For Sunhee Moon, the reality of being a local fashion designer hit home at a Macworld Expo after-party a few months ago. "There was a woman wearing this really cute shirt, and I was staring and staring at it, thinking it looked so familiar ... The woman said, 'Oh, it's Sunhee Moon.' And I thought, Oh my god, I'm Sunhee Moon."
After 10 years in the business, Moon creates contemporary designs that aren't hard to spot on the streets of San Francisco. They're sold online and in her eponymous Mission District boutique, as well as in stores in New York and Los Angeles. But it's the mix of styles here that inspires Moon.
"People here absorb a trend and make it their own; it's not head-to-toe trend," she says. "San Francisco women are original ― they like what they like and stick with it."
Moon's classic shapes are punched up with, as she puts it, a "splash of edge": a boatneck top ties at the neck (very Audrey Hepburn), a breezy cotton wrap skirt sports an unexpected asymmetrical hem, and a small, perfect button catches the point of a V-neck shirt.
For summer Moon tackles notoriously fickle city weather with fitted button-down tops, bright printed skirts ― and fluffy scarves for when the fog rolls in. For her, versatility is essential. "That's my life: appointments, looking at fabrics, pickups and deliveries, then out to meet friends ... that's the life of a San Francisco woman. You can't go home and change ― you just have to go on to the next thing."
Sunhee Moon (12-7 Mon-Fri, 12-6 Sat-Sun; 3167 16th St., San Francisco; www.sunheemoon.com or 415/355-1800)