Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
There appears to be a direct correlation between the growing wealth from the Bay Area tech scene and the rise in luxury stores in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The most noticeable change has been at the Westfield Valley Fair mall where Balenciaga is opening soon near Giorgio Armani, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Miu Miu (just to name a few). Also slated to open this fall are Saint Laurent and CH Carolina Herrera. It's all part of the luxury wing project that was conceived in 2012 with an expected completion in 2015, the Chronicle reports.
Union Square also saw a few more luxe additions this past year that included Valentino, Alexander MacQueen, and Christian Louboutin. There's no end in sight to adding more stores with Christian Dior's project at 185 Post Street not opening to 2016. And the Chronicle reports that the Italian fashion house Brunello Cucinelli is opening a store in the neighborhood.
So who are the shoppers laying down big bucks at these spendy stores? "Combine these newly minted millionaires [from tech] with thousands of other high-income, affluent individuals who live and work in the area, and you have a consumer base that has a very strong appetite for luxury goods," James Dean, says an executive at research and marketing firm WealthEngine in an SF Chronicle article.
But as we know from closely tracking the Silicon Valley style scene, many of the tech stars are more comfortable in t-shirts and jeans than they are in Saint Laurent suits. Of course, Marisa Mayer—and the like—are the exception. Is the new influx of big brands into the area an indicator of a change in how the tech set will choose to dress? We'll believe it when Palo Alto's University Avenue has more Prada heels and Ferragamo loafers than hoodie jackets.
· High-ticket retailers follow the tech money in S.F., South Bay [San Francisco Chronicle]
· Confirmed: Saint Laurent Is Coming to the Valley Fair Mall this Fall [Racked SF]