Photo Credit: Drew Altizer
Earlier this month, two of San Francisco’s most fashionable females about town, Farah Makras and Mary Beth Shimmon, had the experience of a lifetime. The duo was hand-picked to represent the Bay Area at a breakfast hosted by Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour. Not only did they get a glimpse inside the famed walls of Vogue, but they were seated next to Wintour herself.
The women were invited by a friend who is an editor at the magazine. The invitation arrived in their inbox two weeks before the date of the breakfast and both Makras and Shimmon cleared their calendars and booked flights to New York. Both wore Dior to the breakfast and were welcomed by the editorial staff including Hamish Bowles. “They made us feel really comfortable, I have to say,” Makras told Haute Living. “It didn’t feel like you’re going to Vogue. Everybody was so pleasant.” Adds Shimmon, “They were genuinely interested in us.”
Photo Credit: Andrew Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography
So what did they discuss with Wintour? Makras professed her passion for children’s causes while Shimmon chatted about the arts, particularly museum fashion exhibits. The San Franciscan and New Yorker also talked about the swapping of museum directors—the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s Max Hollein recently took the top job at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his replacement, Thomas P. Campbell, was the former director of the Met. “I told her that Max Hollien was our director who had championed the de Young Museum‘s Contemporary Muslim Fashions exhibition, but she already knew that,” effused Shimmon.
Photo Credit: Arthur Kobin for Drew Altizer Photography
LGBTQ equality, global warming, art, plays, and politics—no topic was overlooked. “They were looking for people that were interested in fashion but also interested in culture and social issues,” Makras explains. “It wasn’t really that fashion-oriented. The way Wintour put it is that it’s all connected. Everything: art, museums, the environment—everything’s inspired by fashion and fashion is now inspired by all these other elements.”
Photo Credit: Arthur Kobin for Drew Altizer Photography)
The breakfast took place in Wintour’s office which Makras describes as being “modern, contemporary, and light. It overlooked the memorial where the Twin Towers were.” The healthy and delicious menu included frittata, avocado toast, and yogurt granola parfaits. The decor was created by Raúl Àvila, who also designs the Met Gala. “The table was set with chic blue and white dishware, various pretty colors of glasses, and bright bouquets of the most special flowers,” Shimmon says. Concludes Makras, “It really was like a dream come true.”