We here at The Washingtonian are constantly on the lookout for great items with local ties. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a proliferation of fashion-focused goods worth taking note of: men’s shirts from Hugh & Crye, lady ties by Ginger Root, revamped vintage from La Petite Marmoset. But a locally designed nail polish collection? Called the District of Columbia? Now that’s a first.
Skeptics, take note—if you’ve already written this collection off as a group of no-nonsense neutrals, it’s time for a second look. Designed by born-and-bred Washingtonians (and sisters) Tammi Allen, Tamika Myers, and Tiffany Burriss under the name of their shop, Studio 85, the polishes are mostly a playful, vibrant homage to the DC you’ll find east of the river. From the zingy coral “Mambo Sauce” to the glitzy black “Go Go” all the way to the slick blue “1600,” the names of the polishes are rooted in the designers’ experiences growing up in the District. Best of all, they’re super affordable. At $5 a bottle, you could scoop up multiple varnishes for less than the cost of a manicure. To view more shades from Studio 85’s District of Columbia collection—and read the story behind each one—see our slideshow.
The sisters’ shop is another exciting first. Opened late October near the intersection of Quincy Place and Florida Avenue, Studio 85 marks the first retail venture in DC’s ever-developing Bloomingdale neighborhood. The cozy store carries an eclectic, constantly rotating mix of jewelry, bags, vintage clothing, ready-to-wear, and, of course, nail polish. To promote local creativity, Allen, Myers, and Burriss open Studio 85’s walls to Washington-area artists to display their painting and photography, and they have big plans to host regular events and open-mike nights in the space (the first is on November 18). Overall, the vibe is funky, fun, and family-focused—and we’re big fans of the fact that they dole out glasses of orange juice to weekday-morning shoppers. Though it’s definitely worth an in-person visit, readers who want a more direct path to the polish will be happy to know they’re all available online (though each will cost you an extra buck).
Studio 85, 53 Florida Ave., NW; 202-709-5808. Open 10 AM to 7 PM Tuesday through Saturday.