Helpers’ Home Bazaar
Helpers’, short for Helpers of the Mentally Retarded, is one of few charity boutiques in San Francisco, situated in Ghirardelli Square with a legend in its midst. Director Joy Venturini Bianchi, a denizen of the city’s chic old guard, is known across town for her signature oversized spectacles and a heart to match her larger-than-life style. And boy does she have a story or two to tell. Helpers’ is reflective of Bianchi’s tastes: Vintage accessories, including a wealth of fabulous hats, and discounted designer clothing-everything from Ralph Lauren evening gowns to ’70s-era Bill Blass and unworn Manolo Blahniks-has been donated by the most stylish residents of SF’s social echelon as well as, in some cases, by the designers themselves.