One of the best decisions I’ve made in 2019 was disabling my Instagram account. But man oh man it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy because in 2019 Instagram has not only become a corner street dealer of sweet sweet dopamine, but an aggregator of photography, design, music and fashion. Instagram has become the visual RSS feed of culture, and when that aggregator leaves your life you start to panic.
I say all this because, for all the negative aspects of Instagram, one of the big positives of the platform has been the redefinition of how the masses access items that would otherwise be reserved for a select few. The recent friends and family event at Somewhere, a much-needed retail store/cafe in Navy Yard, showed just how impactful that newfound access is.
Created by Will Sharp, Dom Adams and Steven Place, Somewhere offers a retail experience still foreign (but not as much) to Washington, D.C. Minimal by design but not overbearingly expansive, Somewhere is a beautiful space of sharp lines and floating shelves. The shoe display built into the back wall of the store is especially eye-catching. As the name would imply, Somewhere wants to a beacon for a community of shoppers that want easy access to brands that would otherwise require a trip to New York City or that only exist in their Instagram feed.
In speaking with Steven Place, the notion of providing somewhere (pun intended) for shoppers who want brands like Kapital, Retrosuperfuture, and Human Made underscored the risky dive into opening the store. And while you may scoff at the idea of having to go to a brick-and-mortar to buy something you can find online, Somewhere is much more than just retail. See the thing is, the brands carried by Somewhere aren’t just t-shirts or denim. They are items with stories of craftsmanship and culture. While speaking with Steven about the items on offer, he showed me a pair of Kapital raw denim jeans made in a specific Japanese style that had to be seen and felt in person. In many ways, Somewhere wants to be the final destination for some and the introduction for others.
I think it’s pretty obvious that I want Somewhere to succeed. Washington, D.C. deserves to have stores like this. For as long as I’ve been going to New York City, and on the few occasions I’ve been lucky to visit Paris, I’ve always searched for stores just like Somewhere to visit. In New York City, it’s Kith; in Paris, it’s Nous. And when people come to Washington, D.C., it’ll be Somewhere.
Somewhere is located at 1239 First Street SE.