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My BDF (Best-Dressed Friend): Part I

 True S.F. style, as defined by four city dwellers and a chain of their decked-out comrades.


THE ICON: Joy Bianchi

73, Director of Helpers House of Couture (Inner Richmond)

"I'm not into pomposity in fashion.To me, style is about soul. More than the cut or the fabric, it's about 'I am who I am.'"

Joy's BDF: "Tim has eclectic but effortless style. He owns these amazing thigh-high leather boots--no small statement when you're 6 foot 2."

Tim Whalen

45, Visual Presentation Director (Lower Nob Hill)

"I have a real passion for boots; they go with everything. For me, it's boots around the clock--there's no need for other footwear."

Tim's BDF: "Annabelle can breezily pull off a vintage sunsuit, heels, and a cartwheel hat."

Annabelle Zakaluk

31, Visual Merchandiser (NoPa)

"My style is equal parts cowgirl, pinup, and rock 'n' roll. Swing dancing is a big part of my life, and vintage dresses fill my closet."

Annabelle's BDF: "Julianne can make a pair of men's 501s or a flirty dress look amazing. Her style goes perfectly with her vintage scooter."

Julianne Tierney

26, Visual Merchandiser (Tenderloin)

"My style is part naval officer, part librarian, part newsboy. I like masculine garb, like uniforms or neckties."

Julianne's BDF: "Luke Good's jewelry, leather sandals, and easy charm, are completely unique to him... and maybe Stevie Nicks."

Luke Marshall Good

26, Poet (Tenderloin)

"I love playing with gender--or rather the dissolution of it--by pairing a classic men's button-up with the shortest cutoffs I can legally get away with, plus a five-o'clock shadow."

Luke's BDF: "Santos is, style-wise, beyond his years. He imbues a button-up, chunky sweater, and trousers with youthful irreverence."

Santos Getchman-Albarran

29, Vintage Eyewear Specialist (Lower Haight)

"I joke that my look is like how 'cool' parents dress their babies. There's also a dash of gentleman hobo, considering my penchant for old-man cardigans."

Santos's BDF: "My best-dressed friend is Caleb, even though he looks like a stretched-out Oliver Twist."

Caleb Finch

31, Bartender (SoMa)

"I wear dress shirts and ties in the same way I wear T-shirts: I wake up hungover, I put them on, I get a burrito."

Caleb's BDF: Johnny tends to look put-together, but not overly concerned. He's not a guy who spends two hours on his hair."

Johnny Venetti

37, DJ (SoMa)

"Great style comes from being unique, not from pricey clothes. I'm not afraid to wear women's jewelry."

Johnny's BDF: "Billy's like a rock 'n' roll ballerina."

Billy Marie Magnolia Abreu

27, Bartender (Nob Hill)

"I love when the hair, makeup, body art, and clothes all come together to transform a garment. When I'm left smiling--or staring--I know I've witnessed greatness."

Billy's BDF: "Katie pairs grungy jeans and baseball caps with glamorous accessories and makeup."

Katie Sell

21, Photographer (Tenderloin)

"My look is punk rock, with some Bay Area swag: jeans that fit like a glove and my bullet belt--gotta stay strapped, especially in the TL."

San Francisco’s color-splashed, layered-on sense of style famously defies categorization. So to properly assess the city’s sartorial scope, we took a crowd-sourced approach, starting with four intriguingly dressed locals—a septuagenarian couture collector, a natty web entrepreneur, a jet-setting stylist, and a Duke Ellington–worshipping jazz musician—and one loaded question: Who’s your best-dressed friend? The ensuing 40-person round-robin is a snapshot of the city’s eclectic spirit, winding through leather-clad punk rockers, peacocking urban dandies, tatted- up Tenderloin bartenders, and, of course, drag queens.


Read more:

My BDF Part II


My BDF Part IV