It's a first for Saint Harridan, and it may just be a first ever.
This month, women and trans men will walk into a store full of men's-styled formal wear, and walk out with suits made to fit their bodies.
On Aug. 17 and 18, in Oakland will be transformed into an online retailer specializing in classic men's-styled suits reconstructed to fit women and trans men. Saint Harridan opened its online store in July. The two-day brick and mortar shop in Oakland marks the first in a national pop-up tour the company will conduct over the next several months.
"This really is a revolution," says Saint Harridan founder, Mary Going, "I've been saying that all along, but now it's even taking me by surprise. The idea that women like me can walk into a store and be the norm, be the expected customer, and find clothes that are made for them, in styles that feel right to them - it's so far from any shopping experience I've ever had, I can't even believe we are about to make it happen!"
Show and Tell Concept Shop owners Alyah Baker and Nicole Payton share Going's enthusiasm.
"People actually being able to walk into a store and off-the-rack find something that fits their gender identity, that fits their body, that fits the way that they want to look," said Baker. "That is something I'm really excited to see firsthand."
A Collaboration that Fits
Baker has followed Saint Harridan's emergence into the retail scene through its initial focus groups a year ago, a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign in December 2012, and the national attention that followed. "It's been really awesome to watch the process unfold," said Baker.
Baker and Payton invited Going to hold her first Pop-Up Shop in their venue months ago. Going has been working with the boutique owners and former Gap Inc. fashion experts since, preparing for the two-day sale of Saint Harridan's jackets, trousers, ties, and other accessories.
"I'm really pleased to be in that space," said Going, "but I'm mostly pleased to be working with Alyah and Nicole. They're retail experts and they understand the significance of what we are providing our customers." And in Going's mind, that's more than just suits.
"When people try on a suit that fits, that feels right - it can feel incredible," Going said. "And for butch women, studs, and trans men who have never been catered to in a retail environment - it can be a life altering experience. Our pop-up shops must revere our customers. And that's what we're getting ready to do in Oakland."
To try on your Saint Harridan suit and meet Going, visit Show and Tell Concept Shop located at the City Center Complex at 1300 Clay Street, #160, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Aug. 17 - 18. The store is easily accessible by BART one block from the 12th Street Station and the Butch Voices Conference to be held in Oakland the same weekend.
For more information visit SaintHarridan.com or RSVP for the store opening at www.facebook.com/events/634198753271077/.
Saint Harridan Pop-Up Shop
Date: Saturday and Sunday, August 17 - 18, 2013
Time: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Location: Show & Tell Concept Shop, 1300 Clay Street #160, Oakland
(at City Center, one block from 12th Street BART Station and the Butch Voices Conference)
Cost: Free (RSVP ticket strongly requested)
Learn more about Saint Harridan: It Suits Her, Mary Going Of Saint Harridan