San Francisco style icon Joy Venturini Bianchi is easy to spot: just look for the woman wearing a designer dress — just right for the occasion — an inviting smile, and large, black-framed eyeglasses. Bianchi’s red-carpet style stems from her life-long work, since age 13, assisting people who are developmentally disabled in San Francisco. Her fashion knowledge and connections bring donations of couture and designer clothing from around the world to San Francisco.
From both of her parents, Bianchi said she learned about quality, fit, investing in great pieces, how to mix them up and make them work. Bianchi’s mother wore all the latest fashions from Chanel, Bill Blass, and Dior, and her father was an Italian shoe designer. She recalls sitting with her father and turning pages in art books, mostly of the Madonna, while he shared details about what made women beautiful, no matter their shape or size.
Shop with Joy (pun intended!) at Helpers House of Couture in San Francisco’s Richmond District (by appointment, 415-387-3031), or Helpers Bazaar at Ghirardelli Square (open from 12 noon until 5:30 pm everyday) and find gently or never used vintage fashion treasures – shoes, dresses, gowns, gloves, hats, jewelry, handbags – all to-die-for when styled right. Shopping Bianchi’s collection at Helpers means 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the developmentally disabled in San Francisco and throughout the United States.
San Francisco Style: Joy Venturini Bianchi
Joy Venturini Bianchi
Deepa Pakianathan in Tom Ford, Joy Bianchi in Ralph Rucci and Afsaneh Akhtari in Dolce & Gabbana (photo by Moanalani Jeffrey Photography)
Joy Venturini Bianchi in Tom Ford
Joy Bianchi’s signature frames
Joy Bianchi in a sequined coat designed by Valentino
Michael Manning with Joy Venturini Bianchi (in Tom Ford)
Joy Venturini Bianchi
Photos by Drew Altizer Photography
More local women whose style we admire (in alphabetical order): Lindsay Bolton, Barbara Brown, Karen Caldwell, Paula Carano, Carolyn Chandler, Dr. Carolyn Chang, Juliet de Baubigny, Samantha DuVall, Vanessa Getty, Angelique Griepp, Hasti Kashfia, Stephanie Marver, Sonya Molodetskaya, Deepa Pakianathan, Yurie Pascarella, Komal Shah, Sobia A. Shaikh, OJ Shansby, Charlotte Shultz, Sarah Somberg, Christine Suppes, Elizabeth Touw, Katie Traina, Vicky Tsai, Dede Wilsey, Victoria Yeager