This Underground Men’s Fashion Boutique Highlights DC Artists and Designers
When Amir Browder become developing up on Capitol Hill, he did something that few of his classmates at Archbishop Carroll High School may want to relate to. He would spend his lunch money to buy issues of his favored magazine, Arena Homme +, primarily based in London. “It’s like the Bible of men’s style, as a minimum five to ten years beforehand of favor developments,” he says. He didn’t are aware of it then, but that biannual e-book could quickly be the muse for his logo, Homme DC.
Browder, forty, bounced around from distinct bizarre jobs for years, all of the while dreaming of creating a luxury men’s boutique in Southeast DC: “I were given tired of continually seeing people visit Mazza Gallerie or Tyson’s Corner to shop for luxury apparel, and thought it would be cool to have outstanding, curated garb from neighborhood designers, hard to find designers, and luxury designers all placing within the same store.”
After working shifts as an operations assistant at Neiman Marcus, Browder would forestall using the Chanel boutique for proposal. “I’d examine it, and it became simplest like 12 or thirteen portions,” he says. “I became like, that’s how I’m gonna do my keep. I need 12 or 13 of the dopest portions.”
Despite now not understanding a way to pay for this type of boutique, Browder applied for a residency on the Anacostia Arts Center in 2014, and the application changed into permitted on his birthday. A buddy recommended Browder host pop-u.S.And show work using local artists and designers. Soon, he was booking artists every month. “It has become a cult-like following of these up-and-coming artists getting into the distance. Then it commenced evolving from that to artists of all disciplines. I started out getting actually booked, and the space exploded.”
With his success in Anacostia, Browder desired to move to a more critical region and discovered fifty two O Street Studios, home to a huge range of artists, designers, musicians, and writers. Sure, while he first toured the distance in 2016, there had been large, pricier, areas he was taken into consideration. But on his way out of the constructing, he observed a small, subterranean studio about the size of a dorm room and knew he’d discovered the only (“I walked in and stated, ‘I’ll take it,’ and that turned into it.”) The space can most effective suit among 15 to 30 humans. However the cramped quarters have turn out to be a catalyst for artists to community and exchange thoughts.
“I noticed the splendor in literally being underground,” Browder says. “I’ve finished the entirety right here from unbiased movie screenings to intimate dinners, listening events to underground tattoo pop-ups.”
On the windows of the gap, the phrase “guy” is written in Italian, Russian, Japanese, and, of course, French. “I just wanted human beings to remember the fact that irrespective of what language you communicate, we’re all of the same—guys, girls, and human beings at the give up of the day.”
A yr after shifting to O Street, Browder’s boutique stuck the attention of the retail managers at Reagan National Airport, and he opened a pop-up kiosk in Terminal C, promoting luxurious apparel and add-ons to vacationers. He was working thirteen-hour shifts, seven days a week for nine months. Now that his kiosk is closed, Browder can raise awareness completely on the studio, in which he showcases apparel from DC designers next to globally-diagnosed brands like Kenzo, Off-White, and AMI Paris.
“The apparel factor is based at the philosophy of small, neighborhood, and hard to discover, and I put them all together,” he says, displaying off a hat that becomes hand-stitched via Tommy Rogat III with portions of old denim. “You ought to curate them in a way in which it’s alluring to the eye and the excellent matches.”
Browder now hosts ordinary “Homme & Booze” occasions proposing wine and bourbon tastings from neighborhood distillers, tune using DJ Bijoux, and an exclusive artist’s work on the show whenever. The subsequent occasion is on April 6, from 5 to 10 PM, presenting a collection of art and apparel with the aid of Marly McFly, inspired using “the nostalgia of Saturday morning cartoons.”
Browder has plans to renovate the indoors of the studio. But for now, he’s just satisfied in case you prevent in for a drink, take a photograph to your Instagram, and choose up a chunk of apparel from a nearby fashion designer.