EVEN A GLOOMY March Monday didn’t deter me and Little Bird Kathy from stopping in at the five-month-old Sid Mashburn & Ann Mashburn store on the site once occupied by the Neyla restaurant in Georgetown.
We received a friendly greeting as we walked through the clubby-looking men’s store (that’s the Sid part) with an entrance on N Street through to the women’s store (the Ann part) that fronts on Prospect, pausing to admire a display of men’s shoes. Note to self: persuade husband to purchase a pair of luscious-looking chocolate suede tassel loafers.
Exposed white brick walls, whitewashed antique furniture and big windows distinguish the Ann side of the soaring, modern 7,200-square-foot space, where Kathy and I chatted up a sales associate. Alongside the Ann Mashburn designed-and-produced clothing and accessories are a selection of other brands, including Sonia by Sonia Rykiel (designed by Rykiel’s daughter), J. Brand, Joseph, Harris Wharf, K. Jacques (sandals), Saint James (marinières) and jewelry from Aurelie Bidermann and Lizzie Fortunato.
Kathy had her eye on a pale blue-and-white tweed T-shirt-shaped top, while I could see myself in a Sonia by Sonia Rykiel striped fleece sweater. We both coveted the Ann Mashburn yellow taffeta drop-waist dress saleswoman Nya Alemayhu was wearing, which she deftly accessorized with a skinny scarf. The shiny white cashier desk tempted with my favorite Tata Harper skin products. Another attraction: Shirts, sold in different styles and fabrics like broadcloth, poplin, pique, linen and chambray.
Vintage books and records sit next to Laguiole knives and Mason Pearson hairbrushes, arty staplers and Timex watches, all set out in the glass-ceilinged space connecting the two stores. Mashburn PR woman Scottie Walden explains: Husband-and-wife team Ann and Sid want “to curate your life as well as your wardrobe.”
So, who are Ann and Sid Mashburn, anyway? Sid was a menswear designer for J. Crew in the mid ‘80s before going on to Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Lands’ End. He opened his first Sid Mashburn store in Atlanta in 2007, followed by branches in Houston and then D.C. and Dallas. Oh, and by the way, GQ gave Sid Mashburn its number-one spot on its top-ten list of independent men’s stores in the country in 2015. Ann worked for Polly Mellen at Vogue, then as an editor/stylist at Glamour and later as an in-house stylist for J.Crew. After a few years in Atlanta, the couple decided to expand in 2010 and open a women’s counterpart, showcasing Ann’s personal blend of chic and classic.
Come early summer, look for a coffee bar to be added to the space as part of the brand’s commitment to make its stores a destination. Kathy and I will be back before then.
Janet Kelly is the editor of MyLittleBird. Read more about her.
Ann Mashburn: Upper level. 3251 Prospect St. NW, 202-864-0367. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and by appointment. annmashburn.com.
Sid Mashburn: 3206 N St. NW, 202-864-0365, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and by appointment. sidmashburn.com.