How One Brand Brought Swag to a Swagless City

This new retailer from the mind behind DURKL combines food, coffee, and clothing.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Washington, DC might not be the first place you think of for incredible menswear stores (or shopping in general). But that's about to change. 

DURKL founder Will Sharp and DC chef Erik Bruner-Yang just opened Maketto, a new brick and mortar in the city's H Street that's part menswear store, restaurant, and cafe that serves in-house baked goods and specialty coffee. The goal, according to Sharp and Bruner-Yang, is to have a store that would be "really good" anywhere—one that could compete with the shops in New York and Los Angeles. 

Sharp and Bruner-Yang, mindful that DC is a "hideout for mediocrity," want to use the lack of awareness about menswear and perhaps creativity to their advantage. They want Maketto to come into the story to be an edifying experience. "[Customers] come in and they're like, 'Fuck, I'm new to this, I've never really been to a really cool store. What am I? I wear J. Crew,' and so we kind of steer them in a direction," Sharp says. And there's plenty of different directions for customers to go in thanks to Maketto's selection of brands, which includes names from all over the world: Stutterheim, Wood Wood, Human Made, Black Scale, adidas, Vans, Red Wing, and Bedwin & The Heartbreakers ("The best fucking brand in the world," says Sharp).

Sharp acknowledges that there are fewer reasons to go to a retail store in person now, and that's why creating "an experience" with Maketto is crucial. In addition to food and clothing, Maketto plans to host a range of events, like art shows, concerts, and is even offering a Cambodian cooking class later this month. For Sharp and his partner Bruner-Yang, it all comes down to one thing: offering a world-class experience to customers that they aren't able get anywhere else. 

Check out the space below and stop by if you're in the area. 


1351 H St. NE

Washington, DC



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