FIVE MACHINES AND A TABLE
True Clothing introduced street wear to the upper Haight in 1996. 20 years strong, the shop remains a fixture in a city going through an unflinching state of flux. There’s something so San Francisco about it; something that, when talking to the natives, one gets a clear sense of what the city is losing. The culture is on a time limit. As big business and tech creeps its way in, it routinely forces small business out and at the pulsating heart of San Francisco lies small business, entrepreneurship, a DIY mentality, and an inherent need to look out for our own. Brands that gained popularity both nationally and internationally claim their beginnings at True and when one gets to know the shop and the now booming street wear culture orbiting around it, a sense of family and community is clear. So when San Francisco native and Project Runway contestant Jenni Riccetti proposed an in-store pop up, we gladly opened our doors.
“Brands that gained popularity both nationally and internationally claim their beginnings at True and when one gets to know the shop and the now booming street wear culture orbiting around it, a sense of family and community is clear.”
“Cozy and Clean,” was the first of many titles for this interview we cheekily spitballed. It’s what she describes her line as. Throughout the course of the interview she sewed fabric live via a sewing machine set up in the shop window. The machine whirred every so often, further illustrating the picture her words painted. Her finished product hung up on a rack by the entrance. Running one’s hands through each piece, it is clear why she described them the way she did. She grew up in the Mission, which may be why her line is so fabric-specific. “Everything is soft”, she mentioned with a deliberate tone; yet another title for this interview which was, too, being sewn together in real time. The Mission is one of the major neighborhoods in the city undergoing a cultural gutting. I brought up its fabric stores, which one could only assume left some sort of impression on her growing up. The neighborhood is also characterized by its murals and graffiti, which explains why her logo is styled like a throwie. It is clear she’s a product of her environment. Her grandfather used to custom-make Italian suits. She describes her childhood as one where she was oblivious as to why her clothes were so original and tailor-made to her fit; ironically enough going on to describe how she had a hard time fitting in socially. She wears herself on her sleeve these days and it is clear her misfit-ness is something she perfected with time.
“The neighborhood is also characterized by its murals and graffiti, which explains why her logo is styled like a throwie.”
She carries herself with a certain confidence; a genuine immunity to adversity. When talking about how she doesn’t mesh with the fashion-corporate industry of SF she decisively stated “that doesn’t mean I’m not good, that means I’m not them.” A Bay girl at heart, she listed off Mac Dre, The Jacka, Andre Nickatina, and Too $hort among the sounds one would hear coming from her workspace. There’s something about the Bay that insists on being itself. It refuses to compromise for the masses, instead makes the masses conform to it, and I suppose she’s just following tradition. “Not everyone understands a creative mind,” she threw out, suggesting it took time for her weirdness to be seen as uniqueness. Fresh off of her Project Runway appearance and onto her first in-store pop up, Too $hort’s early hustle of selling tapes out of his trunk came to mind when she described her space as just “five machines and a table;” the perfect description of this young woman making big moves with her own two.
“A Bay girl at heart, she listed off Mac Dre, The Jacka, Andre Nickatina, and Too $hort among the sounds one would hear coming from her workspace.”
Interview and words by Temba Kamara
Check out more from Jenni Riccetti @ www.riccetticlothing.com