Which Cool Retailers are Coming to DC?
DC's consumer base is younger and sophisticated than ever. And Warby Parker, Sid Mashburn, and Club Monaco have taken note.
Retail broker John Asadoorian will go to the ends of the Earth to find good retail. (This is him in Bondurant, WY this week; we expect to see a snowmobile store coming to Dupont soon.) He's representing the three out-of-town retailers in the search for new DC space. Atlanta-based Sid Mashburn was one of Ralph Lauren's early designers, John tells us, and also designed at J. Crew before going out on his own. And the other two have had a presence in DC before: Warby Parker had a pop-up bus in Georgetown last fall, and you might remember Club Monaco's old space on M Street in Georgetown—it closed in 2011.
Here's one of Warby Parker's NYC locations. John tells us the reason new retailers like Warby want a foothold in DC is because of an expanding resident base that's "young, discerning and interested in lifestyle," and isn't quite satisfied with the retail offerings outside the city. So naturally, John says, all three retailers are looking at space in areas where the young, discerning folks are gathering: Georgetown, 14th Street, Shaw, H Street and Downtown. (Based on the noise, they're also apparently gathering in the apartment above ours at 2am. But obviously it's zoned residential.)