$300K in merchandise stolen from San Francisco inclusive fashion business

Tuesday, May 28, 2024
$300K in merchandise stolen from SF inclusive fashion business
A San Francisco small business owner is determined to rebuild after an estimated more than $300,000 worth of costumes were stolen from his office.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A small business owner is determined to rebuild after he estimates more than $300,000 worth of specialized costumes and other equipment was stolen from his San Francisco office.

For 17 years, Dare Fashion has specialized in occasionwear, designed and made in San Francisco. The Renaissance, Goth, Victorian, Bohemian and Steampunk styles come in all-inclusive sizing.

On May 1, owner Ben Wang discovered his office and storage facility along Market Street was broken into and countless costumes, accessories and dresses - gone. All of it just days before The IVth Gathering: World Goth Day Festival.

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"All of my bestselling styles were completely wiped out," says Wang, outside the Market Street space that was broken into which is covered in graffiti. "This building has been broken into five times in the last three years."

Wang continued to say Jessie Street in the SoMa, where his manufacturing facility is located, was nicknamed "The urine district."

Ben says and his team still attended the event and are now determined to move past this crime.

"What I'm really trying to do is turn this around and how do you make the worst thing that's happened to you the best thing that's happened to you?"

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Ben commented on the state of the city and has seen it change over the years.

"I still believe in the dream that was San Francisco and I really want to keep my business here if I can. It's sad because these are beautiful buildings and a beautiful neighborhood - but everybody's left. One of the reasons I love San Francisco, that it's a progressive place and we're always trying new things to see if they work - .but we've tried some things that haven't really worked. We tried to say OK, let's not prosecute small thefts, it didn't really work it made it a less safe place."

Dare Fashion has since moved their operations to a new facility in Japantown and Ben is planning to launch a podcast and YouTube channel to help others turn their negatives into a positive.

Wang says he has a $1 million insurance policy on his business, but quickly learned it was for liability only. He warns others to look closely at your coverage. He has set up a GoFundMe to help recoup his losses.

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