Obiko Archive

Obiko Archive

KLee Manuel “Feather Collar”

“Electra”, Feather Collar by K. Lee Manuel, 1988.

The Artwear that emerged during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s played a significant role in the identity of San Francisco. The term Artwear defines clothing that was artistically driven and hand crafted during a period when anti-establishment and anti-fashion attitudes prevailed. Artisans creating Artwear worked from coast to coast and belonged to a very American culture of the studio craftsman.

The Elements Collection Fall 2000 - Earth, Catherine Bacon. Velvet kimono fabric, Italy. Camisole and skirt custom beading, Italy.

The Elements Collection Fall 2000 – Earth, Catherine Bacon.
Velvet kimono fabric, Italy. Camisole and skirt custom beading, Italy.

Central to the Bay Area Artwear phenomena was Obiko, established in 1972.
Sandra Sakata soon opened her renowned avant-garde boutique on Sutter St. which provided artists and designers a west coast showcase for their unique and hand crafted clothing and jewelry.

The Obiko Artwear Archive documents this creative era and provides images of the store’s exotic windows; clothing and accessories of participating designers;
four of her signature benefit fashion shows, and an oral history containing artists’ interviews; history resources; and statements by leading promoters in the field of Artwear.

Download the Obiko Archive

Sandra Sakata was a creative force in the Artwear movement and became an icon in her own right as a brilliant stylist and muse. She had a unique talent for creating ensembles composed from the work of various designers. Her clientele embraced her intuitive and ethnic approach to fashion and walked out of her boutique transformed and confident in their new look. A seat at her fashion shows became the hottest ticket in town!