Interview with Afterlife Boutique in San Francisco
I don’t own much jewelry. Yes I love all that sparkles and shines but when it comes to jewelry I look for pieces that look somewhat vintage, not too delicate and instead more bold. I have a few items that I rotate and it is pretty rare that I come across a piece that earns that status. Afterlife Boutique is the latest to carry jewelry that has stopped me and made me wish I could say, “I’ll take one of each please”.
Co-owned by the brother and sister duo, Danielle and Luke Teller, Afterlife opened its doors in May of 2010 in the sunny Mission district of San Francisco. Alongside their finely selected vintage attire the boutique carries the site specific line for Afterlife and Adoura Demode a redesigned vintage line, both designed by Danielle Teller.
Afterlife’s line is made up of geometric shapes, chain links and jagged lines. The angles and bold designs create an edge that is easy to pair with one of their vintage rock band shirts, while the silver materials shine just enough to make easily make an item one of your daily standout favorites.
The Adoura Demode collection has a more treasured feel. Natural shapes and weathered metals make items look like they have been passed down yet the designs are strong enough to set them apart from your grandmother’s jewelry or any specific era.
With so many vintage stores opening up in San Francisco, I wanted to know how Afterlife came into existence and the concept behind the jewelry. I asked Danielle a couple questions just to get an introduction to the store I know I’ll be forming a beautiful friendship with.
Style Bust: Who is Afterlife?
A little background about yourselves, how you got involved with vintage clothing and how long ago did you decide to set out on this mission?
My brother and I started collecting vintage clothes 6 years ago. We started selling clothes on ebay and to private dealers. We kept the majority of our rare and collectible rock concert tees in hopes of having our own store someday. After I graduated college in May 2009, I bummed around for 6 months, traveled, and gathered inspiration to start a store.
Style Bust: I think the name of your boutique is brilliant, was it hard for a brother and sister to duel this one out?
The name for the store came to me from a lecture by one of my product design professors. The lecture was about recycling. Her main point was that everything has an afterlife and that designers should design without an end in sight… something timeless. She spoke about planned obsolescence and moral responsibilities designers should have when creating a product. I was particularly interested in that lecture because I had been designing a reconstructed jewelry line; Adoura Demode.
Style Bust: Danielle you have your own jewelry line, Adoura Demode that you have labeled redesigned vintage, what made you combine the new with the old?
Adoura Demode is about mixing old and new. Taking something that has already been designed, loved, lost, and then found again reworked into something totally new and relative to today’s style and trends. I wanted to mix old and new because it makes things more unique. Instead of creating items that are mass produced, it limits the line based on what materials I can find. Certain styles are truly one of a kind. I think people want something not everybody else has, especially with something as personal as jewelry.
Style Bust: What do you consider to be the main difference between Adoura Demode and the line for Afterlife?
The Afterlife line is inspired mainly by unit construction, popular in the 1970’s, and I use a lot of Native American designs. The line has some pieces that are one of a kind, but for the most part, they can be re fabricated. The line is different both in style and materials. I use all sterling silver and both new and salvaged, the line is calculated, but still very free….
Style Bust: Your boutique also carries new items from the brand Cheap Monday, what is it about that specific brand that stood out for you?
Afterlife strives to house items that are timeless, meaning the style is not just a cheap hot fad, but more of a place items can be remembered and appreciated for years to come. I wanted to sell Cheap Monday in our store because their basics pair really well with vintage, both in style and price.
Style Bust: I had the privilege getting to see Pow! and Blasted Canyons at your store, are you going to have bands playing on a regular basis?
We try to have shows once or twice a month. So far we have had really amazing local bands such as: Ty Segal, Honey, Lilac, Pow!, and Blasted Canyons as well as Art installation by Hannah Stouffer. The shows are always a lot of fun and they really bring a sense of community to the store.
Style Bust: Anything else we can expect in the near future from Afterlife?
We are going to launch an online store in November if not sooner.
The Afterlife line and Adoura Demode are great additions to your own vintage items that you have successfully brought back to life. The boutiques carries vintage essentials like band t-shirts, leather jackets, boots, bags, western shirts, and dresses that have outlasted trends and become staples in the fashion industry and get recreated every year. The difference is that Afterlife carries original items that have been saved and chosen for their uniqueness and quality.
You can Visit Afterlife online and at:
988 Valencia Street
(between 20th Street and 21st Street)
San Francisco, CA, 94110
Adoura Demode can be seen at http://adoura.com/
What’s your take on how to wear vintage pieces without it being complete overkill and looking like a game of dress up? What is one of your own personal finds that you could never part with?