Very excited for today’s post and #10Things with the coolest of the cools, Megan Papay, co-founder of FRĒDA Salvador shoes in San Francisco (and soon to-be New York!). If you’ve been following awhile you know I own a bunch of their shoes (this was my it-summer pair, love these gold ones, and the Star boots are my all-time faves, and PS: the number one boot on my fall wishlist is their Charm Boot. I mean!!.) You may also remember back when I featured both founders, Megan and Cristina, on CITNB in their original SF location on Union Street. That was such a fun afternoon for me! I was newly back in California (from New York) and really inspired by the duo and thought they were making the coolest boots. Cut forward, still making the coolest shoes–their SF store moved to Fillmore street AND they’re opening a New York location (on Elizabeth Street) next week. So crazy happy for them!
I love to see what Megan is wearing whenever I see her in FRĒDA or at events as she has such unique personal style. She’s one of those people who can pull off many looks and is always wearing some covetable vintage piece. I always find myself asking where each of her pieces are from and have loved this slower fashion approach she’s adopted for a couple of years now which made me want to learn more about what sparked this! I absolutely love her thoughts on supporting your favorite smaller and local designers over mass market when you can, which is how I try to shop as well.
1. I’ve been trying to be better about shopping my own closet this year and so I’ve been really inspired by your challenge to only shop vintage, consigned or local / slow fashion––what inspired this?
I started this challenge almost 2 years ago now and was inspired to start because of the small independent fashion brands I was getting to know through my travels and experiences with FRĒDA. I know first hand how much blood, sweat and tears goes into building a brand, so I was increasingly turned off by fast fashion companies. It became really important to me to know the makers of my clothes and accessories if I was buying something new. I love their stories, I love their passion. Then, filling in with consignment seemed like a good way to stop buying mass produced items. I troll my favorite designer brands on The RealReal and have gotten some pretty amazing pieces. In the end, I am having way more fun shopping and dressing!
2. I think I’m most inspired because you work in fashion and so I’m sure it’s especially tempting to shop… although at least you always have access to the coolest and latest FRĒDA footwear. What’s your favorite FRĒDA style this summer (or you can choose fall?)?
My favorite style this summer (and maybe ever!) is the Arroyo boot in brown suede. They have a pointed toe and subtle Western detail. They look better and better as I am beating them up and they are super flattering. They are a low ankle boot, so they look great with jeans, shorts, and long dresses, which are essentially my uniform.
3. You always seem to find the best vintage / consignment pieces. What are you go-to stores or websites for cool finds?
Thanks! I have always been a fan of vintage because I love the one-of-a-kind element and also the thrill of not knowing what I am going to find. I frequent The RealReal for consignment and then make it a point to find vintage shops whenever I travel. I loved The End Yucca Valley in Joshua Tree and there are some great ones in Palm Springs. Lots of taffeta, moo moo’s and lamé, which is so fun to have in your closet!
At home, there is a cool one in Sausalito (where I live) called Baba Yaga and of course Born to Roam. I think 60% of my wardrobe is from Rayna at BTR. She has an on-going Pop Up at our store on Fillmore that makes it too easy for me. And she’s the best, because you can tell her things like “I want to start dressing like Bob Marley” and next thing I know I have a 70’s wash pair of Levi’s and amazing sweater vest!
4. What’s your most coveted vintage find?
A vintage Navajo silver and turquoise bracelet my father-in-law found me in Las Vegas.
5. You have the best personal style! I always love to see what you’re wearing. How would you describe your style?
You are so sweet, thank you 🙂 I am all over the place! I am tomboy/grunge/bohemian through and through, but I love sequins, metallic, and mixing prints.
6. Has your personal style evolved over the years or have you always had a love for mixing in vintage?
It really hasn’t! I grew up in the 80’s and went to high school and college in the 90’s. 90’s grunge for me was all about thrifting and vintage. The 80’s were wild prints on Jams, OP’s, Skidz… even Laura Ashley and Jessica McClintock florals. I think these things are my comfort zone when dressing.
7. I know you’re in Napa often and I’m always looking for low key more under-the-radar wineries. What are your go-tos?
We love Bella Vineyards and Wine Cave and Truett Hurst in Healdsburg when we go with our daughter and friends. They both have very large outdoor spaces that are super kid friendly. Bella has corn hole, hula hoops and picnic rugs available to use and Truett Hurst is right on the river with goats and huge fields. Piper loves to feed the goats, look for fish and play soccer.
I also just joined the Sophie James wine club, which I am so excited about. I love their story, their property and their wines. The Pinot is amazing!
On the Napa side we love Ladera. There is a beautiful old barn and it’s up past St Helena in Anguin, so remote and quiet. The wine is incredible. It isn’t a winery, but when we are in in Napa we also love sitting in the bar at Auberge du Soleil in the Fall/Winter. Their is a fire and tv, so we watch football and eat hamburgers (which are the best in the area!) and drink Cab.
8. You’re opening an NYC FRĒDA location–can you give us all the deets? (when and where?)
September 6th! 259 Elizabeth Street!!
9. You photograph (and style!) most of FRĒDA’s features which I think is so cool since I love photography and styling so much! How do you stay inspired or what inspires you the most?
I shoot some of our campaign imagery and love it because we get to see the product through it’s whole lifecycle; so from design inception to launching it on our website. We still have A LOT to learn about photography, so we rely on professionals for our big shoots! Especially indoor shoots that require lighting.
Styling our shoots for me is like completing the story of the product. Cristina and I talk about each style in depth; what void it fills in our life, how we would wear it, where we would wear it. So by the time photo shoots come along, our shoes have a persona to me. This makes it fun to style them, because we are bringing these shoes to life.
As for inspiration, it comes from all over the place and I feel like a lot of it is subliminal from traveling, the culture happening in our community, experiences, and relationships. I think trolling vintage stores inspires me too. I get reminded of a memory or past experience and it sparks an idea. Right now I am really into vintage Missoni, so we used a lot of that for our Fall campaign and I am 100% going to be looking for vintage floral dresses and Jimmy Z shorts for Spring 19!
10. So much has and is changing in the fashion and digital space–what is currently exciting you about these changes?
I love two things about what’s happening in fashion as it pertains to the digital space. The first is the easy access we all have to customers. No matter how small of a brand you are you can build a great looking website on Shopify and have an Instagram account and be open for business. That’s so exciting to me because anyone with a product, passion and dream can get started! The second is the fact that Direct to Consumer demands are causing companies to return to Brick and Mortar experiences to differentiate themselves. I love to touch and feel product and I want to hear the brand story from a person. I want to walk into a space and live and feel that brand. I want to fall in love, get to know my size, and then appreciate the fact that I can order anytime online.
You can find Megan’s personal style diary on Instagram here, and of course, if you’re not already following FRĒDA Salvador on Instagram they’re one of my most fave brands to follow. I think they do such a great job and also, highlight really cool #FRĒDAGirls on their site which I always love reading!
Photography via FRĒDA Salvador