful, wearable, contemporary classics that align with their beliefs and values.
Watch the video for Obakki's Fall/Winter 2012 campaign here and shop the new collection in store and online at McMullen!
Click here to find out how you can contribute to the Obakki Foundation.
Kerri Lee Johnson, an Oakland based artist, arts administrator, and curator, opened Marion and Rose's Workshop in Old Oakland's Pop-up Hood as a way to showcase unique, high quality items by artisans and craftspeople from all over the world. Focusing on uncommon home goods and special art pieces, Marion and Rose has opened new doors for small production vendors and artists. With everything from sea salt soap to hand made totem poles that serve as storage, Marion and Rose offers those interesting pieces that provide both style and function. Kerri's passion for art and the artist is what drives the force behind this beautiful, vintage inspired shop. We love taking a trek over to Marion and Rose to browse through all of her interesting new findings! Kerri's deep understanding of her artists processes and pieces is simply inspiring. Pop in and find that conversation piece that's sure to turn a few heads at your next gathering, and check out our interview with Kerri below to get to know our awesome neighbor!
Q.What made you want to move from having a gallery space to starting Marion and Rose's Workshop?
A. When my husband and I first opened Blankspace, we showed predominantly site-specific installations, so we would have artists create small works or ephemera related to the exhibit to have to sell as a way for them to be able to recoup the cost of their installations. Over time the front space began to naturally turn into a small shop of artist made products. Also, during the holidays I would turn the gallery into a popup shop, inviting local vendors to be a part of the "Holidayland" sale that would run through December. Since closing the gallery I have been wanting to open a shop featuring artisan products...when this opportunity presented itself I jumped at the chance.
Q. Being an artist yourself, do you have an overall aesthetic or theme that you like to stick to when finding pieces? Do you have any current fall favorites?
A. My aesthetic tends to lean towards objects with modern clean lines and bold colors. I am always looking for well crafted, uncommon functional items. My current fall favorites are the handcrafted wood pepper mills made from upcycled and reclaimed wood from buildings in Oakland. Beautiful, well-made and functional. I am also loving the new pottery from local designer Whitney Smith.
Q. How has being a part of pop-up hood changed your perspective on Oakland?
A. With the pop-up hood project being in the national and international spotlight, I am acutely aware that other cities are looking at Oakland for inspiration, ideas, and hope to bring back to their residents and neighborhoods. With this attention I feel an even stronger sense of responsibility to be an ambassador to the city - helping to inform and represent Oakland in a positive way. When I talk to customers I am reminded just how fiercely loyal people are to this city and how proud they are to support small businesses. I am proud to have my business in Oakland!
4. This week I'm tuned in to the final presidental debate. There is so much at stake with this election and I'm encouraging everyone to get out and vote! We have a voice and can make a difference in our country.
Rie Yamagata, a Parsons and St. Martins graduate, began her iconic brand RHIE as a knitwear line in 2011 after working with fashion greats such as Phillip Lim and Tsumori Chisato. RHIE soon turned into a full collection, aiming to "distill an image of an intelligent, freshly defined woman." With an emphasis on quality of materials, tailoring, and subtle details, RHIE presents a modern take on knitwear and represents a brand that "speaks in a language of precision without ever losing its element of ease". Only available at the finest boutiques across the world, RHIE provides luxurious comfort and coziness while including sophisticated details and a timeless silhouette. Check out our interview with the woman behind the brand, Rie Yamagata, below!
Q. What was your inspiration for Rhie?
A. I wanted to create a brand that had high quality construction and materials in the contemporary market
Q. How do you stay motivated and inspired every day?
A. It's stimulating to surround myself with people who are inspired
Q. What are you most excited about in fashion right now?
A. New technology
Q. What is your top style tip for women (of any age)?
A. To take care of their skin
Q. What's your favorite fall indulgence?
A. Chunky cashmere and leather
Check out new pieces from RHIE's fall collection in store and
Suzi Johnson of Souchi made an appearance at McMullen last week for a trunk show and designer reception showcasing her luxury artisanal knits. Her collection was stunning and so touchable...we couldn't keep our hands off of these gorgeous pieces. Suzi is absolutely lovely and it was a wonderful time complete with bubbles and delicious pies made by PieTisserie.
2. The Shining. I love scary movies, especially around Halloween. Cuddle up on the couch and revisit this amazing Kubrick classic on a dark and stormy night. Its sure to send shivers up your spine!
3. Laurence Dolige Beatles pant
4. Molcajete in Oakland. Molcajete (pestle & mortar in Mexican Spanish) serves up delicious traditional Mexican dishes in a casual environment. The carnitas plate and the watermelon agua fresca are not to be missed, and their specials are always unique and delicious.
5. Coclico Titiana boot
6. Clare Vivier leather foldover clutch
7. Rag & Bone Bedford Sweater
Items 1, 3-7 available at Grand Ave location now.
Stop by McMullen to shop Alex's picks!
Or call 510.658.6906 to order or for more information.
While working for a French television station, Clare Vivier, the woman behind the eponymous handbag line, recognized a gap in stylish laptop cases. She decided to create her own, thus creating the starting point for her handbag collection. Since her launch in 2008, Clare has collaborated with names like Theory, Wren, and Refinery 29. With a focus on a minimalist aesthetic, bold colors, and luxurious materials, Clare Vivier has quickly become a staple in the wardrobes of celebrities, designers, and women all over the world. Clare strives to marry "French glamour with minimalist Los Angeles cool", to create bags that are both beautiful and functional. Although she is inspired by French fashion, all of her bags are handmade in Los Angeles, with a focus on ethical manufacturing (just another reason to love her!). Check out a Q&A with Clare below and be sure to meet her in person at our Clare Vivier trunk show on October 11th at McMullen!
Q. What was your inspiration for the Fall collection?
A. My design process for each season always begins with sourcing materials and creating an inspiration board. Taking photos from magazines, books, and combining them with swatches of beautiful pieces of leather allows me to see the bigger picture of a collection. I often find a sample of leather and then spend some time experimenting with it, seeing the shape and forms it can take and how I envision it being best put to use. I was definitely inspired by Paris for fall and the chic women I encounter when I travel there with my husband and spend time with his family in the town where he grew up. We have a gorgeous limited edition clutch coming out for the holidays and the leather just completely steals the show. I am excited for it to come out later this year I know everyone will love it!
Q. What are you most excited about in fashion right now?
A. I am having a moment with leather and faux leather pants. They make your legs look amazing and they are the right amount of edge without pushing it too far. I alternate between two pairs of seven waxed jeans in black and a gorgeous burgundy color.
Q.What is your top style tip for women (of any age)?
A. You can always cut off leather boots to make them ankle boots. I have done this countless time with tall boots and the leather never frays and you instantly have a pair of super chic booties.
Q. What's in Clare's bag? What must have items are always in your favorite Clare Vivier bag?
A. I currently am carrying my grey suede simple tote that I had monogrammed with my initials. Inside you will find four more CV clutches and accessories! Two flat clutches, one is for my makeup and the other I swap out for when I need to go from work to an event or out to dinner. I also have my iPhone pouch, which is a gorgeous metallic color and makes anything I wear it with it look instantly better. I also have my CV zip wallet, which is navy with a red stripe, perfect for fall. I am a bit obsessive about lipstick. Right now I have seven different kinds with me. Makeup forever, Guerlain, two reds from Revlon, two Nars, and this amazing lip-gloss that we carry at the CV store form Clarks Botanicals. I also have Josie Maran cream blush and a Nars eye pencil called Kitty. I also carry my eyelash curler and DiorShow mascara with me at all times. Also, I always have my MacBook Air, two pairs of sunglasses, and many crumpled taxi receipts!
On Thursday, October 11, you and a guest are invited to a special double trunk show and designer reception featuring Clare Vivier and Suzi Johnson of Souchi. This combined exquisite collection of artisanal knits and chic handbags is not to be missed. We hope to see you there!
Clare Vivier + Souchi Trunk Show and Designer Reception
French glamour marries
minimalist Los Angeles cool in this line of chic handbags designed and crafted
exclusively in Los Angeles since 2008. Recognized in Elle, Glamour, Lucky,
InStyle and so many more.
Luxury artisanal knits made using the best yarns
in the world: cashmere from Loro Piana, Italian merino wools & organic
cottons from Tanzania. The collection is elegant, effortless and unbelievably
yummy. For more information check out our McMullen exclusive Q&A with designer Suzi Johnson.