Oh, Marc...

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The secret fantasy straight from the deepest, darkest part of every mad shopper's heart -- your favorite designer opens a boutique right down the street from your humble hovel. That came true last week for me and oodles of other Asian American fashionistas from the Richmond when the new Marc by Marc Jacobs boutique threw open its doors at Fillmore and Sacramento on May 3. Guess who'll get first dibs at the clearance rack? Bliss!

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Flag waving and nose thumbing. Photo: Kimberly Chun

The storefront was filled with a vaguely Ralph Lauren-ish red, white, and blue quasi-patriotic motif that nonetheless jabbed boldly at the "worst president in history." Take that Pac Heights Republicans! Preppies with newscaster hair feigned dismay at the Hillary Clinton T-shirt in the window.

That didn't stop the richies from wallowing in the conspicuous consumption when I dropped by the former Mike furniture store last weekend to check Jacobs' sportswear offerings. A massive black Hummer limo was parked in the bus stop out front, and dozens of stylin' Chinese American ladies were racing around within. Dusky pink, mauve, and denim blue duds were dropped on the floor faster than the smooth, black-haired hipster clerks could scoop them up, and the moneyed matrons dived into bins of bargain T's.

The decor was somewhat reminiscent of early Esprit warehouse. (How are you supposed to actually see the clothes when they're so tightly crammed on the rail?) But oh the sales, the sales.... the guys had it good with $5 boxers, $25 cords, and baby soft $10 T-shirts emblazoned with cartoon rats wearing "Marc Who?" shirts. Self-mocking -- I like.

Best buys for women: tchotchkes like those cute pink and orange acorn-shaped charm bracelets and hair accessories marked down from $60 or so to ...$5! Makes your inner bargain-hunter's brain explode. Also adorable and highly affordable: candy-colored rubber rat key chains ($1), band-aid dispensers ($1), and brightly hued, fingerless new wave striped gloves ($5). It's a big tent -- go on in.