Closet Tour! Peep The Covetable Wardrobe Of Reliquary's Rad Owner

We'll admit it. Whenever we're strolling Hayes, we have to be pretty much pried out of the elegantly and eclectically curated spot Reliquary (seriously, we’d pitch a tent in there if we could). Stepping foot into this dreamy space, which stocks amazing vintage finds, cool new brands, and incredible gift items, is like trotting into an overseas fantasy, with the best keepsakes right at your fingertips.
Naturally, we knew that someone who helmed this kind of sartorial ship had to have killer threads at home, too. Lo and behold, we were right! Want proof? Peep our closet tour of owner, Leah Bershad, who invited us into her sprawling Oakland casa and showed off her colorful array of airy, folksy frocks, and to-die-for baubles. Start clicking, and get ready to turn a little green with fashion envy.
Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Tell us a little bit about Reliquary and what inspired you to open it.
"I opened Reliquary because I wanted the freedom to curate a collection of beautiful things without boundaries. Whether aesthetically, functionally, or spiritually beautiful — I wanted a venue to bring together the things that I love and share them. One day I realized that I could have that."

Leah checking out some of her prized pieces.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Describe your personal style.
"My husband and my best friend describe it as 'art mom.’ But, I'd say eclectic and comfortable. It’s a little bit tomboy, a little bit gypsy, and I guess a little bit art mom."

Leah in vintage Issey Miyake (gifted from her mother), Rachel Comey shoes, and vintage cuffs.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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What’s your most-prized possession in your closet?
"I have a pair of brown oxfords that I bought in Venice, Italy at a store that sells kids’ school uniform shoes. I cherish and wear them almost every day."

Leah's dress arsenal, including stunning Rachel Comey and Ali Golden frocks.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Any cheap scores as of late you care to share?
"I learned early in the game that cheap isn't really where the scores are. I get a way bigger kick from finding something really fabulous and unique, like the collection of cast-silver skulls that are in the shop now or the Victorian gold-nugget rings that I found last weekend. Sometimes you find something amazing and cheap and then you know you've really scored."

Sole sister.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Do you feel the aesthetic of your shop and your personal style are synonymous?
"No. Some of the things I buy for the shop I would never wear, but I still appreciate them. I can see the girl that would wear them and I like her style, too."

Leah shows us some gorgeous textiles and jewels.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Who are your style icons?
"Catherine Baba, her outfits kill me. Marlene Dietrich, Patti Smith, Sofia Coppola, and Japan."

Going shopping!

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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You worked on the East Coast for years — would you ever envision yourself returning?
"I don’t know if I could. I may have lost my edge. I still have dear friends there that I miss a lot, so I entertain the idea: Reliquary New York? But for now it's not happening."

Leah models vintage Levi’s, a Dace top, Giada Forte jacket, Hermes scarf, and oxfords from Venice.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Tell us more about what’s currently happening at Reliquary and what you’re most excited about?
"Although my background is in apparel, I really have the most fun in the shop with the jewelry. I love how it is beautiful on anyone, old or young, big or small. It is also an investment that can be passed down through generations and traditionally marks emotional events. There is just a wonderful history and tradition around jewelry that has been a pleasure to learn about. We have expanded our jewelry selection quite a bit since we first opened and we just bought a gorgeous new case that came from Bon Marche in Paris in the ‘20s, which is pretty exciting."

Leah's bold Hermes scarf up close and personal.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Do you have a favorite story about an item found while traveling?
"I have a sterling watch chain that I wear as a necklace that is all silver and capped animal teeth — hunting trophies from the late 1800s. I saw it at a flea market on the East Coast and didn’t buy it. Then, it haunted me for a full year. I was sure I'd never see it again. But I did, a year later, and now it's mine."

We want them all! What a collection!

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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What key pieces can be found in your sartorial rotation?
"My oxfords and my motorcycle boots. I also have a Giada Forte wool blazer that I wear every day and an indigo scarf from Mali. I can wear anything with those things and I feel good."

A peek at her jam-packed closet.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Can you share a few of your fave S.F. shops?
"I love Dish and Métier for clothing and I am super excited about Unionmade's lady shop, Mill, that's opening soon. The General Store, Magpie and Rye, and Gravel and Gold are all beautifully curated local shops, too."

Rachel Comey boots FTW.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Obviously, you're a pro thrifter, any vintage shopping secrets you can share?
"If you love it, don’t think about it and just buy it. It probably won’t be there next time."

A vivid vintage piece.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Your place is stunning! What do you love most about living in Oakland?
"Thank you! I love that I can take the dogs hiking in the woods five minutes from my house and also be in the heart of S.F. in 20. I also really like the emphasis on local culture here — all the shops in Temescal Alley and all the amazing restaurants. And I love that when I wake up in the morning it smells like camping."

Leah sporting a Girl by Band of Outsiders dress, Rachel Comey shoes, vintage jacket, vintage rose-gold tiger claw pendant, and a turquoise cuff (gifts from her grandmother).

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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What’s next for the shop?
"We are having two events in June that I am really excited about. The first is a trunk show for my friends Marisa Haskell and Ali Golden on June 15. They are both enormously talented young ladies and it should be a great night. The second is a cactus adoption event that we are doing with the ladies from Crimson Horticultural Rarities on June 30. We will have a huge assortment of cactus from tiny to huge. And Julie from Object and Totem is making us beautiful pots, too!"

Leah wears a COS dress, vintage oxfords, vintage Victorian pendants, and vintage African and Indian scuffs.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile