FiSF - Fashion Incubator San Francisco
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Jeanne Allen, SiSF Executive Director
Jeanne Allen
Executive Director
Jeanne Allen - designer, businesswoman, author and mentor. Jeanne grew up in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington. In 1970 at Design Research in San Francisco, she met her future husband, Marc Grant. Together they went to Helsinki, Finland to work at the design mecca Marimekko Oy and then to Brighton, England where Jeanne began to collage vintage fabrics into patchwork jackets and dresses. They quickly sold out in trendy London and Paris boutiques.
Jeanne and Marc returned to San Francisco in 1974. Encouraged by the success in Europe, they opened the first Jeanne-Marc shop on Washington Square in North Beach. Here the collection grew in both size and sophistication. Meticulously crafted, colorful and rich in detail, the eclectic designs caught the attention of the fashion savvy and orders poured in from Saks, I Magnin, Bloomingdale’s, Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman and Harrods in London. The fashion press took note and People magazine featured them for the star quality of their clientele.
In 1988, both Jeanne and Marc were elected to the CFDA, (the Council of American Designers). “This is the most prestigious organization in our profession and is largely New York-centric. We were very honored to be invited,” said Jeanne. In 1990, they received the Absolute Vodka Golden Shears Award for design. By 1997, the Jeanne-Marc factory employed 100 workers and was recognized by the United Nations and the City of San Francisco as, in the words of the awards, “a great place to work”.
Jeanne has written eight books on color, fashion and Japanese prints for Chronicle Books. She has also held leadership positions as a city commissioner for Small Business and a director of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. In 2011 she was elected into the Wall of Honor in the Seattle suburb of Bothell, where she attended high school and in 2012. Jeanne and Marc--who is an artist as well as a fashion designer - were honored by the City of Berkeley for their contribution to the Arts. Currently, Jeanne is serving as the first Executive Director of the Fashion Incubator at Macy’s on Union Square.
Jeanne and Marc live in Berkeley in a hexagon shaped house that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938.