Tomorrow, Hayes Valley's retail community will see the arrival of its newest member, LA-Based Industry Of All Nations. The company specializes in clothing that's sustainably sourced entirely from the item's original country of origin. The store will take over the former Duke et Duchess at 528 Hayes St. and is set to open this Sunday, December 18th. This will be its second location after opening a flagship store on Abbot Kinney in Venice, California last year.
Founded five years ago by Argentinian brothers Juan, Fernando, and Patricio Gerscovich, Industry Of All Nations, or IOAN, was originally a wholesale-only operation that sold to stores like Mohawk General Store, Ron Herman, and Pilgrim Surf Supply in New York City. However, Juan said that after four years of developing relationships with producers across the world, they were ready to open up their own retail location.
"It's not what we do, but how we do it," Juan told us, speaking of his sourcing practices. "Anyone can make almost anything in this world these days, but to us it's about how we make those things."
"And part of that is bringing production back to the original makers of the materials," continued Will Baratho, Brand Manager for IOAN. "Today, most things are made in one place—China. When we decided to make clothes, we wanted to see where they were coming from."
Baratho cited IOAN's alpaca sweaters, which he tells us are created using completely un-dyed, all-knit fibers and made an hour outside of La Paz in Bolivia.
"Bolivians have been making alpaca sweaters for a long time. It's their tradition. We don't want to outsource, we want to partner with them and honor the traditional craftsmanship they're known for," said Baratho. "We want to give a chance for the people who grow and breed materials to make and deliver the final product."
You can check the website to get an idea of what's on offer, but men's and women's items include pullovers, madras shirts and jeans, shoes, knit hats, and blankets.
Both Juan and Baratho, whom we ran into while they were remodeling the new space are very excited to be opening a second location in the neighborhood. "We chose Hayes Valley because we thought it was a neighborhood that reflected our values. This street has a great reputation, and we admire the fact that they don't allow any business with more than 10 locations. That's completely the style of our company," said Juan.
He also cited the Bay Area's slow food movement as another draw for him to set up shop in San Francisco, drawing parallels to his own business practices.
"It's not just about what you put inside your body, it's also about what you put on outside your body."
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