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U Street gets high-fashion destination for the leather-and-spikes set

A mural inside Rosies and Rockers

The sign going up

Watch out, U Street. The punk invasion is here. But don’t think you’ve seen anything like this before—the Rosie’s and Rockers boutique focuses on “pinup style—but wearable pinup“ clothing, says store vice president Mateen Khan.

The idea behind the brand is to carry clothes that straddle the line between edgy and “something you could wear to work or to a night out with your friends.” The 1200-square-foot store, located on the second floor of 2001 13th St. NW, will be stocking brands like Straight To Hell, Tripp NYC, Sourpuss and Kreepsville 666, many of which aren’t available anywhere else in D.C. Think leather, spikes, animal prints, and more, for grownups and teens. 

Commander Salamander and Up Against The Wall were the only places in D.C. where fashionistas could get this look, Khan says, “and ever since they closed their doors there hasn’t been a substantial store that would cater to that environment…there’s a huge market for it here.” Khan is also banking on the patronage of visitors to nearby musical venues like The Black Cat and U Street Music Hall.

It’s a bit of a personal project for Khan, who has more than a decade in the fashion industry. “I’ve always gravitated toward more unique…garments. When you go to a regular store, a Macy’s, you find this very clean-cut look. And that’s not me.”

Khan and his partners are working on the store's final permits and hopes to open within a couple of weeks. A grand opening party will follow shortly after.

Read more articles by Rachel Kaufman.

Rachel is the managing editor of Elevation D.C. She also covers tech, business and science for publications nationwide. She lives in Brookland.
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