2025 Benning Road , NE
This DC fashion company and store are owned by Curtis "Curtbone" Chambers. His original sportswear designs grow out of a DC aesthetic and can be seen on in the city on local stars Lavar Arrington, Allen Iverson, and Curt Smith. Alldaz is also invested in the District's community, sponsoring local teams and contributing to clothing drives and nonprofits. But don't think that this athletic wear will stay inside the diamond -- Alldaz is prepped for "Taking Over All Urban Areas."
Alvear Studio Design & Imports
705 8th Street , SE
This Barracks Row store carries art, home furnishings, leather bags, accessories, and jewelry made by Latino artists. While their merchandise is on the expensive side, they do sell some cheaper items that are as unique as the rest of their inventory: world music CDs, scented candles, and feathery studded water bottle covers to add a little glam to your daily routine. Alvear also sells Frida Kahlo memorabilia and recently collaborated with Miramax Studios to host a premier party for Miramax's Frida movie.
Brian MacKenzie Infoshop
1426 9th St , NW
The Brian MacKenzie Infoshop is a non-profit, cooperatively run space that distributes and sells radical literature - books, zine, newspapers etc as well as independent CDs and records. The space also provides free public computer and internet access, hosts a radical reading library and an activist event bulletin board, and helps to plug people in to the local activist community. The Brian MacKenzie Infoshop hosts concerts, radical speakers, workshops, zine fairs and other events regularly. This small basement space packs a lot of activism into an almost hidden storefront and can provide a good introduction to a DC resident looking to learn about local (and global) radical movements.
Capital City Records
1020 U Street , NW
Capital City is a great source for DJs looking for hip hop and house. The music store is almost exclusively vinyl, and its selection spans old school and new. Records of all forms of dance music are available along with some DJ mixes. The best time to check out the store is friday night, when musicians come together for a hip hop jam session and free styling.
5536 Connecticut Ave , NW
Like most toy stores, this is a kid's dream. Most adults in Child's Play also to be brought back to their childhood enthusiasm. The store balances the products offered to kids and adults. Kids are faced with an array of educational toys, arts and crafts, costumes, videos, and toys. Adults find an impressive collection of board games and puzzles.
Go Mama Go!
1809 14th Street , NW
It's hard to tell from the outside, but Go Mama Go! is a huge store, packed with sushi plates (tons of them), paper lanterns, colorful glassware, local art, and furniture of the owner's design. The merchandise is spread out on low tables and bookshelves, giving the place the feel of a bazaar. Plan on spending a while shopping there because there's plenty to see.
1807 14th Street , NW
Home Rule's mission is "to bring fun, affordability, and access to retail in a city and business environment known more for suburban mall sprawl than vibrant, colorful downtown living." Spend a few minutes in the store, and you'll see that they've succeeded. Home Rule carries mostly kitchen and bath accessories but not the type sold in every big box store. Friendly-faced kids' forks that click together by holding hands and flexible baking dishes that promise no more half-stuck cakes are among the innovative takes on everyday items lining Home Rule's shelves. Pieces of shattered store front glass from the 1968 riots compose the counter, a meaningful nod to the history of the neighborhood Home Rule now brightens.
524 8th Street , SE
This funky little Barracks Row boutique carries handicrafts and gifts for all ages from around the world. The owners' vision--economic empowerment through self-suffiency and art--is reflected in Hoopla's many items made at cooperatives that pay living wages in developing countries. Some of the great finds at Hoopla include Tibetan prayer kites, handmade Guatemalan quilts, and bags made of vintage sari pieces. Hoopla also features the work of a local artist every month.
1234 H St , NE
Looks sells hip-hop and urban wear for men and women. Clinton Sharp, their president, designs many of the clothes for sale at Looks. Their look is simple -- the "o"s in looks have been converted into a pair of eyes and are embroidered on t-shirts, sweatshirts, and sweatpants. Looks also sells several other brands of both men's and women's clothing.
Mad T Music Box
2009 14th Street , NW
Mad T is a genuine neighborhood store with an excellent selection of music. The store specializes in R&B, Hip-Hop, Gospel, Jazz, Go-Go, Oldies, and International Music, and has a corner dedicated to local artists. The go-go section includes albums and PAs as well as mixes by Nico, a Mad T employee and local radio personality. Carlton Tucker, the store's owner, is always there and always friendly. Be sure to ask him about his fondness for cities in Texas.
Meeps Vintage Clothing
1520 U Street , NW
Meeps carries men's and women's vintage clothes from the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Someone must be very selective in choosing what to put on the racks because, unlike a lot of vintage stores, most of the clothes are great. The decor is as funky as the inventory; one room has a fake crackling fireplace. "Miss Meeps" makes her own designs and is very full of advice about how to shop for old clothes. Meeps also sells original clothes by local designers.
Politics and Prose
5015 Connecticut Avenue , NW
Politics and Prose is a literary one-stop shop. The bookstore has an excellent selection across a wide range of subjects and interests. Its sale room downstairs boasts some top quality choices that are surprisingly discounted. In addition, the coffeeshop is always filled with customers reading, working, and eating at their tables (along with a lucky few who get spots on the couch). Finally, the store regularly hosts lectures and book readings. All together, Politics and Prose creates a community drawn together from well beyond its neighborhood.
4215 Connecticut Ave , NW
For those wondering where to go after the demise of DCCD, Revolution is the latest incarnation of the DC indie rock store. The store's selection isn't huge, but pretty much everything it has is good. It's an independently owned store with a solid collection of punk, post-punk, indie, hip-hop and probably some other categories on any hipster's must have list. Plus, you can listen to whatever you want in their two listening rooms, one of which accommodates their small vinyl collection. If you're still looking for a reason to visit, every weekend they rock out with free in-store shows.
3212 Pennsylvania Ave , SE
Sabin's is DC's record store for DJs. The store is filled with vinyl, from used 80's records to the latest in hip-hop and go-go. Gospel fans should also check out Sabin's for its albums and videos. A selection of new popular albums also lines the wall behind the counter. (202-582-2000)
Sam "K" Records
1839 Georgia Avenue , NW
Sam "K" is a music store that feels like an overgrown kiosk. It has a small selection of CDs that line the walls from floor to ceiling, including all the recent popular hip-hop and R & B albums and some local music.
1412 Pennsylvania Avenue , SE
Shooters Sports is dedicated to the community of Southeast DC. Shooters' urban clothing captures the District's creative flair. Their stylish athletic wear and sweatsuits are popular not only in DC, but also in Baltimore and among some national celebrities. The store's name grows out of its philosophy: "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve through God; never stop Shooting for your goals."
832 Upshur St , NW
SOLO Sport is the latest local designer clothing store in the District. SOLO stands for Strive or Lose Out, and appears on many of the mens sweatsuits and jackets in the store. The unique lettering on this sportswear is a welcome addition to the retail scene of DC. Two designers and the owner opened this Petworth store for the beginning of 2005. They also provide custom embroidered designs for individual events, and sell a small variety of go-go bootlegs, knives, and watches.
5804-C Georgia Avenue , NW
The Squad sells men's and women's hip hop wear from labels like Sean John, Coogi, and Baby Phat and also has a good selection of fake Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Fendi bags. Target Squad, a local entertainment group owns the store. Check out their services.
705 North Carolina Avenue , SE
The Village is crowded with handmade ornaments, cards, pottery, fabric, clothes and other fun stuff from around the world. Visit often because their eclectic inventory is always changing.
3120 Georgia Ave , NW
Universal Madness opened in 1985 and was the first major black owned t-shirt line in DC. In the past, their clothes were carried in a variety of stores, including Foot Locker, Nordstroms, and JC Penney. Now, you have to go to their Georgia Avenue store to purchase their designs (although additional stores will be opening soon). The store's shirts, jeans, jackets, and jumpsuits all include a slick Universal Madness stamp. Wear something from Universal Madness to show off your of love DC creativity with style.
We R One
518 Florida Avenue , NW
Kenny Westray is a DC native who has turned his long time love of clothing and design into a successful fashion company. Athletic two-piece sets of denim, fleece, and velour make up the bulk of the collection, which is filled out by hats and other accessories. While We R One is based out of DC, Kenny has begun to spread his designs outside of the metro area. He became a co-designer for Master P's No Limit Clothing Company in 1999 and opened a branch of We R One in Houston, Texas. The national clothing line will come out in the fall of 2003, so get your gear first from DC while its hot.
Wild Women Wear Red
1512 U Street , NW
Shoe stores that claim to have functional shoes usually have an inventory reminiscent of orthopedic aids. However, at Wild Women Wear Red, they're not kidding: the shoes are comfortable and stylish. No, really. With names like Cydwoq, Camper, LisaNading, and Trippen, DC women's feet will finally be happy.
Willie's Records and Tapes
4665 South Capitol Street , SW
Willie's has the feel of a large chain - its selection is big, its prices are high, listening stations dot the store, and music accessories line one wall. Though a closer look reveals its DC flavor. Willie's carries a large selection of go-go and some local hip-hop and gospel. The used CD section is also pretty big for anyone looking for a more affordable alternative to their new CDs. The pictures on wall above the counter show that just as many famous customers have come through Willie's doors as normal people. Willie's is a good place to look for go-go, hip-hop, R&B, or gospel that you can't find elsewhere.
5768 Georgia Avenue , NW
Zebra Child, a "self-described old school new school culture shop," is one of the most original boutiques in the city. It carries mostly women's clothes, from gypsy-inspired flowing tops and graphic T's to jeans designed by a local artist and the owner's latest finds from New York. You can also pick up a Che Guevara or Bob Marley nylon poster, a Rasta or hemp hat, a flashy belt, and some soap or oil. The best thing about Zebra Child is its selection of hand-crafted crochet clothes and hats on sale in the store or made special order by the owner herself (who we hear has done some pieces for Erykah Badu!).