Best Shopping 2012

inside of Bird's Surf Shed

Photo by the Hendershotts

Bird's Surf Shed

drawing of Derrick Chinn
Drawing by Joel Kimmel

Chantal Gordon

The writer, editor, and style consultant got her start as Vogue's West Coast Assistant. She's published pieces in Nylon, Women's Wear Daily, and Teen Vogue.

Her Best of San Diego

Selection of International Designers: Laura Gambucci
Laura Gambucci visits Paris twice yearly to stock her eponymous shop with labels like Barbara Bui (bulletproof Franco-cool), Laurent Gandini (neo-Baroque gems), and Italian denim brand Superfine (flattering curved seams, rich colors, and washable leather details).
7269 Girard Avenue, La Jolla

Stylish Gallery Gift Shop: Lux Art Institute
This gallery’s rotating lineup of artists is complemented by the gift shop’s ever-changing roster of local jewelry designers like Thais Pacci, Hulga’s of San Diego, and Erin Rivera Merriman, whose “stylish talismans” are worn by tastemakers like Karen O.
1550 South El Camino Real, Encinitas

New Menswear: Crow Thief
Menswear is in the midst of a renaissance, and this shop is case in point with its ready-to-wear items (button-ups, blazers, vests) and affordable custom-made options by owner and designer Melissa Hendrix-Lawson.
3009 Grape Street, South Park

Emerging Jewelry Designer: LoveTatum Jewelry
We're obsessed with Tatum Lenahan. From her Westfield UTC pop-up, the jewelry designer slings cuffs, earrings, and statement rings adorned with raw, hunky stones like spirit quartz, lavender amethyst, and white apophyllite.

New Vintage Store: Ms Vintage
A lovingly curated fraction of the owner Michele Gonzalez's 10,000-piece archive, with decades-hopping selections like ’50s prom dresses, Dynasty-era jackets and groovy French sunglasses.
3011 University Avenue, North Park

Best Men’s Accessories: Private Henley
The local label trades in aged, understated leather—leather with a life story designed by SD native Michael Rogacion. Ladies, get the iPad-friendly MB portfolio for your b.f., and steal it back on weekends.
2400 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy

Best New Bag Line: Leoluca
We love the clean shapes, soft lamb leather, and poppy colors (yellow, robin’s-egg blue). Founded and designed by Midwestern exports Lauren Letizio and Emma Lezak.

Best Shopping 2012

New Fashion Designer: Vee Collection by Veronica Scott
The 25-year-old Texas export and USD grad's delicate, feminine camis and crêpe silk dresses are perfect for date night, cocktails with the girls, and all those summer weddings.
Vocabulary Boutique, Little Italy; Cecilia Boutique, Mission Hills.

Children’s Shop: Hillside Artisans
This too-cute-for-words toy store and clothing boutique is a staple for SD moms. The newest location, in La Jolla, opened last summer.
827 W. Washington Street, Mission Hills; 1412 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar; 7874 Girard Avenue, La Jolla

Hostess Gifts: The Kitchery at Bulthaup
This design studio and store has the coolest cheese graters, cake stands, glass water bottles, and fire extinguishers. Yes, fire extinguishers. Everything looks modern and European, and the gift wrap is super chic.
777 J Street, East Village

Best Literary Lingerie: Jolie Femme Deux
This Del Mar boutique recently added foxy French lingerie line Maison Close. The sheer, strappy underthings are an apt tie-in (ha!) to this year’s book juggernaut, 50 Shades of Grey. In fact, the shop has a corner dedicated to undies mentioned in the racy tome.
2690 Vie de la Valle, Del Mar.

Surf Shop: Bird's Surf Shed
The “about us” bio on his website is 1,675 words long, but we won’t hold it against local legend Eric Huffman, aka Bird. He’s had a storied life in the surf community. And he’s welcomed everyone from the San Diego Surf Film Festival to online news site Voice of San Diego to use his giant tin can surf shop (open since last year) as a venue for doing cool things with big groups.
1091 West Morena Boulevard, San Diego

Home Décor: Côtier Home
We love the relaxed coastal style of this Coronado store. From bright area rugs to fine linens to shell-motif mirrors, owner Pat Marshall’s taste is exquisite. Warning: You’ll be inspired to redecorate your entire house.
1053 B Avenue, Coronado

Stationer: In To Ink
The next time you’re in the market for business cards or invitations, make an impression—literally—with this company’s custom letterpress. The old-fashioned style of printing is an elegant and timeless art that says so much more than an abbreviated email or text.

View the rest of the 113 things to taste, try, & love this year

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