Arlington, VA

The Made in Arlington store in Courthouse has begun its weekly holiday pop-up series.

The shop, which is open year-round in the Plaza Branch Library at county government headquarters (2100 Clarendon Blvd), features locally-made wares and Arlington-themed products.

Its holiday pop-ups will be held every Thursday through December 19, during lunchtime hours from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., save for Thanksgiving.

“The Made in Arlington pop-up shop is a great place to find those one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays while supporting local businesses at the same time,” said Cara O’Donnell of Arlington Economic Development. “From ceramics to chocolates and much more, the artistry and craftsmanship demonstrated by these Arlington vendors is truly outstanding. This pop-up shop is a wonderful way to celebrate that artistry while finishing your holiday shopping list.”

The list of pop-up vendors includes:

Artisan Confections owner Jason Andelman, who has sold chocolates in the area for over 13 years, said the pop-up is a way “to showcase our products for the holidays to a local crowd.”

On Thursday, November 21, Andelman says he’ll be selling a collection of Thanksgiving pie-flavored chocolates, made exclusively for the pop-up, featuring flavors such as apple, cherry, pumpkin and blackberry.

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The women’s clothing boutique Malena has reopened in Courthouse (2111 Wilson Blvd) after a 40-year run on the second level of the Rosslyn Metro Mall.

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.

The boutique specializes in women’s clothing, featuring smaller designers such as Parsley and Sage and Clara Sun Woo.

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.”

The new Malena has kept the same ownership under longtime Washington resident Mercedes Cecchi. Cecchi’s husband, Guiseppe Cecchi, was one of the original developers of the Watergate complex.

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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.”

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A new trendy clothing and accessories store is now joining the ranks of businesses opening up in the Ballston Quarter mall.

Called Francesca’s, the new store opened today (Friday) and sells women’s apparel as well as shoes, hats, jewelry, and hair accessories.

Ballston is one of several D.C. area locations for the chain, which also has opened up shop in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, as well as in D.C, Tysons, Springfield, and Alexandria. Despite the local expansion, the company has also faced some recent struggles.

The new store occupies a 1,600 square foot space on the second story of the mall, across from another women’s clothing store, Gossip Boutique, and watch retailer Bering.

A PR rep told ARLnow that the store is offering a buy one, get one 60% off deal through Wednesday, August 21.

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Update at 5:15 p.m. — The store is actually expected to open next week, a PR rep says, correcting an error in an earlier press release.

Earlier: Hot on the heels of UNTUCKit’s Pentagon City opening, fellow trendy clothing store and caps-lock enthusiast G-Star RAW is set to open a location this fall.

The “eco-friendly, luxury denim brand,” as a press release describes it, is expected to open in October next to the Victoria’s Secret on the first level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

The Dutch fashion brand is a destination for Canadian tuxedo enthusiasts, in addition to celebrities and race car drivers. G-Star RAW sells jeans, denim shirts and jackets, in both men’s and women’s varieties, in addition to an array of non-denim clothing and accessories.

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A new LensCrafters store is now open in Ballston.

Last week marked the grand opening of LensCrafters in Ballston Quarter (4238 Wilson Blvd). It replaces a former LensCrafters store at the mall that closed prior to its renovations. 

Located on the ground floor of an outdoor portion of the mall, LensCrafters offers eye exams and sells prescription glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses. 

“Customers can expect to find innovative technology, the newest styles, and unparalleled personalized service,” at the store, a mall PR rep said in an email. “They offer a wide range of prescription lenses for eyeglasses and sunglasses, perfectly tailored to your lifestyle.”

The location is open Monday-Saturday, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and on Sunday, from 12-6 p.m.

The store is running a 50% discount on complete pair of glasses though Friday, Aug. 2. 

Photo (3) courtesy Ballston Quarter

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Morning Notes

Ribbon Cutting for Revamped Rosslyn Safeway — “Safeway will unveil renovations to its Rosslyn store at 1525 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, VA, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 10 am on Friday, July 12.” [Press Release]

More on Real Estate Boom Forecast — “Real estate agents and local economists said inventories are so sparse that some popular Zip codes in Arlington and Alexandria show no homes for sale at all. They added that investors are pouring into the market, looking to turn homes into rental properties.” [Washington Post, InsideNova]

Acosta Signs Books in Clarendon — CNN correspondent Jim Acosta showed up to an sparsely-populated Barnes and Noble store in Clarendon for a “surprise signing” of his book “The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America.” [Twitter]

Workers Vote for Strike at DCA — “On June 12, airline food workers who prepare, pack, and deliver food and beverages served onboard American Airlines flights departing from Reagan National Airport voted 100% to strike when released by the National Mediation Board.” [Press Release]

New Local Store at DCA — “The District of Columbia Department of Small & Local Business Development (DSLBD) and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) today celebrated the grand opening of the Made in DC retail pop-up at Reagan National Airport, providing a new national and international presence for local makers and small business owners.” [Press Release]

ARLnow’s Press Release Section — For the next week, we’re experimenting with posting press releases directly on a special section of our site. Let us know what you think. [ARLnow]

Photo by Vernon Miles

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UNTUCKit, a clothing brand focused on untucked, professional shirts, has just launched a new store in Pentagon City.

The new store opened late last week on the second floor of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.

According to a press release:

UNTUCKit was created in 2011 to solve the problem of the long, sloppy look of untucked and ill-fitting dress shirts, by designing shirts that are meant to be worn untucked. They’ve since introduced categories ranging from t-shirts and polos to sports jackets and performance wear — plus, the launch of women’s and boys’ lines in 2017.

UNTUCKit at Pentagon City was the brand’s 61st store nationwide and the third in the region.

“We’re excited to be here, even closer to the District,” said Tomas Kurtz, assistant manager at the Pentagon City location. “It’s a new brand and we’re excited to see it grow.”

Kurtz said the store stands out for the way staff works closely with customers to find the right cut and style for them.

“It’s interesting because it’s not at all like a department store,” said Kurtz. “If you come in, you get fitted and staff will help walk you through it. It’s very personalized.”

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Ballston Quarter will soon welcome a new clothing retailer, store owners say.

Women’s fashion boutique Scout & Molly’s is set to host a ribbon-cutting for a new Arlington location on Wednesday, June 5, according to a press release about the opening. On Saturday, June 8, the store is scheduled to host a grand opening.

The North Carolina-based company sells clothing and shoes from mid-to-high-end brands including French Connection and Spanx.

“On Wednesday evening from 5-7 p.m., guests can enter for a chance to win a raffle prize and enjoy a free gift with purchase,” the press release noted. “During Saturday’s Grand Opening Celebration from noon-6 p.m., everyone will have the chance to select a surprise egg, with a discount or special gift waiting inside.”

Grand opening attendees will have a shot at snagging $15 gift cards, which store owners said will go to the first 50 customers on June 8.

“Women of all ages and styles will feel like they’re browsing in their best friend’s closet, with a wide array of options for unique gifts, an outfit for a special occasion, or just seasonal fashion inspiration,” said Betsy Abraham, who co-owns the Ballston shop with her mother Jane.

The pair opened their first Scout & Molly’s franchise in Reston two years ago.

Mall owner Forest City announced last April that Scout & Molly’s would open in the newly-renovated Ballston Quarter, along with four other new retailers.

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Morning Notes

Fatal Crash Along I-395Updated at 10:05 a.m. — Virginia State Police are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash that happened on the ramp from northbound I-395 to Washington Blvd. [ARLnowWTOP]

County Board Planning Tax Rate Hike — “Owners of a typical Arlington single-family home will see this year’s real-estate tax bill rise 4.95 percent to more than $8,400 under the county government’s fiscal 2020 budget slated for approval this week. County Board members on April 18 tentatively opted for a 2-cent increase in the real estate tax rate, bringing it to $1.026 per $100 assessed value and making Arlington the only jurisdiction in Northern Virginia’s inner suburbs to impose a tax-rate increase on homeowners this year.” [InsideNova]

UNTUCKit Coming to Pentagon City Mall — Internet-born clothing brand UNTUCKit, which specializes in button-down shirts intended to be worn untucked, is planning to open on the second level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall, next to Nordstrom. [Twitter]

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Customers walking into the new luxury shoe store “JŪS4thqtr” on Lee Highway may be surprised to be greeted by a wall of juice bottles.

The real way in is through a refrigerator door, which pushes open into a showroom with illuminated shelves of footwear and display cases holding high-end fashion.

Founders Shadi Ello, 24, and Mohamed Sha, 27 told ARLnow that the speakeasy entrance is all part of a feeling of “community engagement” they wanted to cultivate since opening last month. It’s also why they show only display shoes, Ello said, to encourage customers to ask store employees about sizing and color options.

“The minute someone puts that on their foot, it’s a wrap,” said Ello, who explained the store only carries “deadstock,” or never-before-worn sneakers purchased from retailers. “This is not a Foot Locker.”

The store is located in an unassuming, low-slung shopping center at 5139 Lee Highway. Initially, Ello said he was worried about attracting enough customers to a high-end boutique in “deep Arlington” but so far they’ve had enough customers to start running out inventory.

JŪS stocks about 4-5 glow-in-the-dark Yeezy 750 Boosts that run $1,000 and several sneakers from the Off-White Airmax 90 collection for $750. For women, there’s a selection of kicks from Adidas and Travis Scott in size 5 for $500.

The most expensive shoe is the ‘Not For Resale’ Air Jordan 1s selling for $1,500.

“The shoes just generate foot traffic,” said Ello, who acknowledged many of the shoes “are outrageously priced” by design. Most of the store’s revenue comes from its apparel, he said.

The clothing sold at JŪS includes a $35 JŪS-branded shirt, $200 for a leather body vest from Maryland designer Daniel Green’s brand “Insane Cult”, and a $1,000 Dior sweatshirt.

Ello, who grew up in Arlington and attended Wakefield High School, expected most of his customers to be in high school or their mid-20’s, and was surprised by the number of middle schoolers shopping to resell kicks.

He jokes that the 11-year-olds “like to give me a hard time” about the prices but he enjoys them coming by.

“It’s not illegal, and it’s keeping them in a safe, clean environment selling shoes,” he said.

Ello, Sha, and a third co-founder say they signed a lease in the shopping center six months ago.

After three weeks of steady business, they say they’re working on turning the basement into a space for photo shoots and pop-up fashion galleries. The store’s Instagram account has already filled with some of the modeling shots.

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