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Julia Child didn’t start cooking until she was 34. This fact, along with advice from a friend to look at your credit-card bill if you want to find out what your interests are, propelled Jackie Flanagan to leave a job in the corporate world and open Nana, her store—she doesn’t consider it a boutique—in DC’s U Street neighborhood in 2004. Named after her own style icon—her grandmother—the shop carries unusual clothing (including vintage), handbags, jewelry, and a fragrance line, elizabeth W, also grandmother-inspired. We chatted with Flanagan about her store and local fashion.
How do you pick what’s in the store?
I don’t follow the trends; I really just go with what I like. I research different lines and try to focus on clothes that aren’t super-expensive. I like to look for things that you can’t find anywhere else and items that you can wear to work but that will easily transition to night. Also, if I see someone on the street wearing something I like, I have no problem going up to them and asking where they got it, what the brand is.
What was popular this summer?
I would call this the summer of the dress. Everyone was wearing dresses—jersey, fitted, flowy. And people have been playing with proportions a lot, wearing clothes that range from really voluminous to super-skinny.
What’s your favorite item in the store right now?
It changes daily. Anything by LA Made, because the shirts are soft and stretchy, and jeans by Kasil. The line Preloved is also a favorite of mine.
Is there anything in the store that you loved but no one else did?
Not really—although miniskirts do not sell here. I figured that out!
Do you have any local designers’ clothes in the store?
We have had local designers. Mark Moffatt does a line of T-shirts called Mark Moffatt for Nana. In the fall, we’re going to have knitted hats and scarves from some local designers, too.
How else have you started getting ready for fall?
We’ll have sweaters here in two weeks. I always think I can’t put them out because I feel like people will start sweating just looking at them, but then I always do.
Where do you like to shop?
I don’t really buy clothes anywhere else, because everything I pick out here I would wear—although I do like Meeps (2104 18th St., NW; 202-265-6546). And I like Shoe Fly (1520 U Street, NW; 703-243-6490) and Wild Women Wear Red (1512 U St., NW; 202-387-5700) for shoes. And Home Rule (1807 14th St., NW; 202-797-5544)—they have great baby gifts.
So, does your nana shop at Nana?
Actually, yes. My grandmother always carries a Nana bag!
Nana is at 1528 U Street, NW; click here for more information. Most items in the store are currently 20 to 50 percent off.