Discovering Fashion Retail Technology via the Red Brick Road of Union Square San Francisco

October 29, 2014

Besides the grocery kind, shopping is really just another form of entertainment. In fact, shopping is rated one of the top forms of entertainment for millennials in the United States.* Yes this group includes me (in case you were wondering). This week, I've had the honor of being a Guest Blogger for the city's top tourist destination and marketing firm, Union Square San Francisco. What this means, is enjoying one of my favorite pastimes, while letting the city know what I think. These opinions are all my own, and personally, I'm most fascinated by the fashion retail tech that seems to be popping up in our local stores down on the square.

I was recently invited to meet with Jeani Hunt-Gibbon; who is the Marketing & Communications Manager for Union Square Business Improvement District. The offices are located directly above the square, in a historical building with beautiful large glass windows and a bird’s eye view of many stores and happenings.

Never-ending staircase in the building that hosts Union Square San Francisco Offices
Jeanie Hunt-Gibbon, best tour guide in town if you ask me.
Following Jeanie's advice on where to shop, here are a few highlights of my journey through the Fashion 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 it’s famous ‘Magic’ mirror, which was supposed to automagically help color match anything you tried on. 

I pulled on one of the nearby down jackets and attempted to follow the mirror's step by step instructions. These are my results:

"Looking Good!" The display complimented me underneath some masking tape. My image appeared for a nanosecond, then sparks flew (not really, but they did in my imagination) and my image fizzled into the little white line you see there. :/

So yes, unfortunately the magic mirror responded to technology the same way many other fashion-focused retailers are...a little unenthusiastically. With the fashion tech display out of order, I optimistically climbed up the LED rainbow staircase to check out some warm winter styles. Luckily I found a puffy vest that will get me through some the chilly weather we have coming. More on this later.

After Uniqlo, I went to see how the huge Urban Outfitters store outfitted it’s Bay Area clientele. 

I was a little 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 school arcade. "Throw-Back Fitters" it should be called.

The highlight of this experience 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 (coincidentally also a fellow blogger) on the floor wrestled the mannequin for a good 10 minutes to pull it off so I could take it home. She gets me. Definitely coming back to this store.

Love this look! Inspired, I styled a similar version of it here for the ballgame.
My hero and fellow blogger, @fashion_gams saves the day.
Last stop before trying on some shoes and hitting the Banana Republic flagship store on Sutter Street was at Rims & Goggles. I'd never been in that store before but the giant orange SALE sign caught my eye...

I was absolutely thrilled to discover the new fashion retail tech they had on hand.

This display allowed users with poor vision to compare styles of frames on their face. You just pick out a few different frames, then the web cam takes your photos as you try them on. When you're finished, you put back on your own pescriptions so you can see how you look and compare each picture to the next. It was really fun (and helpful too)!

I didn't find too many other outlets for my fashion retail tech curiosity just yet, but hope to make more discoveries soon, so let me know if you hear of anything particularly innovative! 

Lastly, next time you find yourself in Union Square, don't forget to travel one block over. Lots of fun shops over on Sutter Street, especially the Banana Republic flagship store. This store is massive. Several levels deep, they have designed it more like an art gallery than a fashion department. 

The shopping inspiration room holds sensory images and scents to spark your shopping creativity.

The store focused on a true VIP experience, not only did one of the employees show me around the artistic displays, she and an in-store stylist suggested really cute looks for me to try on.

After picking up a few things here, I stopped on my way down the street.

Turning right, I found myself looking into a beautiful display showcasing piloting fashion of the past...

Want to know what pilots wear today? Stay tuned for my next post.

-XO Julia

Thanks for reading! For more reviews and updates, subscribe in the sidebar or follow me here on Instagram and Twitter.



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks again! You got another shout-out here too :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Jewelry has forever been a statement of power, but in today's modern era, jewelry is worn for fashion and presentation more than ever. Fashion has become the style that represents you as a person. bulk rhinestones

  4. Presently thus lies the inquiry: do you go to configuration school or go directly to beginning a business? Not all mold planners go the conventional course to configuration school, rather drawing on an innovative soul, a few "architects" transform their head for business into a flourishing design venture.
    classical and surreal fashion designer

  5. Everybody is influenced by design to some degree. In the time of early supermodel age, design could be ordered by allure or house. Today, design is quick, trendless, agreeable, and individual. Fashion stylist education + Color & Style

  6. Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info. best web browsers

  7. The website is looking bit flashy and it catches the visitors eyes. Design is pretty simple and a good user friendly interface. En savoir plus

  8. Impressive web site, Distinguished feedback that I can tackle. I am moving forward and may apply to my current job as a pet sitter, which is very enjoyable, but I need to additional expand. Regards EdTech k12

  9. The general simplicity of turning into a web based business dealer and setting up stores results in such an enormous number of contributions that shoppers can without much of a stretch be overpowered. meer informatie

  10. Thus technology might have been relevant in the short term, but in the long term, became irrelevant.

  11. The development of these electrons through the circuit produces the power for our lights and apparatuses. Zonnepanelen

  12. With tracking programming regardless of what number of toll free numbers a business is utilizing, when the telephone rings, the call is followed and the information from that call is recorded.

  13. The URBAN DYNAMITE® RF Drone Detector activates its alarm, even before the drone is actually airborne, as quickly as a remote control begins transmitting signals. Drone Detection

  14. Automatic addition of individual names and surname SMS API Service

  15. That is the reason today loads of KPO firm are searching for the perfect individual and there is a colossal interest today, which will surely increment sooner rather than later topcatbreeds

  16. Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! Retail Courses

  17. Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!Thanks best shedstore discount code here

  18. Impressive blog! Really interesting. Need interesting roofing service? Try


Latest on Instagram

© Technically Sweet. Design by FCD.