San Francisco Boutique, AB Fits, Sets the Standard for West Coast Style

Spiewak interviews Howard Gee, founder and owner of AB Fits, a San Francisco store that has managed to become a local institution while remaining on the cutting edge of today's fashions. AB Fits carries a distinctive mix of designers from America, France, Italy, and Japan which sets its customers apart from the mall-going masses. 

Store location and hours
1519 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 982-5726
Tuesday-Saturday 11:30-6:30
Sunday 12-6
Closed Mondays
 
www.abfits.com
AB Fits Facebook
 
Do you get a lot of feedback from customers on your website and Facebook?
Most of our sales in the store is repeat business. We have a 20 year of reputation of people leaving the store with a great pair of jeans. Our blog helps customers see recent deliveries and sometimes this gets them through the door.
 
Any upcoming store events?
ManUp this spring, North Beach events and some trunk shows.
 
When did you open your store and what was the inspiration behind it?
Summer 1990 - yep, this is the big 20. Our goal was to communicate to people through clothes. Fresh Pants on Polk Street sold premium denim in the eighties and its owner David Weinstein's product selection and service really inspired me to become a retailer.
 
How did you select the area your store is located in? Tell us what you love about your neighborhood?
I was born in Chinatown 5 blocks away from the original store. We moved 5 more blocks to North Beach 7 years later. North Beach has always been an authentic neighborhood with lots of local flavor.
 
How does the visual design of the store brand your retail identity and affect customers' shopping experience?
The store has always made a bold San Francisco statement which draws in customers and frames the jeans and related collections.
 
How long have you been carrying Spiewak Outerwear?
We’ve been carrying Spiewak since spring 2008. We love Spiewak because it mixes heritage, performance, and style. Spiewak’s Glen Echo Rain Jacket is one of our favorites. It has great feminine details like pintucks and crescent-shaped patch pockets. Plus it’s waterproof and breathable. The perfect spring jacket!
 
Besides Spiewak, what are other lines that inspire you and inspire loyalty in your  customers?

Dope+Drakkar Jeans, we've carried them for 15 years, and people have brought 12 year old pairs to be mended while purchasing a new pair. There's always a line that is emerging and has solid styling with exceptional workmanship that a customer can hold onto for a long time and be excited about - presently thats Hollander & Lexer from Brooklyn
 
What are the two most important pieces every man and woman needs to add to their wardrobe for spring 2010?

Two must-haves for spring are a nautical sweater and pair of American-made jeans.
 
What are your personal favorite items in the store right now?
Golden Bear: Ab Fits Sir Jac - a jacket I grew up with living on the streets of San Francisco.
 
What was your first job in the apparel industry?
AB Fits Founder.

AB Fits is offering it's customers another reason to do some spring shopping:

Mention the name "GINGER" and receive 10% off your next purchase at AB Fits now through April 1, 2010. Can not be combined with any other discounts.

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