If there’s such factor as a style capital within the nation’s capital, Georgetown is arguably the winner. With loads of outlets, each high- and lower-end, there’s a big selection of choices — however even with such selection, the district is lacking a really designer providing. Barney’s, on the higher portion of M Avenue, bought the job carried out — however the chain closed way back. Just a few blocks away from there may be Relish, a girls’s boutique that’s flourished within the District for twenty years. Now, the store is increasing its choices to incorporate menswear — and filling fairly a gap within the course of.
Upon strolling into the intense and alluring house, I met with proprietor Nancy Pearlstein to speak concerning the preliminary set of manufacturers for Relish’s menswear assortment. She mentioned the thought to department out is two-fold: She began her profession in menswear and liked the product, however didn’t convey males’s clothes into the shop till downtime throughout COVID made her mirror on the variety of males who would stroll into Relish and ask about males’s choices. The extra she considered it, the extra she was decided to offer it a shot.
Sporting a multi-color fuzzy knit and a trendy set of thick, round-framed black glasses, Pearlstein’s personal sartorial sense displays Relish’s cultivation-first strategy. Their males’s choices will embody manufacturers like Dries Van Noten, Marni, Music for the Mute, Sunspel and extra. “Once I go right into a division retailer, they purchase the loudest, weirdest piece that I see,” Pearlstein tells me. “Once I go into Dries, as an illustration, I attempt to purchase issues which have some style to them however [are] positively relatable and have some traditional use to them, so a man can relate to it. In that sense, our imaginative and prescient, our eye and the way we take a look at issues may be a bit totally different than a few of the different shops which may have carried these items prior to now.”
Manufacturers like Dries and Marni are tougher to seek out within the DC space, usually included as a small providing in locations like Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue — i.e., locations which are barely extra of a trouble to get to, moderately than simply strolling to Georgetown. Relish is positioning itself as an inherently accessible choice — each by way of location and its vary. As such, the Dries choice I noticed — a white and green-ish leopard-print cardigan that appears like somebody ran it via an x-ray machine — has a sample that wouldn’t be misplaced at an H&M. But, as a result of it’s Dries, it’s constructed from an inherently luxe materials and carried out in a approach that’s acquainted but totally different. That refined rigidity describes what Relish is stocking, which features a handful of knits, jackets, pants and shirts.
Trying across the bottom-floor house the place the menswear is displayed, you’ll discover it’s a good edit. It’s sparse however by design, as Pearlstein notes: The boys she is aware of don’t need to are available in and wade via a bevy of various choices. As an alternative, it’s a mushy launch all about promoting a sure vibe. “If his aesthetic is just like our aesthetic, he can be drawn to every thing in right here as a result of he’ll just like the extra understated but thrilling view,” she says. “We’re focusing in on this group, this query that, hopefully, we’ll discover. I feel it takes time to domesticate that sort of particular person.”
The preliminary collection of menswear is a little bit of an aperitif, a style of what Relish goals to flesh out if the choices resonate with that individual crowd. “Coming into spring, we’ll positively be at a broad vary of picks,” Pearlstein states. “I purchased very small firstly as a result of I need to see the response — what guys take into consideration what we’ve right here, what they like [and] what they don’t like.” She hopes the gathering will develop and evolve through the years, similar to the womenswear facet of the enterprise has.
Regardless of DC not being essentially the most fashion-forward metropolis (regardless of a handful of sturdy retailers), Pearlstein is optimistic. “I do see trendy guys right here in Washington — there are some guys that I see that I feel would positively relate to this sort of stuff,” she says. “It’s not outrageous. It’s possibly a bit much less conservative than what you usually see. However I don’t suppose we’re stepping out to the purpose the place they don’t relate.”
This text was featured within the InsideHook DC publication. Join now for extra from the Beltway.