When you’re in the mood for beautiful vintage jewelry, there’s only one place that will satisfy.
Elle-même was one of the first places I discovered when I moved to my current neighborhood in San Francisco. The vibrantly-hued window display initially caught my eye, but it’s the stunning array of vintage jewels that has me returning time and time again.
I recently had the chance to catch up with Denise Kohne, elle-même’s owner and founder. She was kind enough to share a bit about why the store focuses exclusively on antique pieces, and how she would describe the true elle-même woman. Read on, and take a look at some of my favorite pieces at the end!
DK: Elle-même means “herself” in French. The name plays into the idea of women shopping for themselves and not for the masses.
WGW: I love that! What is the elle-même woman like?
DK: She’s knows who she is and what she likes. She has her own personal style and loves to show it off. She is chic and humble.
WGW: The store is 7 years old this year, which is amazing! How has it changed over the years? What has stayed the same?
DK: Not much has changed over the years. We have always received such positive feedback from our lovely customers, so you know how the saying goes… If it aint broke!…
DK: I am personally drawn to vintage pieces over new jewelry and love to learn about it, so that is why the store is only vintage – because that is what I know and love. Things used to be made to last, both in quality and style. There is also the unknown history of each piece that I find alluring.
WGW: What is your favorite piece that you’ve ever seen come through the store?
DK: Ha ha! That is like asking what is your favorite song of all time. There are too many good ones out there. I have definitely had favorites but there were many – too many to list here.
Denise may not be able to pick a favorite, but I found a few pieces in store that I was especially excited about. How amazing is the tiger brooch?!
I had such a fun and indulgent afternoon while getting to photograph their intricate jewelry. Every bracelet, necklace, and pin has so much character… and there’s something delightful about knowing that you have a piece that no one else will have.
If you’re in San Francisco, take the time to stop in to elle-même on your next free afternoon – or check out the elle-même website to shop a small sampling of their collection. Trust me when I say you’ll want to buy just about everything, and then come back next week to see what new treasure Denise and team have rustled up. And so the cycle begins…
Pieces photographed above:
- Grape Pearl Earring Clusters, 1960’s
- Tiger Pin, 1950’s (London)
- Gold Spike Necklace, 1970’s
Elle-même is located at 1210 Union St., San Francisco CA 94109, at the intersection of Hyde and Union. Store hours are 1p-7p Tu-Fr and 11a-5p Sa-Sun. Closed Mondays, but always open online at elle-meme.com. Enjoy!