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ST YLIST: RACHEL LENA ESTERLINE. ST YLING ASSISTANCE: SONIE HACK . MAKEUP: NIKKI DE VIN FOR AR TIST UNTIED. ON SABRINA: BE TSEY JOHNSON CHIFFON DRESS, MARC JACOBS SUEDE PEEP-TOE SHOE, MODEL’S OWN. ON EUNICE: VINTAGE LACE DRESS, STE VE MADDEN ME TALLIC FLATS, MODEL’S OWN.

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(from left) SABRINA MOYLE, 34, AND EUNICE MOYLE, 36 Co-founders of Hello!Lucky letterpress Shot in the Hello!Lucky studio in SoMa Photography by John Lee

In the age of Tweets and IM, sending a handwritten note—via snail mail no less—seems archaic. But everything sisters Eunice and Sabrina Moyle create at their letterpress stationery shop, Hello!Lucky, is based on deliberate and painstakingly precise actions that take time. “I was so sick of making things that disappear in a month,” says Eunice, who was a website designer before starting the company with a vintage hand-crank press in her garage in 2003. “People appreciate tangible, handmade items. They may not be sending mail as frequently, but when they do, they want it to be special.” Though the construction is traditional, Hello!Lucky designs are just the opposite, incorporating oversized, vintage-inspired illustrations, lots of color and cheeky copy. Last January they began offering digital printing on letterpress paper. “It’s faster and more affordable but still carries similar qualities of letterpress,” says Sabrina, who wrote the business plan for Hello!Lucky after graduating from Stanford School of Business. At the request of friends and fans they just added custom holiday cards to their lineup, and birth announcements are coming soon. Last year Eunice and Sabrina co-authored Handmade Hellos (Chronicle), a DIY guide to greeting cards, and they’re currently spending nights and weekends fabricating projects for their next book on DIY wedding design, due out next fall. “The company grew organically out of a real love for what we are doing,” Sabrina says. “Our view is you really have to seize opportunities and be true to who you are.” —Mikhael Romain

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MAHERSHALALHASHBAZ ALI, 35 Actor (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and the upcoming The Wronged Man and Lights Out) Shot at Verdi Club in Potrero Hill Photography by John Lee If you don’t recognize the dashing Mahershalalhashbaz Ali from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, don’t feel bad. He was caked under three hours of makeup to assume the role of an aging Tizzy, Brad Pitt’s father figure in the film. “There were a couple of moments where I was like, ‘Hmmm, I don’t think I would look this old at 48,’” says Ali. The role, which Ali says just “clicked for him,” propelled the Berkeley actor into the limelight. This fall, look for him in Law and Order and starring alongside Julia Ormond in the original Lifetime film The Wronged Man, in which he plays the role of Calvin Willis, a man sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s also starring in the pilot Lights Out, set to debut next year on FX. Though he says he’s “retired,” Ali is also an accomplished rapper and has performed with notable artists such as Planet Asia and the Oakland group Hieroglyphics. On the subject of his first name (the longest Hebrew name in the Bible), Ali chuckles. “I know it’s the last thing you’re supposed to do in Hollywood, but I decided that at least professionally, I’d go by Mahershalalhashbaz. But if you meet me on the street, I’ll just introduce myself as ‘Ali.’” Somehow, we don’t think that will stop him from getting recognized. —Jennifer Pollock

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ST YLIST: R ACHEL LENA ESTERLINE. ST YLING ASSISTANCE: SONIE HACK . MARC JACOBS VELVE T BLAZER ($995), OVERSIZED POCKE T TEE ($190), BLACK VELVE T TROUSERS ($425) AND SMOKE PANAMA HAT ($225), ALL AT MARC JACOBS, 415-362-6500. CONVERSE SHOES AND PR AYER PENDANT, MODEL’S OWN. TIFFANY & CO. MESH NECKLACE, ST YLIST ’S OWN.

ALI DISHES ON PITT: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO AT 7x7.COM

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THE OOK JAMES SYHABOUT, 30 Chef-owner, Commis Shot at Commis in Oakland Photography by John Lee Chef James Syhabout’s timing is spot-on. Just as the recession has people questioning fine-dining, he’s redefined it with Commis, his tiny three-monthold restaurant set in his native Oakland. Commis’ food is four-star exquisite, but the prix-fixe menu stops at three courses. There are neither tablecloths nor pretensions. The open kitchen’s counter allows patrons to sit within feet of Syhabout and his small team, as they meticulously prepare California-fresh dishes that are rooted in classic technique, such as smoked sardines with green-tomato confit in rhubarb juice, or roasted chicken paired with porcinis emulsified with foie gras. The California Culintary Academy grad was most recently at the two-star Michelin restaurant Manresa in Los Gatos as the chef de cuisine; prior to that, he was the executive chef of PlumpJack Cafe in SF. His cooking has also been influenced by his time with Heston Blumenthal of the Fat Duck in England and Ferrán Adrià of el Bulli in Spain. “If I would do it all over again, I’d just skip culinary school and ship myself to Europe,” he says. “Do it the old-fashioned way.” Syhabout admits his mother—formerly a cook at a Thai restaurant— has never eaten his food. “She grew up in a family of 11 in Thailand, and eating for her was more of a necessity than a luxury,” he says. Despite his clear ambitious, Syhabout is modest to the point of shy. He got the name Commis (a French term for an apprentice chef ) from Marco Pierre White’s book, White Heat. “In the French kitchen, the lowest ranks wear a blue apron and the chef wears a white apron,” explains Syhabout. “White says, ‘We all wear blue aprons; we’re all still learning.’ I took that to heart.” —Sara Deseran

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EMILY PILLOTON, 27 Founder and executive director of Project H Design, a nonprofit that advances social change through industrial design Shot at her home office in the Inner Sunset Photography by John Lee For Emily Pilloton, early success in the design world didn’t mean unveiling a $20,000 sofa or landing an architecture commission for the newest museum. Instead of falling in line as a disciple of high design, Pilloton has utilized her degrees in product design and architecture toward more humanitarian ends, from creating low-cost play structures that help schoolchildren in the Dominican Republic learn basic math, to working with homeless women in Los Angeles to design purses that open into hammocks. Her charitable organization—Project H Design—partners with schools, shelters and other groups around the world to use design to assist people in need. “When I’m presented with a problem, I want to address it though design,” says Pilloton. Started in January 2008 from her Marin “home office” (her parents’ dining room), Project H Design now has nine worldwide chapters, an everexpanding number of enthusiastic staff members and volunteers and a growing list of completed projects, from a computer lab redesign in rural North Carolina to the creation of kitchen tables for refugee families in the Bay Area. Pilloton’s first book, Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People (Metropolis Books) is out this month and her atypical book tour, “The Design Revolution Road Show,” will kick off in Feburary, taking Pilloton across the country and back in an Airstream that she has decked out with more than 50 products from the book. She says, “ I want to show people firsthand the power of good design.” —Erin Feher

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(from left) CHASEN LAIDLER, 19; EARL MARTIN, 33; GABRIEL GARCIA, 28; AND CALVIN LEUNG, 25 Brooklyn Circus SF team Shot at St. Francis Fountain in the Mission Photography by John Lee For Gabriel Garcia, the East Coast-West Coast rivalry is a nonissue. “We’re really here to invite West Coasters to come see a certain piece of New York,” says Garcia, co-director of the Brookly Circus BKc Brand and owner of the Brooklyn Circus SF, which opened its flagship clothing store on Fillmore last year. With its antique furnishings and dark wood interior serving as the perfect backdrop for its hip-hop-meets-vintage-EastCoast-prep menswear line, the BKc has come a long way since its beginnings as a street-culture clothing label founded three years ago by Garcia’s business partner Ouigi Theodore in the trendy Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn. Now sold internationally, the brand offers a full range of tailored men’s separates, from classic Melton wool peacoats and newsboy hats to handmade bow ties and Japanese denim. With music as a key inspiration for their dapper designs (“Hang out in our store and you’ll hear everything from Frank Sinatra, Mos Def, Kanye West and Jay-Z back to Otis Redding and Sam Cooke,” Garcia says), it’s no surprise that the SF team can be found across the street at Yoshi’s every Thursday hosting its own popular soul, funk, hip-hop and R&B night, where the crew and its guests are invited to dress to impress. “A big part of our brand is history, heritage and culture,” says Garcia. “The Fillmore speaks to all of that.” —Nerissa Pacio

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ST YLING: BROOKLYN CIRCUS SF. ON CHASEN: BKC WESTERN BUT TON-DOWN. ON EARL: BKC V-NECK TEE, NAVAL PEACOAT, GINGHAM PANT AND SCARF; CONVERSE SHOES, MODEL’S OWN. ON GABRIEL: BKC PAISLEY BUT TON-UP, KNIT HOODIE, OVERCOAT, RAW DENIM JEAN, LEATHER HUNTER’S CAP AND BELT; CONVERSE SHOES, MODEL’S OWN. ON CALVIN: BKC GINGHAM BUT TON-DOWN, CHINO PANT, BOW-TIE; SOCKS AND BOSTONIAN SHOES, MODEL’S OWN. ALL BKC PIECES AVAILABLE AT BROOKLYN CIRCUS, 415-359-1999.

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GINA BIANCHINI, 37

Co-founder of Ning.com Shot at Ning.com offices in Palo Alto Photography by John Lee In many ways it was the diversity of Bay Area itself that inspired Gina Bianchini to launch Ning.com, the social platform for the world’s interests and passions. Ning, which means peaceful in Mandarin Chinese, houses more than 1.5 million networks, with 4,500 new ones (and counting) created every day around varying topics—ranging from Twilight fanatics (183,000 members) to the Indian Premier Cricket League (713,000 members). Ning is on fire, and not just because tech-gossip blog Valleywag dubbed Bianchini a “Web 2.0 hottie”; new network creation accelerated 26 percent in July to 23 million registered users. Bianchini believes Ning’s success lies in a natural inclination to connect with people via shared interests. “Most people have less than a 50-percent overlap between their interests and the people they already know,” says Bianchini. “Ning provides a complementary place to explore your passions.” Bianchini got her MBA from Stanford and now lives in Palo Alto. She worked in finance at Goldman Sachs and started a Web analytics company before launching Ning with tech celebrity Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape. The site recently opened the Ning platform to developers and added 100 more Ning apps—including shopping carts and live video chats—to make the experience as flexible as possible for the needs of each network. “Ning is really a testament to the fact the people are inherently unique and interesting,” Bianchini says. “Running this company really doesn’t feel like work.” —Jennifer Pollock

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ST YLIST: RACHEL LENA ESTERLINE. ST YLING ASSISTANCE: SONIE HACK . HAIR + MAKEUP: PIRCILLA PAE FOR SHU UEMURA. DIANE VON FURSTENBURG LEOPARD WRAP DRESS, CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN PATENT SLINGBACKS, K ATE SPADE NECKLACE AND BRACELE T, ALL MODEL’S OWN.

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RAFAEL MANDELMAN, 35

Attorney and candidate for District 8 supervisor in the 2010 election Shot at Duboce Park in the Lower Haight Photography by John Lee Mention to Rafael Mandelman that some of his supporters have favorably compared him to Harvey Milk—who initially won the hearts and minds of the Castro community with a pooper-scooper law—and the charismatic lawyer-cumpolitician dismisses the comment with a wave of his hand. “That is so sweet,” he says. “That’s too much. He was a lot funnier and a lot smarter.” Smarter? This coming from a Yale grad who went on to get both a law degree from Boalt and a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s JFK School of Government. “I’ve wanted to be involved in politics since I was a kid,” says Mandelman. “When I was 12, I made a scrapbook of the 1984 presidential election. I thought presidents were like superheroes or princes—politics were as cool to me as that fantasy life.” Describing himself as an “SF kind of Democrat,” Mandelman recently announced his candidacy for District 8 Supervisor, building his campaign around the progressive tenets he holds most dear— reformed housing policy, real solutions to chronic homelessness, improved urban transportation and gay rights. “I’m afraid of not living a life that is as meaningful and productive as it could be,” he explains. “Those of us who have ability to do things should do extraordinary things.” As two-term president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, Mandelman has worked the front lines for the rights of gay, lesbian and transgendered people, even going so far as to get himself arrested in a protest following the passage of Prop 8 last year. “In this city when things are wrong, people want us to fight,” he says. “I’m willing to do that.” —Jessica Battilana

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ST YLIST: RACHEL LENA ESTERLINE. ST YLING ASSISTANCE: SONIE HACK. MARC JACOBS GRAY SUIT JACKE T ($1,320) AND PANTS ($640), BUT TON-DOWN SHIRT ($395) AND CARDIGAN ($840), ALL AT MARC JACOBS, 415-362-6500. SHOES, MODEL’S OWN.

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