As of Sunday, October 27, 2013
Firuze Hariri launched her Beluva collection in 1996, but the designer and chief executive officer has a rich history in San Francisco’s fashion community.
As a freshman at San Francisco State University in 1977, Hariri opened her first store—called Firuze—on Union Street. Her second store, in nearby Sausalito, followed. Both are still running, selling Hariri’s Beluva collection along with other merchandise.
“That’s one of the keys to success for us,” Hariri said. “We have the store, we test [new items], and if they sell we put them in the line.”
A few years ago, Hariri designed an item that has sold well and became her signature piece, an easy-to-wear, easy-to-care-for crinkled top, made from microfiber and available in a range of styles, patterns and colors.
“The fabric has a memory, and it keeps the crinkle in it—it will never come out,” Hariri said. “They are all hand-washed and no pressing is needed. They are extremely practical because you can crumple it, stick it in your suitcase and go traveling. If you need to wash it, just wash it by hand and it dries very fast. You don’t have to do much with it, and you always look good. Career women are on the road or at work; they want to look good and not fuss about it so much.”
The shirts are wholesale priced at about $65. Beluva is carried primarily by specialty retailers including B. Real and Reeds in California; Evelyn and Arthur, Dazzled and Foxy Lady in Florida; Von Maur in Iowa; Stonewear in Connecticut; Studio in Massachusetts; and Julian Gold in Texas.
In addition to the tops, Beluva also has reversible jackets made from the same crinkled microfiber material.
“We have always produced in San Francisco,” Hariri said. “I live in San Francisco, so I definitely want to keep an eye on production.”
But that’s only part of the reason she keeps her production local. Even though she acknowledges it would be cheaper to send her production to Asia, Hariri prefers to support the remaining manufacturing community in San Francisco. “In the long run, it works for everybody,” she said.