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Bay Area Woman

Meet the female mastermind driving fashion beyond the cutting edge.

SLIDESHOW

Cotton bonded bolero jacket, $500, and silk and cotton blend skirt, $450.

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Camelia Skikos

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Cotton poplin pleated shirt, $380, and cotton cropped pants, $395. Opposite page, on Skikos: Jersey turtleneck, $250, and cotton bonded skirt, $495.

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Cotton sateen circle dress, $650.

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Cotton bonded circle shrug, $520, and silk black dress, $670.

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Cotton bonded cutout top, $450, and sateen cotton cropped pants, $395. 

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Cotton sateen V dress, $590. All by Camelia Skikos at Modern Appealing Clothing (MAC), 387 Grove St.

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Growing up in then-communist Romania, Camelia Skikos made her clothes as a form of rebellion and self-expression. Little did she know, one day, she’d not only build her own company, but also help to shape the course of fashion and technology.

In 2014, Google ATAP was working on Project Jacquard, the first full-scale digital platform created for smart clothing. By then, Skikos was living in San Francisco and busy creating her eponymous label, which she launched in 2010 following stints at Levi’s and the Gap. Her sculptural pieces caught the tech behemoth’s eye. Before long, Skikos was a fashion design lead, tasked with designing prototypes for smart garments using interactive textiles and Google technology. Her innovations underpin Project Jacquard’s first collaboration with a fashion house: Levi’s Commuter Trucker jacket woven with conductive Jacquard threads, which, along with embedded electronics, enables wearers to do such nifty tricks, such as get directions via a mere brush of their cuff.

Currently a fashion design lead for Google Daydream, Skikos is consulting on a confidential project. She also continues to express her artistic vision through her own collections, which are designed and produced in San Francisco. For spring 2019, Skikos drew inspiration from Joan Miró’s paintings, creating what she describes as a “visual and tactile accumulation of contrasts” through shape, color and texture. A structured fabric developed in Japan enabled Skikos to achieve the collection’s minimalist, almost futuristic silhouettes.

Although her designs don’t integrate technology—yet—there are common threads between her clothing line and her work at Google: Both aim to empower wearers through boundary-pushing design. “I believe that fashion can give a great amount of freedom to people,” Skikos says. “And no matter what times we live in, it can allow us to be who we want to be.” Skikos will host a trunk show/exhibition March 7 from 5 to 8pm at Modern Appealing Clothing (MAC) on Grove Street.

 

Originally published in the March issue of San Francisco 

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