From Dafna Steinberg. Follow her @AlizaySteinberg. Email her at dafna[AT]borderstan.com.
Vintage lovers, get excited… there’s a new store opening up, offering great one of a kind vintage pieces. Well… it’s not really a new store. Blue’s Hard Goods, the shop formerly known as Rue 14, has gone through an amazing transformation.
Racks that once held brands like Free People and Marc by Marc Jacobs are now lined with vintage workmen’s jeans, Varsity jackets and old sailor’s uniforms. The aesthetic is reminiscent 1950s blue collar. Or maybe it’s 1850s, considering the amount of Western Cowboy and Native American gear that decorates the store. Whatever it is, it is decidedly American.
I’ve noticed, as of late, that a lot of brands are sporting “Made in USA” tags. More and more brands (especially up and coming ones) are keeping things local rather than outsourcing to factories in China or other countries.
Perhaps, in the wake of this nationally political year, the fashion-conscious have also become somewhat patriotic. American Apparel aside, a number of local boutiques are selling more products made in the United States, and it’s impacting DC fashion trends. American made denim is coming back with a vengeance and I’ve noticed Western wear is beginning to creep into a lot of fashion forward street style.
And don’t forget bandanas! Andrew Nguyen, owner of Blues Hard Goods, has quite an obsession with vintage bandanas. His collection is substantial. In fact, one of the coolest pieces Nguyen has in his inventory is a scarf made entirely out of bandanas. By the clothing line “Mr. Vintage,” these scarves make a great addition to any urban cowboy’s wardrobe. Especially one who is conscious of buying US made products.
Another cool facet to Blues Hard Goods is Los Gitanos, a collection of women’s clothing hand picked and styled by Tara Papanicolas. Her aesthetic, like that of Blue’s Hard Goods, harkens to a romantic, bygone era.
Blue’s Hard Goods is located at 1803A 14th Street NW. Stop in to check out the store or stay hip to new inventory by following them on Instagram: @BluesHardGoods.
Stay tuned for another edition of Dafna’s fashion.
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From Cecile Oreste at danceDC
This weekend marks the two-year anniversary of Rue 14 located on 14th St. NW, just north of S St.. Owners Andrew Nguyen and Jiwon Paik-Nguyen plan to celebrate in style with champagne and cupcakes from Iza Cupcake — as well as a three-day sale.
Despite starting a new business during the troubled times of the recession, Rue 14 has been growing consistently since it opened and the Nguyens hope to expand their product offerings and eventually find a larger space.
I recently met up with Jiwon to talk about the business of fashion and to learn more about the men’s and women’s clothing boutique.
Borderstan: You and Andrew previously worked in New York for famous brands like Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren. What brought you to the District?
Jiwon: There is more opportunity in DC as there are not a lot of boutiques in the area. We wanted to bring a fresh, new store to DC that felt very local and not commercial. Our vision for the store was to recreate cool boutiques in New York City by offering a mix of well-known and up-and-coming designers.
We’re always on the lookout for something new and interesting. The style is forward thinking, not too cutting edge, but also not too conservative.
Borderstan: What made you choose 14th St.-Logan Circle for the location of your boutique?