Flannel shirts are popular with outdoor enthusiasts, but for many city-dwellers, they're a wardrobe must-have. Now, local apparel maker Pladra has opened its first store in the former Linus Bike space on 325 Hayes Street.
Pladra was founded seven years ago and is sold online. No stranger to the neighborhood, in 2015, the brand popped up for a couple of weeks in another space just down the street.
"That was really successful," said owner and Pladra founder Jeff Ladra.
Besides offering a "modernized outdoor flannel shirt" for men and women, it also sells beanies, hats, other shirts and even a flannel dress. Flannel shirts are available between $119 and $139, while hats cost $25.
Ladra works with a small team and said one of his goals is updating traditional American flannel design for today's consumer. Although fabrics are produced in Portugal, production takes place downtown and in South San Francisco.
Though Ladra grew up in the Bay Area, he enjoys fishing, hunting and being outdoors. "I've always been an outdoor man and I always loved wearing flannel," he said. "I found the need for a modern flannel, because all the traditional ones are very boxy and the colors weren't that great."
Pladra designs its own custom plaid patterns; he said the company's designs can keep up with camping and backpacking needs and also look nice enough to wear at a bar. To make shirts more durable, the company uses triple-needle stitching.
Ladra said finding an industrial space in San Francisco was challenging. "We looked for years, and we were finally able to find a space that was affordable, in a good location and had all the attributes that we needed," he said.
After taking over the space from Linus, the bike pedestals and shelves for bikes needed to be removed. Ladra also put in a new floor himself.
But the most obvious design piece—a wall-sized photo of a brown bear eating a fish taken by a wildlife photographer—greets visitors when they walk in.
"It is a nice representation of our brand, it almost brings our product to life," Ladra explains.
Colorful images of nature are sewn into Pladra shirts at the back yoke, collar and cuffs, a "broad representation of American wildlife," Ladra said.
Besides locals, Ladra said the store already sees a lot of tourists. "It's great because they get a product unique to San Francisco," he said.
A popular offering is a flannel shirt in the Giants colors, which Ladra has also sent to players on the team
In the future, Ladra plans to host fly-tying classes in the store and said he may also offer his space to local outdoor nonprofits for events.
The store is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 7pm and on Sunday from 12pm to 6pm, closed Mondays. To learn more about future events, follow Pladra on Instagram.
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