Fabric Connoisseurs Rockin Their Shelf Life T-Shirts

I have the great good fortune of working down the street from one of San Francisco’s truly finest fabric stores, Satin Moon, owned and operated for 30+ years by sisters Alice and Susan Miyamoto.   Over time I forced my friendship upon them because they are just so cool.  They are independent, strong, intelligent, artistic, sensitive, funny women who do what the fuck they want to do.  I greatly respect and admire that so of course I’m always trying to hang out.


Susan and Alice Miyamoto
Susan in Shelf Life “Samurai Crest” t-shirt (left);
Alice in Shelf Life “Kaiju Monster” t-shirt (right)


A story:  One day Susan and Alice saw me wearing my own Kaiju Monster t-shirt, which features some cool little people who resemble Toshiro Mifune and Tatsuya Nakadai.  We started talking about Japanese cinema and art, and they said how much they like designer Brian Kirby’s t-shirts.  I told Brian and the next thing you know, a bundle of t-shirts show up for the ladies in the mail.  I think Alice and Susan look pretty damn cool in these shirts, and we all profusely thank Brian for his generous gift.

The ladies and I grew up in Los Angeles and were taken to see Japanese samurai movies by our parents in the 1960s -70s (we did not know each other).  They clearly remember meeting Toshiro Mifune in the 1960’s at the Toho La Brea Theater.  After his film (unknown title) was shown, the audience lined up to bow to (and perhaps shake hands with) the star.  While their parents chatted with Mifune, the girls were dumbstruck by just how damn cool he was.  He must have looked something like this:

Mifune at LAX 1966
Mifune arriving at the LAX Airport, 1966.
Image @ www.janm.org/collections/item/96.267.911/


If you dig Mifune, here is another really cool Shelf Life T-shirt (also available as a poster):

chambara - Shelf Life Clothing image

The Kaiju t-shirt is available here and the Samurai Crest shirt is here.  Check out Shelf Life Clothing and seriously, if you like something get it while you can.  The stock doesn’t last forever and I have missed out on one or two very cool shirts that are now sold out.

And if you live anywhere near San Francisco, you can stop by Satin Moon Fabrics Tuesday-Saturday 1-5 pm.  I like to admire the fabric and imagine the possibilities.

Satin Moon San Francisco Japanese cottons
Cotton prints from Japan
Satin Moon San Francisco Japanese Cottons 2
More cotton from Japan
Satin Moon San Francisco Ribbon
Just a small section of the ribbon in stock.

The velvets, wools and silks are of the highest quality and unbelievably beautiful.  Here’s an SFGATE article about the store if you want to know more.

Meanwhile, I’m kinda thinking this would make a cool shirt or bag or something:

TohoScope_logo from godzilla.wikia

Just cause it looks so cool.

Susan, Alice, and Brian from Shelf Life Clothing are pretty inspiring people and I’m grateful they are all in my life.  They make me want to be cool.

Go forth and be cool too!




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