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Gigi + Rose

Shopping at Ghirardelli Square

Fighting the crowds of tourists at Fisherman’s Wharf is not for the faint of heart. As locals, most of us won’t even go near there unless someone is visiting from out of town. And then, we might just have to ditch them for a few hours and let them fend for themselves among the hordes of other visitors.

But now visitors and locals alike have a distinctively San Francisco destination full of cute clothes, toys, and affordable tchotchkes at Gigi + Rose in Ghirardelli Square near Larkin Street.

Gigi + Rose is part of Ghirardelli Square’s movement toward bringing locals, and not just tourists, down to visit shops in the complex. The new store joins other San Francisco originals on the square, such as Kara’s Cupcakes and Lola of North Beach, a high-end paper store.

Named after the owner’s two daughters, Gigi + Rose is the creation of San Francisco designer Kristina De Pizzol, who is also the woman behind Delilah Crown. Gigi + Rose carries many of the Delilah Crown clothing line that Kristina featured in her previous store in North Beach, but in the new store, there is also a wide selection of women’s accessories, like shoes, bags, and jewelry — much of it made by local artisans and designers. There is also clothing and goodies for little girls like tutus and ruby shoes. However, there’s not much for men or boys in the store.

The space is large, light, and airy, and looks out over the San Francisco Bay. The décor is vintage/science-inspired with glass apothecary and bell jars, filled with things like towels that are wrapped up to look like candy, antique wooden chairs, and a round settee. What was once an office in the corner has been transformed into a cheerful children’s area, which includes a vanity strung with beads and feathers where girls can play dress up, plus an I Dream of Jeannie-inspired dressing room with large pink drapes.

In the front of the shop are some affordable items, even for the frugal traveler, to bring back home as souvenirs, like a “choculator” ($6) and a California postcard set from Yellow Owl Workshop ($11).

If you need to send your visiting relatives on their own way, there is The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco from one of my favorite local restaurant critics, Marcia Gagliardi ($16) and Fodor's San Francisco 2010 With the Wine Country ($20).

Kids will find an assortment of eco-friendly wooden toys from Manny & Simon, like a purple sheep, gray elephant, and a yellow duck ($36); bowls of fake lemons, pears and oranges ($2); and a giraffe cushion from Zaza ($11). There’s also small selection of classic children’s books like The Red Balloon ($18), Madeleine ($18), and Oh! The Places You'll Go ($18).

Girls’ choices for dressing up include not only dresses from Delilah Crown in florals ($52) and pink plaids ($94), but also bubble gum colored tights from Country Kids ($15) and pink leotards from Mud Pie ($28). Add to that a blue plaid hat from the San Diego Hat Company ($22) and a tee with a print of a San Francisco scene from Mini Globetrotter ($24).

In the back you’ll find much of the Delilah Crown clothing for women. The emphasis on combining texture, color and form to create contemporary clothing that is not only dreamy, but has a little edge. Some of the pieces even have vintage fabrics incorporated into the design.

Displayed on hangers fashioned of branches, you’ll find a white cotton skirt with a print of blue sparrows on branches ($112), a green cargo skirt ($112), a khaki dress with orange/red stitching ($132), and a purple polo dress with a raven print ($78).
Accessories include hinged wallets in red, gold and white ($22), L’Orchidee scarves ($70), and Max Collection Flip Flops, also in red, gold and white ($16).

If you buy any of these items as a gift, you can accompany it with a correspondence card from Sukie ($14) or a note from Austin Press printed with your choice of alphabetical letter ($7).

So don’t despair, there is hope for a painless shopping experience while your dear Aunt Mabel visits, even in the heart of the tourist district. If you are visiting soon, there will be an official opening party on May 27th featuring local music.