Store manager Andrea Cecchi said she started developing the online presence when Malena — which has been in business for four decades — had to close its Courthouse storefront last spring during the first wave of COVID-19 shutdowns.
“We’re very excited to offer this convenience to our customers, who can either pick up curbside or have us deliver,” Cecchi said. “Our existing customers already love this new service, and the new clothing lines we’ve added recently are also bringing new customers into the store.”
Cecchi had been considering online sales pre-pandemic to attract new, younger customers. She got to work when she could not keep the boutique open to in-person customers.
“We had no business during the more than three months we were closed, [so] we opened back up offering our customers pickup and delivery service, which evolved into our online store,” Cecchi said.
The store manager said it is hard to gauge the impact COVID-19 had on Malena because the boutique went through another big change six months before. After 40 years of business, Malena moved from Rosslyn Metro Mall to Courthouse in October 2019.
It had to close from March until last summer, Cecchi said.
“We reopened to very little foot traffic, which continues to this day,” she said. “We do still have many repeat customers from our previous location, but traffic to the store has been pretty light.”
This new option for customers will not affect the physical store’s hours or supplies, Cecchi said.
Malena Boutique is located at 2111 Wilson Blvd and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.
Euphoria, a flea market that has drawn huge crowds to Arlington’s normally quiet Barcroft neighborhood, went so viral on the social media app TikTok that it’s now on hold here while its founder figures out how to handle the newfound popularity.
The market was launched by Washington-Lee (now Washington-Liberty) High School graduate Fabricio Gamarra and features vintage sneakers, t-shirts and other carefully-curated items.
For four consecutive months, 20-year-old Gamarra got away with hosting Euphoria, which he describes as a “pop-up vintage market,” with his friend and business partner Chris Claure out of a parking lot on S. Buchanan Street in Barcroft. The market features Gamarra’s own vintage brand, Forbiidden Vintage, along with roughly a dozen local sellers selling everything from high-end streetwear to vintage sunglasses. And between the third and fourth event, he says, Euphoria’s popularity exploded.
“I woke up one morning to my friends texting me to check my phone, and I couldn’t believe it,” Gamarra said. “I thought, ‘Is this really happening?”
As it turns out, a friend of Claure who attended the Sept. 6 flea market posted about it on the popular short-form video app. The video has so far attracted more than 100,000 likes, in addition to thousands of comments like “Hold up Virginia? I’m going right now!” and “Finally something good in the DMV area.”
As of today, the video has more than 360,000 views.
Word caught on by the next Euphoria market, on Oct. 4. According to Gamarra, the line to enter stretched a mile long and people were lining up to enter all day. The crowd size and increased traffic also attracted the attention of the neighbors. Even though social distancing was in place and face masks were required, Gamarra says the Arlington County Police Department was alerted to the event.
“There are some safety issues we need to make sure are taken care of before we can have another market in Arlington, yeah,” Gamarra said. “We’re talking to the county to figure out what we can do. I’ve lived in Arlington since I was three and I believe it’s a great market to attract people from both Maryland, D.C., and Virginia. I want to make sure these events can continue here.”
A video of the October market, showing off the long lines and the collection of unique clothing, also went viral on TikTok. It has received nearly 40,000 likes since it was posted.
For now, Gamarra says the next market is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 15 in Silver Spring, Maryland, but he hopes to make it back to Arlington soon.
“Fingers are crossed we can do something bigger and better in Arlington, but of course, safety has to be the first priority,” he said.
The Arlington County Police Department is considering changing up the look of its dress uniform.
The “Class A” uniform — which differs from the standard navy patrol uniform worn by most officers in the field (the patrol uniform is green for K9 handlers) — is due for a change because its heather blue color is “increasingly difficult to obtain” from distributors, ACPD said.
The new options are navy blue and gray. The department is testing out both before reviewing feedback and making a decision.
More from a press release:
The Arlington County Police Department has launched a test and evaluation of new Class A dress uniforms. Members of the public can expect to see select officers wearing dress uniforms in navy blue or gray as they evaluate the fabric, fit, function and durability of these garments. All officers participating in the test and evaluation will be easily identifiable as Arlington County Police Officers as the test uniforms will be adorned with the police department’s patch, officer’s name tag and badge of authority.
The department proposed exploring new uniform options after discovering that unique uniform colors, including our current heather blue shirt and pant stripe, are increasingly difficult to obtain. The new Class A selection is expected to simplify and streamline the distribution of uniforms across the department.
The test and evaluation will occur through March 2020. The department will then review the feedback before selecting and implementing a new Class A uniform by the summer.
Which uniform option do you like best?
We hope you enjoyed our series of locally-themed t-shirts available for the holiday season.
Today, we’re going to show you some of the rejected shirt designs — and let you pick one to send to production. Here are the shirts that didn’t make the cut:
ARLnow logo shirt: It seems like kind of a no-brainer to produce a shirt with our logo on it. So we sent the logo to the designer with a note to “make this look cool… be creative!” The resulting design seemed, well, a bit like a t-shirt design from the early aughts. Maybe we’re wrong and it’s actually cool? We could potentially ditch the purple design elements on either side of the logo, if desired.
The Cheesecake Incident 2018: Continuing the theme of designing shirts that reference last year’s Cheesecake Factory incident in Clarendon and niche 1990s bands, we asked our designer to come up with a psychedelic design reminiscent of a String Cheese Incident tour shirt. It’s appropriately weird, but we weren’t sure it was distinctive enough to make the band reference clear.
Keep 23rd St. Weird shirt: We “borrowed” the rallying cry of businesses along the 23rd Street S. Restaurant Row in Crystal City and turned it into a shirt that looks kind of like those “Keep Austin Weird” shirts from Texas. It looks good, but it gave us pause to appear to be supporting any particular policy — in this case, preserving parking spaces for the businesses on a lot not owned by those businesses. Consider this shirt an expression of general support for local businesses on 23rd Street and for retaining some of Arlington’s unique and quirky places.
King of the North (Arlington): We really wanted to make this shirt design work to accompany the South Arlington 4 Life shirt. But after three rounds of revisions with our designers that came back disappointing and not sufficiently Game of Thrones-eque, we gave up. If you select this shirt, we’ll send it back for one last revision to add some color and maybe change the font. We might also make a “Queen of the North (Arlington)” variant.
Which of these designs should we revive and turn into a t-shirt for sale?
Nothing says “I support local business” like a t-shirt you ordered on Amazon that literally only says “Local.”
It started as a shirt that said “Local Is Everything,” our official slogan. The slogan came about when the designer of our website put it in the sketch as placeholder text and we decided we liked it enough to keep it.
The designs for our “Local Is Everything” shirt were decent — and you can order them below, too! — but we questioned whether anyone outside of our office would wear it. We then cut it down to just “Local” and that seemed cool, kind of like a trendy streetwear brand. Kind of.
Anyhow, now we’re offering you this stylish shirt so you, too, can express your general support of all things local.
This shirt will actually benefit local business — ours. We get about 25%, so please order some for the whole family. It looks like you won’t get your shirt before the holidays, so maybe this can be a post-New-Years present instead.
Get the “Local” shirt in the following styles:
You can also order our “Local Is Everything” shirts, which look best in the raglan style, in our opinion, as well as a PopSockets smartphone grip
*Editor’ note: We’re going to show you some of the rejected designs soon and let you vote to turn one of them into an actual shirt for sale.
Christmas is just a week away and let’s face it, you still need to shop for gifts.
Luckily, ARLnow has a sartorial alternative to lame “ugly holiday sweater”-style shirts. We’ve been rolling out a series of locally-themed shirts and today is the fourth installment of our 2019 holiday collection.
A bit of background: In reader surveys we’ve conducted, we constantly hear about the comments. Most people love our comments section and love to tell us about it. But a vocal minority hate it. They still seem to be reading the comments, curiously, but they tell us they really don’t want to.
For the ARLnow reader in your life who wants to make it clear to the latter group that they are not commenters on the site, we now have the perfect gift. Get the new “Definitely Not an ARLnow Commenter” shirt in the following styles now, in time for Dec. 25:
Whether you live in Crystal City, Pentagon City, Shirlington, Fairlington, Green Valley, Glencarlyn, Arlington Mill, Forest Glen, Barcroft, Alcova Heights, Arlington Heights, Penrose, Foxcroft Heights, Arlington View, Columbia Heights, Arlington Forest (the southern portion), Douglas Park, Columbia Forest, Claremont, Long Branch Creek, Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands, or in a van down by the river — did we cover all options? — this shirt proudly declares that living below Route 50 is totally cool.
Get your South Arlington 4 Life shirt in any of the following styles:
Two more local shirts are coming next week, just in time for the holidays.
The commentariat has spoken and ARLnow has listened.
The second item in our lineup of locally-themed apparel, just in time for the holidays, is our exclusive GONDOLA NOW! shirt.
Available in multiple hues so you can stand out at local meetings, the GONDOLA NOW! shirt tells the world that ariel lift transportation is, in fact, a perfectly modern and practical way to get from here to there. For instance, from Rosslyn to Georgetown.
The proposed Potomac gondola may be down — given its lack of support from the Arlington County Board — but it’s not completely out. After all, current Democratic County Board candidate Chanda Choun said last year that he would support “exploring this proposal” after exclaiming the very words on this shirt.
ARLnow does not endorse candidates nor transportation policy positions, but we do endorse looking good in shirts we designed. So get your GONDOLA NOW! apparel on Amazon in any of the following styles:
So perhaps you’re not familiar with 90s-era German digital hardcore band Atari Teenage Riot. But you are undoubtedly familiar with the infamous Cheesecake Factory incident in Clarendon that happened around this time last year.
To mark the one year anniversary of that nationally-reported piece of uniquely Arlington local news (and as the first in a series of ARLnow merch we’re offering in time for the holidays this year) we have a new t-shirt for your online shopping pleasure.
We’ll get a few bucks from your purchase but more importantly you’ll get a novelty t-shirt that only about a half dozen other people will truly understand. Happy holidays from ARLnow!
Malena shuttered its Rosslyn location in mid-August. Store employee Laura Nickle cited the move as a result of the $35 million redevelopment project at the Rosslyn Metro Center building.
This past Tuesday, October 8, the boutique opened its doors and celebrated its relocation with a grand opening party.
“All of our old customers are overjoyed that we didn’t move far,” said Nickle. “But we’re hoping the move to Courthouse brings in more foot traffic and people from the immediate area.”
A new women’s luxury consignment boutique is now open in Crystal City.
Agents in Style (576 23rd Street S.) features curated collections of designer clothing in sizes 0-3X, offered for a third of the normal retail price.
Customers walking into the house-turned-shop alongside S. Fern Street are immediately met with a hand-drawn greeting that says, “You Look Beautiful.”
“I wanted to create a space where everyone would feel welcome,” said owner Rhoda Wheeler.
Wheeler, who worked for years as an English teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools before moving into real estate marketing, always wanted to take her love of fashion to the next step.
“I live in this neighborhood,” said Wheeler, “And as I was walking to dinner with my husband one night, I saw the ‘For Rent’ sign, and the rest was history.”
The store accepts upscale brands such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes, along with clothing consigned from department labels Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, among others.
“I’ve always had a passion for thrifting and thinking about how we can reuse things,” she said. “I think fashion and style are fun, but I understand the need to make things last for a very long time.”
Agents in Style also features an affordable selection from the LA-based clothing company Ellison Apparel. Items such as a green suede jacket and a leopard-print skirt might not appeal to the same audience as those shopping for say, Chanel, but it’s a part of Wheeler’s vision for a more accessible store.
Wheeler hopes the store can be used as a space for all kinds of community events, from fundraisers to book clubs. For example, on Thursday, October 17, all proceeds from the store will go towards the American Cancer Society.
As for staff?
“It’s just me,” said Wheeler with a laugh. “I’m tired, but it’s a good kind of tired. It’s worth it.”