In a city that has earned a reputation for genuflecting at the altar of Brooks Brothers, Rosies & Rockers—specializing in rockabilly- and pinup-style clothing—is a sartorial breath of fresh air. Founders Ally Crane and Mateen Khan recognized a gap in the D.C. apparel scene and created their retail space in response.
The store is located directly across the street from the U Street Metro station—perfect positioning for a brand that is actively participating in the alternative music scene. Black Cat, 9:30 Club, DC9, U Street Music Hall, and Velvet Lounge are all a stone’s throw away from Rosies & Rockers’ front door.
Music and art are at the center of the store’s mission, which strives to go beyond just selling clothes. Crane and Khan are using the shop to cultivate a community that encourages up-and-coming artists. The boutique frequently host events and provides a physical space where people can showcase their talents. An upcoming open-mic night offers up the boutique as a performance space for budding poets, dancers, and musicians. A yogi recently offered a free DOOMASANA class—that’s yoga practiced with metal music playing in the background, for the uninitiated. Experimental DJs and a rap group have performed sets in the store. Last year they hosted a show featuring the Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret. This place is all about subcultures and alternative art forms.
Rosies & Rockers participated in Crystal Couture—a fashion event showcasing local retailers and designers—with a particularly memorable runway show. Models ambled down the catwalk wearing the store’s rock-inflected apparel with neon handcuffs. It was a look not typically embraced by the straight-laced D.C. retail scene but it lived up to the Rosies & Rockers brand—edgy, creative, and completely unorthodox.