V is the New Black

By Kaye Cloutman
Slideshow images by Vincent Gotti

Eight illustrious designers from the Bay Area joined forces once again recently to provide a surge of excitement for the local fashion industry. The Black V Fashion show showcased collections inspired by the beauty and chic mood of BLACK to the fashion scene in San Francisco. This annual event sets itself up as a major platform for fashion industry professionals to connect and keeps the fashion zeitgeist alive in San Francisco through the use of multi-media platform and technology. Opened up this evening by a truly mesmerizing violin act, the show certainly started with an air of mystique and anticipation from the audience. What happened thereafter did not disappoint. From elegant frilly gowns, fun cocktail dresses and statement pieces of jewelry to layered and naughty leather garb and a sharp ensemble of menswear, it certainly was proof that San Francisco was home to resourceful designers replete with fashion genius.

With new designs and first time participants, Black V was indeed a great mixture of striking pieces which represent and cater to a wide audience and genres and we’re predicting it will be even more successfully jam-packed next year as it was this black night in the city by the bay.

Get to know this year’s featured designers

Acta Non Verba

Hector Manuel of Acta Non Verba, expresses the idea of a New World royalty where youthful elegance is conveyed through a mix of contemporary versatile garments. His playful sophistication is paired with a combination of different materials, often recreates classic silhouettes and turns them into bold pieces that exert femininity.

Cari Borja

Cari is a UC Berkeley alumnus with a PhD in Cultural Anthropology and known for creating one-of-a-kind and ready-to-wear pieces that are both organic and stylish. This collection: Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula: late Victorian silhouettes in contemporary mixtures of brocades, satins, silks, cottons and wool cashmere.

Daniel Sudar

Daniel is a premier American designer that offers mod, sleek and chic clothing and accessories for both men and women. Introducing: HERO – Daniel Sudar’s men’s jewelry line that is finely hand-crafted in Sterling silver. Day to day men’s activities that are true to the fundamental of the Daniel Sudar brand inspire him. Each jewelry is a testament to the Daniel Sudar Men – mod, sleek and chic, individualistic, smart, with a zest for life, a love for fashion and strong sense of self.


Dahae Kim is contemporary menswear designer specializing in conceptual clothing design. Dahae graduated at the Academy of Art University with a BFA in Fashion Design and received a scholarship award from CFDA in 2007. This collection: inspired by emotions, breakdown moments that led to a different level of maturity and creativity, and that dark but special side of life.

Gail B Shrive

Gail graduated at the UNIVERSITY OF EAST LONDON UK and drew inspirations from the London club and social scene. Her collections focus on fabric manipulations and unusual cuts which create a distinctive attitude while still balancing the crucial element of fit and silhouette. This collection: “London Calling”!


Ken Chen based in San Francisco is dedicated to making extravagant yet elegant designs for the modern fashion conscious individual. Taking influences from the entertainment world, architecture, and a higher quality of life. started His label is inspired by contemporary style and bold futurism while still attending Academy of Arts University in 2010. This collection: integration of civilization and the natural world: organics and technology; structure and texture.


Graduated with a BFA in Fashion Design at the Otis College of Art and Design. Zoë’s eponymous womenswear line was founded on the concept of “future heirlooms”: beautiful, well-crafted pieces that transcend trend, pieces women would be proud to pass on lovingly to future generations, pieces to wear and cherish for a long time.

Kate Knuvelder

A self-taught accessory designer based in Redwood City who has been designing for more than 10 years. This collection: very industrial pieces – using a mixture of leather, chains and beads.