| October 2011
RETURN TO HOME PAGE
By Karen Topakian
Store Trek is a regular Voice column profiling new shops in Noe Valley. This month we introduce a store offering men’s clothing with a Made in Noe Valley label.
Jesse Walkershaw and wife Connie have opened a shop on 24th Street showcasing men’s clothes. Photo by Pamela Gerard
4010 24th St. near Noe
Every time Jesse Walkershaw strolled past the small empty storefront at 4010 24th St., he’d think to himself: this would be the perfect spot for a men’s clothing store. Walkershaw, a 30-year resident of the city, knew the neighborhood needed a men’s shop. There hadn’t been one since 2002, when Workwear closed.
“The men in this neighborhood don’t want to go downtown to shop. They don’t have the time,” says Walkershaw, husband and business partner of Noe Valley clothing designer Connie Walkershaw.
The Walkershaws unveiled their solution on Aug. 27, when they opened Walkershaw Man, a line of hand-tailored men’s shirts, vests, and jackets. “We’re the designer and fabricator—the craftspeople,” says Jesse, explaining that he and Connie sew the clothes in their shop at the corner of Castro and Jersey.
The pieces are made of natural fibers and locally sourced materials and are meant to be both fun and comfortable. “Our major rack [in September] is short-sleeved shirts because the warm weather is coming,” says Jesse. “I spent the morning cutting coats. By the time I have my coats cut and sewn, we’ll be into October. The temperature will be dropping.”
He finds the 155-square-foot shop, formerly occupied by psychic Nina Stevens, advantageous because it has room for only so many shirts and jackets in each design.
“This space will allow me to run through styles and get immediate feedback from the community,” says Jesse, who has already sold several of his $125 black linen shirts with chartreuse facing and buttons.
The Walkershaws also offer a “neo–Western” style shirt that Jesse says they invented themselves. Traditional western shirts feature a contrasting fabric on the front or back yoke, he says. “Our new take on the western shirt uses the contrasting yoke, but the inset pocket has been modified in a squared-off unique fashion,” says Jesse, pointing out a red model with a brown front yoke priced at $125.
One of his favorite pieces is a long-sleeved zipper-front jacket with flapless pockets ($365). Made from hemp in “Stunning Blue” with a pale lime-green lining, “it’s a good weight for San Francisco weather,” Jesse says. “Roomy enough to wear a sweater under it.”
A dupioni silk vest with flapless pockets and shawl collar sells for $285.
The Walkershaws now are working on two new shirts: a 1940s gabardine and a more fitted classic men’s shirt. Jesse hopes the variety will appeal to men, and to “women who want their men to be presentable.”
This isn’t the first time (in their 25 years of designing clothes) that the Walkershaws have made men’s clothing. “We started the men’s line a long time ago, based on dressing me,” says Jesse. On 24th Street he’d often hear, “Jesse, where did you get that shirt?”
Hours at Walkershaw Man are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.