NO LONGER a phenom, pop-ups have become an established way for retailers to dip a toe into the shopping scene. Georgetown and 14th Street have been particularly popular areas of town to test concepts. Kit & Ace, touting its lighter, looser fits in wash-and-go fabrics, began with a wardrobe rack and table at Union Market before settling in Georgetown (there’s another in Bethesda); Shinola started with a small space in 2014 at 1534 14th St., NW, before a grand opening in 2015 farther up the street. Vintage and retro-clothing e-tailer ModCloth is on a five-city tour; its Georgetown temporary brick & mortar shop (in the space once occupied by Urban Chic) goes through June 25 .
Not everything succeeds. West Elm opened a pop-up on M Street several years ago but then closed and never opened a permanent location there. The sister company to Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn has branches in Logan Circle and Tysons Corner.
Although the San Francisco-based clothing and accessories brand doesn’t have plans to open permanently, its motto of fewer, high-quality pieces has resonated with customers. The Georgetown pop-up at 1249 Wisconsin Ave., NW, has extended its stay until July 31. (It opened on April 15 and was expected to be gone by May 22.) According to a spokesperson, “they’re staying because of strong customer support!” The most popular products include baby alpaca oversized sweaters, long-sleeve silk shirt dresses and silk tees.
Founders Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah want their customers to feel a connection with their brand. “The pieces themselves reflect the culture of the country where it was made and the skill of the craftsman. All our cashmere scarves are made in Scotland from Scottish cashmere, by a family-owned supplier. Our capes are made of baby alpaca, cut and sewn in Peru, and the alpaca itself comes from Peru, too.” To make items more special to their customer, Cuyana (which means to love in an Andean language spoken in parts of South America) will monogram them.
— Janet Kelly
Janet Kelly is the editor of MyLittleBird. She last posted on fashion exhibits you should catch this summer.