Berkeley's Eco-Friendly Upscale Fashion Shop
Convert Collection’s Randy Brewer shares his style tips.
After years in retail, Randy Brewer was tired of trashy fashion—and we’re not talking about wearing white before Memorial Day. Brewer saw wasteful packaging and environmentally unfriendly practices in the industry, and many of the eco-friendly options failed to inspire him. “A lot of earth-friendly, organic things had that crunchy, hippie feel,” Brewer says.
So in 2010, he and his partner, Fred Whitefield, brought hip, eco-friendly styles to Berkeley’s Fourth Street with their shop, Convert, and Convert Shoes a few years later. Earlier this year, he opened Convert Collection in the former Convert Shoes location, with the same consciousness, focusing on high-end, fashion-forward men’s and women’s clothing. Here, Brewer shares hot styles from his store, his favorite Bay Area spots, and his take on the one item every man needs. convertstyle.com.
The one item every man should have: ”In our casual atmosphere, it’s a pair of jeans that fit. Often, guys will come in who just don’t know how to fit jeans. When we get them in the right ones, it can change a man’s whole look.”
Must-have summer piece for ladies: ”I like things you can dress up or wear casually. We have parachute pants at the store that look great with a tank and a pair of sandals, or pulled up on the calf with heels and a nice top.”
Styling tip: ”A playful, lightweight jacket can add to your style. Get an unstructured blazer that doesn’t have shoulder pads, and wear it with a pair of nondenim pants, or you can just wear it with sneakers and a T-shirt.”
Fourth Street pick-me-up: ”I am head-over-heels in love with Iyasare. The restaurant chops up lots of different ingredients for its tempura, so every bite has different flavors.”
Favorite family outing: “We’re obsessed with hiking at Point Pinole. I didn’t know about it for the longest time. It’s a beautiful park with North Bay views I had never seen before."