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October 31, 2014

Discovering Fashion & Tech Retail in Union Square

*Guest post by Julia Framel of

“Wow! The grand prize?!”

I was so excited to hear that my Instagram collage that I created for Union Square’s Fall Fashion Fest 2014 had won. Earlier this month, Union Square SF hosted the second annual Fall Fashion Fest. As a Fashion-Tech blogger, I had an absolute blast hanging out in some of the Square’s top shops, where there was plenty of eating, drinking, mingling with other bloggers, and best of all, trying on new clothes.

The Instagram collage (shown in the photos) was just a glimpse of the event. I covered everything in more detail here a few weeks ago, since I was so excited to see all the local fashion enthusiasts come hang out in the same space. It really felt like the city was coming together, and regardless of our background, we all shared a sense of camaraderie and friendship.

The following week, I went to pick up the prizes and meet the Marketing Manager for the Union Square BID - Jeani. The offices are located in a historical building with beautiful large glass windows and a bird’s eye view of many stores and happenings.

As she handed me the shopping parcels, I was absolutely thrilled to receive a Cole Haan Handbag, (one of my favorite brands), an infinity scarf from Cuyana, and a gift card for super comfy shoes from Aerosoles. 

Following our meeting, I immediately went out on the town to show off my bag and pick up my new shoes, but not without stopping along the way.

Here are a few highlights of my journey through the Fashion Tech Retail brick road @unionsquaresf.

  • First stop was for a quick refreshment at Starbucks, where the countertops promised wireless surface charging for electronics. Nice.


    • Next, I stopped at the Japanese retail transplant, Uniqlo, to check out its famous ‘Magic’ mirror, which was supposed to automagically help color match anything you tried on. Unfortunately it was out of order, so instead, I climbed up the LED rainbow staircase to check out warm winter styles. I found a puffy vest that should get me through the bulk of the chilly winter we have coming on.


      • After Uniqlo, I went to see how the huge Urban Outfitters store outfitted its clients. I was surprised to see one of the key influencers of our Millennial generation sell the opposite of anything techy. They stocked record players, instant photography equipment and even had the ATM decked out like an old fashioned arcade. The highlight of my day was when I found a mannequin wearing my dream oxford with a Peter Pan collar, and since they were sold out, one of the employees on the floor wrestled the mannequin for a good 10 minutes to pull it off so I could take it home.


        • My last stop before hitting Aerosoles on Sutter Street was at Rims & Goggles to try on some new frames. They had a new machine set up that allowed users with poor vision to compare styles of frames on their face. It was really fun and helpful too!


          A big thanks to Union Square SF for my treats and for being the best tour guide in town. You can read about rest of the journey on my blog, and I hope to see you in the square at the next event!

          About the Author

          Julia Framel is a local UX Designer and the Founder of, a blog covering fashion technology, wearables, fashion retail tech and everything in between.