Support San Diego businesses this holiday season with glamorous goods from these hometown heroes.
1. Alexia María
Founded in 2014 by local designer Alexia María Esquer, luxury eveningwear brand Alexia María embodies all things romance and sophistication. Esquer keeps her vision of a bespoke approach to tailoring at the center of the brand, resulting in unmatched craftsmanship and artistry evident in every piece. Operating predominantly as a made-to-order label, Alexia María collections—known for their signature use of bows—can be shopped online or at Saks Fifth Avenue after being handcrafted at their Southern California atelier.
With roots in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood, this high-end footwear brand has since spread its wings far and wide, with a presence in Dubai, Qatar, Mexico and the Caribbean. What started as a sandal line featuring handmade Italian leather and Swarovski crystals became an international fashion brand known for its quality accessories and custom-made footwear designs. Even so, Azzurra Capri finds the time to give back, and has partnered with FIDM to provide apprenticeships to local fashion students for the last five years.
After owner Jillian Sassone’s grandmother Mary passed away, she sought to breathe new life into her family heirlooms by reworking them. Out of this idea, Solana Beach-based company Marrow Fine Jewelry was born. By utilizing existing gems from her clients, Sassone is able to create meaningful one-of-a-kind pieces. Her collection also includes existing designs, from engagement rings to fine jewelry that’s delicate enough for daily wear. She especially loves collaborating with locals, calling North County “an incredible community to be a part of—it’s small enough where you see familiar faces every day, which we love.”
4. Virgil James
For this Solana Beach-based luxury handbag brand, style is an art that demands equal parts form and function, beauty and utility. Virgil James’ timeless handbags team uncompromising quality with artistic integrity and classic design. “Local is all about inspiration,” says founder Jay McGoodwin. “San Diego has the vibe and community that makes creativity a natural process.” Innovation lies in every bag, seen in the Fantasia No. 8, which offers style and versatility through its interchangeable handpainted panels and expresses elegance through its vintage-inspired design.
Photography by: In order of appearance, photos: by Jackie Gallardo; by Kristina Yamamoto; all others courtesy of brands