Who She Is:
Fashion designer of the apparel label Janezic and manager/buyer at Mill Mercantile.

Why We Love Her:
Michele not only has had one impressive career but two- she started her fashion line Janezic in 2007, after having previously worked under the guidance of Erica Tanov, a leader in bohemian chic style. Michele then became an important tastemaker in casualwear by helping the men behind Unionmade start Mill Mercantile, a women’s fashion boutique that focuses on bringing classic menswear into women’s apparel. She shares tips on how to make traditionally masculine pieces such as a fisherman’s sweater still look feminine, as well as what makes San Francisco stand out as a sartorial hotspot.

You design your own collection of ready-to-wear and are now both the
manager and the buyer for Mill Mercantile – how did you make the
transition?
While working on my own line, I simultaneously managed another store. When Todd and Carl approached me to lead Mill, I eagerly jumped at the opportunity.

What is a typical day for you at Mill?
It all depends on the time of year and season. From helping customers, merchandising the store, styling for photo shoots and traveling to tradeshows and showrooms to select items to carry.

Mill is the sister company of Unionmade Goods, a men’s casual
clothing store. What is the point of view that ties both brands
together?
The inspiration behind Mill is menswear. We love the quality,
craftsmanship, and refinement in well-made men’s clothing. Mill features womenswear collections from some of the same brands we carry at Unionmade, as well as limited edition collections and exclusive collaborations.

How would you define tomboy style?
Tomboy style is a way of dressing that combines both masculine and feminine elements; incorporating menswear inspired pieces balanced with a feminine touch.

How do you keep it looking sexy instead of overly masculine?
Balancing proportions and elements (wearing an oversized men’s shirt with skinny jeans or oxfords with a short skirt), incorporating make-up & accessories (a bold lipstick, nail polish, hat & heels), and playing with prints and layers.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to personal style?
Quality vs. quantity: investing in classic, well-crafted goods made in beautiful fabrications. Embracing imperfection, combining the unexpected, feeling good and having fun!

Do you have similar taste in home decor as you do in fashion?
As a wardrobe takes time to curate, so does a home. My personal space is filled with things that make me happy. I love the clean lines and style of mid-century modern design. I love finding special objects to add to my collection. Lots of natural wood and neutrals mixed in with colorful pillows, rugs, knickknacks, books, art and found treasures – I have shelves and mason jars full of feathers, stones and shells.

How would you describe San Francisco’s style?
San Francisco is an urban environment with varying microclimates, hilly terrain, diverse cultures and pockets of forests, parks and beaches. Because of this, our style reflects our varied and active lifestyles and interests. We spend a lot of time outdoors exploring the Bay Area as well as getting dressed up for the amazing restaurants, music venues, museums and galleries that the city offers.

What are the new trends you see hitting stores this season?
Mixing prints and plaids, layering.

Where you do you get most of your inspiration when you are buying for
Mill or designing a new collection?
I’m inspired by colors, proportions, shapes, prints and fabrication. I also look for and design styles that have longevity and are future classics. Often times, I imagine my friends and my own wardrobe and fill in the gaps.