Exclusive: Q&A With Designer Aaron Potts
Pretty Chic Boutique Opens in Georgetown
Natalie Koltun • July 3, 2014
Calling all frugal fashionistas. A new boutique just opened on Wisconsin Avenue, aiming to provide the women of Georgetown affordable clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry. The store offers gently used consignment, vintage and new items available for customers to purchase.
Pretty Chic hosted its garden party grand opening June 28. Guests were invited to enjoy authentic Turkish food and wine to celebrate the grand opening of Georgetown’s newest boutique, all while shopping the store’s large selection of blouses, skirts, dresses, shoes, purses and jewelry.
On Tuesday, July 1, the store will have a celebratory summer sale of 20 percent off all summer tops.
The store, located at 1671 Wisconsin Ave., NW, is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Chez Billy Sud to Take Over Café La Ruche Space
Joseph Park • June 30, 2014
Restaurateurs Eric and Ian Hilton will open a Georgetown location, as they take over the former Café La Ruche space at 1039 31st St., NW, in early August. Chez Billy Sud will feature authentic Southern French cuisine, craft cocktails and French wine from the wine selection.
The new place is south of the original Chez Billy in Petworth that Eric and Ian Hilton own – thus, the name, Chez Billy Sud. They also run restaurants on U Street.
“We are very excited to open up a new location in Georgetown,” executive chef Brendan L’Etoile said. “We admire the location of the restaurant in Georgetown for the great potential that the area has. We are looking to accommodate anyone that comes to Georgetown and want to enjoy good French food.”
The interior design will remain the same, but plans include some changes to renovate the interior and replace the furniture in the patio. The menu of the restaurant will remain the same as the sister restaurant at Georgia Avenue.
“When the weather is warm, we will do a lot of light-cooking with olive oil. Once the weather gets cooler, we will do some richer cooking,” L’Etoile said. “We are excited about opening up a new location in Georgetown and carry on the legacy that Café La Ruche has made over the years.”
“Café la Ruche is not closed yet,” said Bill Starrels, neighbor to the restaurant and the local advisory neighborhood commissioner. “We will miss Jean Claude and Cafe LaRuche. He has provided years of good food and been a friend to his neighbors. Chez Billy will pick up the French flair and continue the French tradition.”
Film on D.C.’s Fashion World Takes City Beyond Politics
Natalie Koltun • June 27, 2014
The film, “The Politics of Fashion: DC Unboxed,” premiered June 3. Touted as Washington’s first-ever fashion documentary, it showcases the hidden fashion industry of D.C. that is often overshadowed by politics. The event, hosted by Svelte, LLC, began with a red carpet, followed by a screening of the film and an after party, sponsored by Mazza Gallerie.
The goal of “DC Unboxed” is to show Washingtonians that there is more to the city than just politics, as told by those who know it best. Elaine Mensah, founder of Svelte, LLC, and writer, director and producer of the documentary, sought to use this film as a medium to share D.C.’s evolution in fashion and retail, as well as to address the future of the fashion industry in the nation’s capital and discredit misperceptions about Washington consumer interest.
The cast includes Pulitzer-Prize winning fashion critic Robin Givhan, founder of T.H.E. Artist Agency Lynda Erkiletian, Karen Sommer Shalett, former editor-in-chief of D.C. Modern Luxury Magazine, Kate Glassman Bennett, editor-in-chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and many others.
After releasing her documentary, Mensah said she hoped it would bring together the D.C. fashion community and generate interest in investing in the variety of creative opportunities in the Washington area.
“DC Unboxed” will have a second screening Tuesday, June 17, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St., NW. For details, visit [thepoliticsoffashion.com](https:/www.thepoliticsoffashion.com).
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Georgetowner • June 11, 2014
This summer’s style turns back the clock and lands somewhere in the 70s. The quiet vibes and relaxed greenery of Sherwood Forest in Anne Arundel County make for a laid back weekend escape. Dig out your vintage suit or shop around for retro cuts and colors mixing old and new this season.
Photography Angie Myers
Styling Corrie Dyke
Hair & Makeup Jessica Ariane for T H E Artist Agency
Models Katie Andersen & Michael Ryann for T H E Artist Agency [gallery ids="101739,141974,141980,141978,141962,141967,141970" nav="thumbs"]
Sneakers at The Ball
Corrie Dyke • June 5, 2014
Gala season is in full swing. And as inspired by this issue’s fashion editorial, everyone also has a different ball on the mind – – basketball. As your Saturday nights fill with black tie affairs and your March Madness brackets continue to bust, make room for the season’s starting line-up featuring Jimmy Choo and others embracing the sporty chic sneaker trend. As seen all over the runway, take these court-friendly numbers to this season’s best balls. [gallery ids="101682,144152,144154,144133,144136,144141,144144,144149" nav="thumbs"]
Upscale Resale: Georgetown’s Boutiques
With crisp temperatures and the holidays quickly approaching, nothing is quite as refreshing as updating your fall and winter wardrobe. And while it sounds festive, a closet makeover may not bring much cheer when shopping for high-end items on a budget. However, five second-hand stores and consignment shops here in Georgetown are keeping resale upscale, trendy and, most importantly, affordable.
Ready to update your fall wardrobe? Let’s get shopping.
Buffalo Exchange is a national chain that opened its store at M & Potomac a year ago. The store has both women’s and men’s clothing and shoes as well as women’s accessories. The store is not consignment, but resale where trades are made over the counter and sellers paid on the spot. Those selling items can either receive 50 percent of the sale price for store credit, or be paid 30 percent in cash. Store credit never expires and can be used at any Buffalo Exchange. The Georgetown store’s associate manager Sade Persad says the store buys in items based on what is current and trendy.
“From Target to Saks, we don’t look for certain brands.” Persad said. “If it’s something that we feel reflects our customers, we buy it in.”
The personal aspect is appealing to Persad, who said the store interacts with customers to cater to what they are shopping for. Inventory reflects local shoppers, making every Buffalo Exchange store different.
Persad advised to check out the store frequently as inventory is constantly changing and items can sell within five minutes of being on the floor.
Buffalo Exchange works with local charities and also holds a number of promotional events.
Buffalo Exchange is located at 3279 M St., NW. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 7 p.m., Sunday.
Krista Johnson opened Ella-Rue, a high-end consignment shop, in November 2010. The boutique is named after Krista’s two rescue dogs: Ella, a Pit Bull, and Rue, a Jack Russell terrier.
The store is light and bright, and clothes line both walls with two small curtain-drawn dressing rooms at the back.
“I designed the store to emulate your super fabulous, hardworking and maybe famous friend’s closet,” Johnson said.
Opening a store had been a dream of Johnson’s since she was a little girl. When the economy went sour, she decided to open a high-end consignment store.
Both Johnson and store manager Lolly Amons are local, yet their consigners span beyond Georgetown.
“We have clients all over the country so our store has closets from Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Hawaii, Palm Beach and South Hampton,” Johnson said. Ella-Rue carries new with tag items from top designers like Shoshanna, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel.
Most of the women’s clothing and accessories in the store have an East Coast vibe, according to Amons, and consignors get a 50-50 split of the final sale price.
Ella-Rue holds fundraisers for charities and often supports animal rescues. It will host a third-anniversary party in early November.
Ella-Rue is at 3231 P St., NW, and is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday.
The newest consignment shop on the block is Reddz Trading, which opened in June. Owner Wendy “Red” Ezrailson opened her first trading store three years ago in Bethesda, Md. But Ezrailson’s retail experience didn’t start there. She and her husband owned Commander Salamander and Up Against the Wall in Georgetown for 40 years, before taking on consignment.
Back in her “old stomping ground,” Ezrailson said her vision for Reddz was to make it look like a boutique. “I wanted to make it look really nice inside so people shop in a good atmosphere,” she said. The store boasts bright red doors with accents of red décor on the inside.
Reddz merchandise includes brands from J. Crew through high-end designers. Ezrailson said the store is diverse— you could be looking for anything from a Chanel suit for $800 to a J. Crew top for $18. “I like that we have a nice variety in the store—letting everyone in— not feeling rejected in anyway,” she said.
The store carries women’s clothing and accessories and men’s clothing, however Ezrailson said she’s waiting for men to bring in items. Shopping at Reddz is all about looking for the treasure, according to Ezrailson. Sellers receive 30 percent for the item or 45 percent in the form of a trade card to use in the store.
“You will have a great experience selling your clothes with us,” she said.
Trading at Reddz happens at 1413 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Open 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m., Sunday.
Back on M Street is another consignment chain, whose flagship store started just outside of Boston 40 years ago. Second Time Around has seen a lot of foot traffic in Georgetown, according to the store manager Lauren Broccoli.
Broccoli said college students are catching on to the idea of resale. “Clients are telling their friends and it’s a great way to replenish your wardrobe,” she said.
Second Time Around carries women’s clothing, shoes and bags at their Georgetown location. Broccoli said the store is special because people are “on the hunt” for something unique but always walk out surprised. The shop stands out because it has a little of everything, catering to an age demographic of 17 to 75, according to Broccoli.
Consignment payment with the store is monthly and consignors receive 40 percent of the final sale. Consigning a high-end designer handbag will get you 50 percent of the sale. Clients can keep the sale as in-store credit for wardrobe recycling.
Second Time Around is at 3289 M St., NW, and open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday; noon to 6 p.m., Sunday.
The last stop of chic consignment in Georgetown is Tari.
The boutique feel of Tari causes many customers to walk in unknowing it’s consignment.
“We try to find our balance within it,” Alida said. “Overall it’s a positive and people enjoy the shopping experience.”
Tari takes in moderate brands to high-end designers and vintage pieces.
“Always expect to find some little treasure here,” Alida said.
The store is affiliated with D.C. Fashion Foundation and supports local designers by featuring their pieces every season. Tari has both women’s and men’s clothing as well as women’s accessories.
Owner Sara Mokhtari builds relationships with clients through the store’s unique consignment process. Consignors have a 50-50 split. Items in the store are marked at 65-75 percent off retail and new items with tags are marked at 50 percent. Consignors get a 60-40 split if they make the sale for store credit.
“It’s always great to take a peek in because you never know what kind of deal you will find,” Alida said.
Tari is located at 1525 Wisconsin Ave., NW., and open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through [gallery ids="118755,118752" nav="thumbs"]
Jhane Barnes Honored at ‘Portfolio in Motion Uncut’
Georgetowner • May 21, 2014
Redskins apparel, evening and bridal wear, swimwear, menswear and children’s clothing – Marymount University’s 2014 student fashion show, “Portfolio in Motion Uncut,” highlighted a bit of everything. The lines of alumni were also featured at the May 1 show, inspired by industrial art.
Designer Jhane Barnes was in attendance and received Marymount’s 2014 Designer of the Year Award in recognition of her innovative menswear and textiles and her creative use of mathematics in the design process.
Jummy Olabanji, Emmy award-winning reporter and anchor at WJLA-TV, served as Mistress of Ceremonies. Olabanji also teaches a fashion research and communication course at the university. In the professional-quality production, created by the fashion merchandising students, the jury-selected garments were modeled by Marymount students from across the university. Set design, lighting, music and choreography provided a clean, minimalist, cutting-edge environment to showcase the innovative fashions on the runway.
In addition to the senior lines, there were themed scenes that included fashion-forward Redskins fan wear and garments made from fabric donated by Eileen Fisher, Marymount’s 2012 Designer of the Year.
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Local Startup Stylecable Pops Up at 1776
Corrie Dyke • April 21, 2014
From the outside, D.C.’s startup hub 1776 looks like any other downtown office building. The lobby is bathed in dark marble, and an I.D. is needed to proceed to the elevator. But step onto the top floor and you land on a shared office space and event venue mash-up, filled with young entrepreneurs and startups working in the physical home of their virtual business. From artists to techies to fashion, 1776 houses a mix of businesses and hosts various events in the space after hours. On April 23, online retailer Stylecable will host its official launch party with a pop up shop and evening with the store’s local designers.
Uyen Tang, founder of Stylecable, started the site a year ago and went live in November of 2013. Tang started her business after traveling as a Foreign Service officer and collecting a wardrobe that spanned the world.
“People would say, ‘Oh, my gosh, where did you get that?’ and I would have to tell them a random country, where they couldn’t access it,” Tang said.
Her original idea behind Stylecable was to bring those hard-to-find pieces to the U.S. market and showcase emerging fashion designers.
After leaving the Foreign Service, Tang received her MBA from Wharton Business School, worked in management consulting for a little more than two years and then took the plunge into starting her own business.
After researching online retail options like Etsy, Tang took classes through the Founder Institute and launched Stylecable.
“Designers can really shine on the site,” Tang said of the connection shoppers can have as a fan of the 13 and counting designers featured on Stylecable. Currently, all of the site’s designers are entrepreneurial women selected by Tang who also hand selects all of the products to fit Stylecable’s “modern and edgy” style.
In the future, Tang is looking to explore men’s wear, a brick and mortar store and a pre-order function on the site for designers to show their upcoming designs.
The pop up party on April 23 will host around 500 people and give shoppers the opportunity to feel and try-on the products. Sarah Cecelia Jewelry will be one of the many local designers at the launch party and will give a demonstration of her jewelry line.
The party runs 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 1776, 1133 15th Street NW. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite.com/e/stylecable-pop-up-party-tickets-10939208467. Visit Stylecable.com/ to learn more about the designers and see their products.
Highlights of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: Spring 2014
Pamela Burns • April 11, 2014
Here are some highlights from New York City’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, held Sept. 5 through 12. The show featured Spring 2014 collections from the world’s most prestigious designers. More than 100 designers were represented on the runway.
Watch out for the Sept. 25 Georgetowner, which will include many more of the fashions seen at this season’s show. [gallery ids="101452,153602,153594,153597,153604" nav="thumbs"]
The Guest Of Honor
Georgetowner • March 13, 2014
Modern brides are choosing less traditional venues to tie the knot. As brides branch out, it can be tough to find the perfect outfit to take from the beach to vineyard to church. The trick is to find a versatile dress and switch up the accessories. With the right dramatic jewelry, you’ll be covered for all your saved dates, no matter the backdrop. [gallery ids="101656,145174,145149,145155,145160,145176,145163,145169" nav="thumbs"]