Meet the Fashion Designer

A South Park pioneer sets his designs on some of his favorite things

Long before it became one of San Diego’s hottest hoods, Jeffrey Parish staked out his own little slice of South Park.

Opening a metaphysical bookstore on Fern Street in 1998, he later segued into beloved gift and home furnishings store Junc. And he has continued his evolution with the latest iteration of his space, the eponymous Jeffrey Parish, a showcase for his own fashion line.

Attending Fashion Careers College while he ran Junc, Jeffrey now has produced a collection that includes leather bags, shoes, jewelry and women’s clothing. He describes it as the most personal space he has ever created, featuring designs he calls classic and timeless, as well as stocking some decor items like the kind that earned Junc its devoted fan base.

Jeffrey is also a two-time participant in the Timken Museum of Art’s Art of Fashion event, creating original fashion designs inspired by pieces from the museum’s collection.

Bleu Bohème Basil Martini | Photography from Bleu Bohème

What’s your favorite restaurant?

His go-to spot in his South Park neighborhood is the Rose Wine Bar + Bottle Shop, where the carpaccio salad and a glass of sparkling rosé puts him in his happy place. A French food fanatic, Jeffrey also loves Bleu Bohème and their basil martinis. And like countless other San Diegans, he adores The Red Fox Steakhouse and Piano Bar, which is set to move across the street from its current location in 2019.

Do you have a favorite bar?

For grabbing a drink with friends he’s a big fan of Caché, the bar hidden behind BO-beau kitchen and Tacos Libertard in Hillcrest. “The entrance is through a freezer door in the taco place and it’s this amazing speakeasy that looks like it’s out of a fairy tale. The drinks are spectacular.”

Caché | Photography by Derek Ridgers

Where do you go for coffee?

A confessed coffee-hound, Jeffrey is excited about Communal Coffee, which set up a converted trailer to dispense their lavender honey lattes in a long-vacant lot adjacent to his store. “I should have an IV of those honey lattes stuck in my arm to roll around with me because they are so good. Coffee is my life,” he says.

Where do you go to clear your mind?

Home, is his succinct answer. And more specifically, his garden. “It’s just quiet and peaceful and it’s my place to be. I just sit out there and relax.”

What’s the favorite thing in your closet?

That would be a pair of Chanel sandals. “They look like a cross between Doc Martens and a Birkenstock,” he says. “People are like, ‘Oh my God, those are either really cool or really ugly.’ So if I get those responses I know I’ve hit the mark.”

How about visual artists?

Jeffrey is blown away by his friend Jasmine Worth, a San Diego-based surrealist. “It boggles my mind every time I see one of her new pieces. They can really inspire me.” He also gives enthusiastic shout-outs to London-based artist/illustrator Ruben Ireland, whose fantasy creations are an analog-digital hybrid, and L.A. artist M.LAGIRDAM, whose painted T-shirts Jeffrey stocks at his store. “He paints celebrities kind of like saints, with halos and roses. They’re quite beautiful.”

Do you collect anything?

It’s not quite The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, but Jeffrey does maintain a curio collection in his so-called “creepy cabinet.” Items include a human skull nicknamed Pedro, antique glasses, butterflies and chrysalises, old-fashioned syringes and taxidermied mice. “I’m fascinated by things like that,” he says. “They all have stories.”

Categories: Lifestyles, Neighborhood Guide